A common frustration in the caking world is when a potential customer questions your prices and comes back with something like “How much? I can buy a cake from the supermarket for £20!”
Pricing is an ongoing battle for me and others in this line of business. However, we are a supportive lot and in some of the forums that I belong to it leads to some very interesting discussions. I was reminded recently of the following:
Supermarket cakes, whilst being perfectly fine and dandy, are cheaper because they are mass produced using ingredients suitable for the factory production and made to last weeks on a shelf. Just check the list of ingredients on the box. They can also look a little tired and worn following their production and transportation, with decorations dropping off in transit.
When you go to a cake designer you are paying for a custom-made product, made with fresh ingredients and no preservatives. You are also paying for their skill, training and expertise in the interpretation of your ideas into a work of art. You are paying for their time as a skilled worker – do not expect them to be working at minimum-wage rates.
This is why a small business owner cannot and will not compete with supermarket prices.
So, when you request a 3-tier, chocolate drip, extravaganza with hand-made decorations (check out my galleries here) and a figure of Uncle Fred, in 3 different flavours and fillings, and you want it the day after next, please don’t be surprised when we cannot make it for £20!