"I love your cakes, but they're too expensive."
"I can make it myself for less."
"You're not Mary Berry or Nigella Lawson!"
Yes, you can even bake it for less yourself, after all, your won't need to take into account time and utilities etc.
If you bake at home you'll already know the base / cake ingredients aren't cheap. Then you have to add the fondant, flavourings, buttercream, the drum (cake board), decorations and, of course, a box. When you start looking at a two tier cake there's an additional cake card, the dowels, plus extra fondant and buttercream.
Don't get me started when you have to sculpt a cake - If a cake takes, for example, three mixes and needs sculpting, a chunk of that cake is going to be cut away. Ask yourself ... "Who should pay for that?"
- If you price too low, you won't make enough money to stay in business.
- If you price in the middle, you won't make enough money to grow and you'll end up in the constant cycle of creating to sell and selling to create
- If you price too high, you'll end up scaring your customers off
- Buying new tools
- Buying new equipment
- Hiring help
- Paying for apps and software
- Replacing or upgrading equipment
A simple, non-sculpted, flat two layer, one tier cake starts and ends something like this:
- Preparing a list of resources
- Shopping for the best price quality resources
- Driving to obtain resources
- Making the cake batter
- Baking one layer at a time
- Making the next layer etc
- Baking one layer at a time etc
- Chill sponge overnight
- Crumb coat and chill for some hours
- Coat in butter cream and re-chill for some hours
- Layer in fondant and allow to harden for some hours
- Make individual decorations
- Allow to harden for a few hours
- Affix to and decorate the cake
- Allow to set for a few hours
- Box up and await customer collection or ...
- Drive to make delivery
When we became a society where we'd rather support multi-million £ corporations than support family, friends or other artisans is a whole other story!
So next time you ask an artisan to justify their prices, allow them to nip into where you work and tell your boss you're being paid too much or accept that ... when an artisan makes your cake for you, it's for you, no one else, just you. It's unique! It cannot be replicated, even if we try.
It's also nice when an artisan receives positive comments on their blog about your cake and other cakes they've made - Just saying :)