Business venture

My currents jobs over the last few years have been great. They have given me a lot of insight on just how to and how not to run a business. Mainly I learned that there needs to be a line between employer and employee, once this line gets blurred it becomes hard to be a “boss”.  Now that I have learned some of the necessities that are needed to open my own place, I’m looking into hiring someone like Gaby Leveille or  to help me in my search for the perfect property for my newest business venture.

Work Place Injuries

Unfortunately, I got hurt at work. I had walked into our huge refrigerator and noticed water all over the floor. As I was walking out, I slipped and fell, hitting my head and back on the floor. I Fortunately for me I was not seriously injured, however I did miss a few days of work and have been getting migraines. I found some relief by using some products from  My boss told me that he would take care of all the medical expenses and pay me for the time off, since I was hurt on the job. However, when the time came to pay up, he sang a different tune. Now I’m looking into an insurance lawyer  to help me get what I was promised.

Patent for cakes

I have always wondered how patents works and how much they actually cost. Recently I have been doing research on how to file a patent and I keep coming across theses two sites and  I think this is where I will start once I come up with a great and unique cake product that no one else has come up with yet. Now, if I could just come up with a product that could make a huge four tiered cake for a fraction of the cost and labor, that a stay at home mom could easily do!

Baby’s Birthday Cake Recipies

It’s so much fun when  you’re having a baby. You get to buy all these little cute clothes and shoes. A shower is usually thrown in honor of your new little arrival. Than there comes the cake, usually a few. There are one or two for the shower, than once the baby is born, a party cake for the introduction, and then finally the first birthday party. Here I will try to help you figure out what you would like to do as far as a figuring out recipes for a baby’s birthday cake.

Usually, a first birthday cake has a few elements. They usually are vanilla cake, vanilla icing, a cute picture of the baby, and a number one candle somewhere.  I like to add a smash cake for the baby. It is usually a small four or six-inch one layer cake made to resemble the big cake. This way the main cake can be any flavor the host would like to serve. A lot of time people get some form of chocolate cake. Chocolate is usually a flavor babies are told to stay away from until they are two, however some people don’t take that advice.

Recipes for baby birthday cakes I like to use are vanilla based with color added to them. This way, once the cake is cut open the baby sees pretty colors of pinks or blues or whatever color you would like. Theses colors also make for great pictures with colored cake all over your babies face. I also sometime add colored sugar or colored sprinkles to the mix of vanilla cake. There is just something that I like about making a confetti cake as we call them here.  My bakery has always had luck with the flat round sprinkles as opposed to the long one. The long one always seem to melt during baking.

Lots of time my baby cake recipes call for fondant icing. Some parents do not want their children to get all messy with colored buttercream, so this is a great option for them. There is a lot of misconceptions about fondant. Most people feel that it does not taste good, that’s because they are not a little kid anymore. Kids just love the fondant we make. Yes, we do make our own fondant! We use a base of marshmallows and sugar. It is sweeter than others but come on, who doesn’t love marshmallow?  Our customers love it especially with chocolate cake and maybe some graham cracker filling. Smores anyone?

It is pretty easy to come up with recipes for baby birthday cakes assuming that you  would just like a basic flavor. I mean you could go all out, but would your baby really enjoy it or even remember it? Chances are no to both. Babies enjoy trying new things, as long as it is not too much for their young palettes to deal with. We do not want you to get a flavor where your babies would not want to eat the cake. Or would you?

birthday first

Recipe for chocolate cake

chocolate cupcakeSuppose you are asked to bring a special cake to a get together, you think what should I make? Then you think about all those great recipes for chocolate cake you have.  Should you bring one of those,  or try to find something new.  Here, let’s tak about the best recipes for chocolate cake. There are numerous ways to add flavor to cake batter, even if you’re using a boxed mix.  A boxed mix is a preferred method of baking for most of America.  However many of these people add flavor to their batter making it their own.  My preferred recipe for chocolate cake includes a box mix too, at least when I’m baking from home. It is just easier and quicker to use a box. I add multiple ingredients to my mix. Usually I start out by switching the oil for butter, I think it has an overall better taste. You would just use the same exact measurements:  1/2 cup oil for a 1/2 cup melted butter. It is always important when switching out ingredients to keep them in the same form as originally called for, so if it’s a liquid,  keep it a liquid. I generally never add more liquids to my chocolate cake recipes than is called for. Cake batter can be become too moist or dense with too much liquids.  In my recipes I like to add solids like chopped up popcorn, chocolate chips, peanut butter, and even sometimes fruit.  I may suggest when adding fruit to be careful of what kind of fruit you are adding. Pineapples, peaches, and blueberries can add too much moisture during the baking process, in turn making your cake not rise properly. On the other side of things, you can leave your chocolate cake recipe alone, bake it like the directions say and add flavor to the fillings or buttercreams. You may have also noticed the wave of flavored cupcakes out there, which have carried over to cake flavors. These cakes are made by just taking a basic chocolate cake recipe and adding a filling. Fillings basically can be anything you want but may I suggest to keep it in a semi solid state, something like pudding or a mousse. You would be amazed at the possible flavors you can come up with by just starting out with a vanilla base and adding flavoring out of a bottle or some lemon or lime peel. Liquors are also a good additive. Some people cook them to take the alcohol out of it, I just brush on the flavoring right out of the bottle onto my cake. Finally, we come to the best part – the topping of our cakes. The buttercream, mousse, or whipped cream can all be enhanced to create a special flavor. I like mixing buttercream and mousse together, it gives me the best of both. It has the lightness of mousse but the stability of buttercream. Customers at my bakery really enjoy this combination, we call it fluffed buttercream. The topping just adds another layer of flavor to your cake. So no matter what recipes for chocolate cake you have, you can always make it new and different. Enjoy!

Rounded Cakes

Rounded cakes always drove me nuts. They never seemed to be perfectly round like I wanted, like a ball. It was so annoying trying to figure it out! I always wondered why they never made a cake pan in this size? Not the small size Wilton makes, I was looking for a large ball. I finally figured out what I could do. Just use a rounded bottom mixing bowl!

I prefer a heavier steel ball. I pour the batter in just like I would a cake pan and bake. I will do this twice if I want a completely round ball or just once for  a half ball.

After, I let my cake cool I trim off the top or bottom (depending how you look at it) to make a flat surface. Once I do this I crumb coat each flat surface and dowel one side of the ball.  I do this so the ball does not come apart. Then I crumb coat the whole cake. I have had really good success using a crusting buttercream. This way if your ball is a little uneven you can just add my buttercream there and round it up a bit. From here, I would cover with fondant or more buttercream.

This technique works well for making any type of sports ball, hats, or helmets.

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Baby Blocks Cake

Baby blocks cake

Baby blocks cake

Oh, I just love doing baby cakes. This baby blocks cake is extremely popular at the bakery. It is  probably because it is fairly simple to make and the blocks can go on top or around any size cake. Below is a half sheet cake. I added five baby blocks the the top. The blocks  are made out of pound cake and then covered in poured fondant. I outlined each block in colored icing and piped a letter on each one. You can use these blocks in a variety of ways, a b c’s, 1 2 3’s, names, dates,  and times etc… It does not have to be just for a baby shower. Also, those blocks are a nice size serving of cake, so your special one can have something special of their very own.

Owners Who Do Not Care

I seem to work for owners who do not care about their bakery anymore. Every bakery has their ups and down, but where I work it seems to have more downs. My bakery is more than 100 years old. It is ran by the second generation owners. The owners are almost 80. They do not want to revamp the business even though it is losing money.  All they do is complaint on how they are not making money, that all their problems are employee related and that it is a product of a bad economy. Well they are wrong! The main problem is them.

They come in to the bakery everyday and just complain about anything and everything! They believe it is everyone else’s fault that the business is doing poorly not theirs!

All the employees have at one time or another tried to help the situation out by giving them ideas about new products or what other places are selling. It all falls or deaf ears. Unless we are part of the family by blood, our ideas do not make it out to the store.  Countless time we have voiced our displeasure to tried and remedy the situation but with no luck.  It just seems like they do not care. Maybe it’s time to move on and finally look for my own location. I keep seeing mentioned when I search for properties – maybe that’s where I’ll start. And maybe I’ll get a business mentor like to help me start out on the right track!

Understaffed Bakery

Have you ever gone into a bakery and your order was not ready or there was a line out the door? This is one sign of an understaffed bakery. Under staffing is a major problem that has a trickle down effect on everyone involved. Sometimes it’s no ones fault, someone may have called out sick or gotten hurt. Other times it is the fault of the owners or mangers who wanna cut cost to gain more profit.

Under staffing is a major problem for both owners, employees, and customers. Lets start with employees first, they become over worked. Once over worked and tired, employees may not make your product as well as they would have if they were not over worked. The employee may make your product wrong or not give you exactly what you ordered. Than there is the customer, you may get annoyed for having to wait in an extra long line. Than when you get the counter, the bakery may not have what you want or it may be wrong. Finally we have the owners, they may think that their making lots of money for under staffing the bakery. However they may not realized that when employees get tired or mad they take it out on the customer. This in turn leads to unhappy customer which will go else where to buy their baked goods, in turn leading to a loss of business and profits. Maybe they need some keep from Weller & Zimaro to keep track of their profits and losses so they could see what they are doing could be harmful.

Running Out Of Supplies

Supplies are necessary to keep a business on track and open. When a business makes a habit of running out of supplies it is usually not a good sign.  The business may not have the money to keep supplies on hand or they may just have a bad manager who does not know how to order the proper amount of supplies.

My business runs out of supplies constantly. In one aspect it is a good thing, it shows that we have a good enough business where everything sells out. On the other hand, it shows that we don’t care enough not to run out. The usual excuse I get when I tell the boss that we ran out of cake boards is that “They cost  a lot of money to buy – that we used more than we normally do- or the truck never came.”  Theses answers are not a good reason, it takes money to make money. If you don’t buy it, we can’t sell  it and if our trucks are not arriving maybe we should contact  to get it here on time. We do a steady amount of business, during our busy times, like holidays and graduations the boss should know to order more stuff. If he does not, that is his fault that we ran out.

What does he expect me to tell a customer when I do not have a box to put their cake in? Or when we give them to big of a cake board? Even when we up their cake size because we ran out of the size they wanted? The truth, that we ran out is not a good excuse to the customer.

Selling the Bakery

Deciding to sell a business is a hard decision to make. It is not just something to decide over night. Most owners think about selling it for months, maybe even years. So why when I asked you if we were gonna close did you not tell me? Why when I told you I saw the listing online did you act like you did not know? Do you think I’m stupid? I know that you are selling the bakery!

You decided that selling the bakery was the right decision for you. I should have been told, maybe I would like to buy it. I’m a good employee that will stick it out to the end, maybe. I should not have found out one day by having potential buyers walking around! That was just a slap in the face for my years of service to you. Do you not realize that you are going to be putting me out of a job? It would be nice to know that I will be needing to look for a job in a few months.

It’s also nice to be updated on what’s going on.  People come and they go and they come again. Are they buyers? When do you think would be a good time to tell me that the place is sold, when I come into work and the doors are locked one morning? Let me know things in advance so I can plan too. Maybe I should get a realtor like Michael or to come buy your bakery.

When Owners Fight in the Bakery

When owners fight in the bakery it is just bad news. I work for a family business. The parents own the business and all the children work there. They drive everyone nuts when they fight. They talk about each other behind their back to the employees. When one sibling gets mad at the other, they pick on employees.

I should not have to deal with this, I am a employees of the business not a family member. Family fights should be had at home not in the work place. If they disagree with each other over something, why do I have to know about it? You guys are making my job harder than it should be.

Eight people should not all be my direct manager, I should have one. I think you guys need to figure out a way to get along when you are working together. When I have a question and I ask one manager, you should answer me. The other managers there should just accept their decision the manager made. Please do not tell me to ignore it just because you do not agree wit it. It puts me in the middle and leads me to be confused on what to do. Set up a system of order, rank your managers in number order of who I should listen to over others. you could even get someone like to help you guys work something out legally. Just don’t put me in the middle anymore.

Calling Out Sick

Everyone gets sick at some point and time. Most of us suck it up and go to work anyway. However, there are times that we are just to sick to go in so we call out. Now I have worked at many different places and every business has different call out policies. Some places I just needed to leave a message with someone who will in turn relay it to a manager. Other places I can leave a call out message on a machine, while others I need to speak directly to a manager.

The place I currently work at I have to place several different calls or text messages and hope someone eventually gets back to me. When I first started I was told to call one person and let them know. I did that, but they sometimes would not answer their phone or texts. So I was stuck calling my work or other co workers to let my management know.

There needs to be something done about this. I need to know that my messages are going through to the management. They should let me know what I need to do in reference to calling out. Whatever it is, they should decide to do it and stick with it, because calling a bunch of people when your sick is no fun.

Owners and Bosses of the Bakery

So what really is the difference between owners and bosses of the bakery? Not much in our case. I work at a family business. It is not my family. The business has six family members who work there, only two are owners. The people who own the business are the parents. Three of the family members are children and there is one in law working there. Every person with the bakery’s last name assumes they are the leader, even the ones who do not work there.

One “owner” will tell us to do something one way and than the other “owner” will say that we are doing it wrong. When we have a problem however, there are never any “owners” who are willing to deal with our issues. It gets to be a bit frustrating when there is no leadership and when there is leadership its everyone over ruling each other. This is no way to run a business successfully!

There needs to be structure in a small business. We as employees, need to know that when a problem arises that it will be handled. We need to know who our managers are  and who trumps who. Most businesses run with a tiered management structure and that is what my business needs.

Crusting Buttercream recipe

crusting buttercream recipeThis is a variation of my crusting buttercream recipe that I use. It is a variation because it changed due to the weather conditions. In the summer i make it a little stiffer and in the winter a little thinner. The only difference I see with it, is that it take a little longer to crust in the winter time. However, it is one of the quicker crusting recipes that I have used over the years.


7 1/2 cup shortening

7 1/2 cup 10x sugar

4-6 oz of coffee creamer (1:1 ratio creamer to boiling water)

Flavoring to taste

This recipe makes enough icing to ice a few cakes fully. I prefer my icing to be a bit on the thinner side so I add most of the liquid to it. I would suggest adding less at first and then making it a consistency you like. I whip my icing for about ten minutes on a high-speed. I try to make  sure that my paddle is completely covered by the buttercream. This way, I prevent air from being introduced to the mixture. Remember the smoother it is in the bowl, the smoother your finished product will be!