So with Christmas and the year-end holidays around the corner, I’m guessing most of you would be up to your apron strings in orders. This year, I’ve decided that I will only do a maximum of five cakes for the last two weeks of December. I need my time off to enjoy and savour the holidays before 2017 rolls around.
I get asked a lot from my friends and family about making money from selling homemade cakes. They often tell me “Kim, I want to start a home bakery business, but I’m very new to baking and I don’t know where to start?”, “I’d love to turn my hobby into a profitable business but I can only bake simple cakes, I can’t do fondant cakes, will people still buy from me?” and “I’m a newbie and I feel absolutely terrified at all the other professional home bakers. I don’t know if I should continue with my dream of owning a cake business or not?”
I dread going to the baking supply shops. For multiple reasons.
First reason, parking. Almost all the baking supply shops are in places where parking is a nightmare! Especially the ones closest to my home. Ugh! What’s worst is when you find a parking spot, then you have to walk to find the damn parking metre which most of the time would be opposite of the store direction.
That’s the name for this new client I have. Altho I’m not sure I can call her a “client” as she has yet to buy anything from me yet.
A few days ago, my 8 years old niece asked if I could bake cookies for her birthday to bring to school. Now, cookies are not my forte. Neither are cupcakes. Or muffins. I just cannot stand the repetitive process of it all. I’m very patient but not when it comes to this. I like to think of myself as a free soul and I cannot do the same thing repeatedly. I have the utmost respect for people who do. I don’t know how you do it but my hat’s off to you.
Have you ever had a dry spell? I’m speaking in terms of orders here. I recently went on two weeks without any orders. Can you imagine? The first few days, I was almost going mad. I started speaking to my oven.
Me: You need to know, it’s not you. It’s me. I’m not getting orders so I can’t use you as often.
Me: Please don’t be cold to me. It’s not my fault.
Then I thought, okay maybe this is a blessing. Let’s give the kitchen a thorough cleaning. So I spent an entire day cleaning and reorganizing the entire kitchen. I found some stuff that I never knew I had (smurf cookie molds) and some stuff I never thought I’d see again (Spice Girls oven mitts).
Last weekend, I was gearing up for an extremely busy weekend. I had a total of 9 cakes that were all due on Saturday. And on Sunday I was due to be in Malacca for a wedding which thank God, I wasn’t baking the cake for.
I began my preps on Wednesday and went thru my ingredients list and started planning out my schedule for Thursday and Friday. I have this knack for putting things into gear and I swear I cannot work without a checklist. So I had that all ready and pinned up.
Thursday came and I went into full baker mode. Measuring, mixing, sifting, melting, swearing, timing, baking and praying. And not in that particular order too. And by 4pm, I was pretty much done. All the cakes were cooling and I was ready to call it a day. Suddenly, I get an SMS from a client who had two of the 9 cakes I was baking.
My mum’s birthday is coming up and it’s always a daunting day for me cos it means the task of the birthday cake falls on me. In previous years, it was easier. Either preorder the cake or just walk into one of the many cake stores available and get one. But since I’ve taken on the mantle of baker, I no longer have that luxury.
Don’t get me wrong, I love baking cakes for the people I love but baking a cake for mama is a huge pressure test.
And if you thought baking a cake for a potential mother in law was bad, baking a cake for your mum is worst!
This year she wants a two tier cake. I’m like TWO TIER?!
I’ve been dating this handsome guy for a few blissful months. He recognizes my baking as my calling in life and has come to understand the wonderful world of ovens and recipes and dealing with brainless clients. He has also managed to somehow mellow me down. I noticed I’m not as sarcastic as I used to be and I’m quite chilled when it comes to dealing with morons or when things don’t go as planned. It’s weird but I guess that “love” thing has that effect on people.
As we were nearing our fifth month anniversary, it came as no surprise when he asked me one evening if I could bake a cake for his mum’s 70th birthday. As we were still in bed when he asked me that question
Nowadays with smartphones and digital cameras, it is so easy to update your social media accounts. We are so busy posting up countless photos on Instagram and Facebook that we overlook the most important thing of all… Good Quality Photographs my friends! You are not going to believe this, but bad photography can affect your business and sales brutally. And this is why…