Blog and comments ......

Cheap Cake isn't Good, Good Cake isn't Cheap !!!

Posted on November 15, 2012 at 10:00 AM

I designed this poster some time ago now, in reaction to a fellow caker quoting the saying and feeling rejected by yet another customers comment on the price she had quoted for a cake. 

It was brought back to me the other day whilst reading the BBC News website yesterday I was interested to find and article about the 'Living Wage'  and how 1 in 5 workers in the UK are paid less than required to live a basic standard of living.  Yes we have the minimum wage, but that still isn't deemed enough to be able to afford the basic things in life and this affects a high proportion of bar staff and waiters.  

This got me thinking about cake makers and bakers, generally I am talking about home based businesses, generally women working from home, generally women with young children trying to juggle running a home, children and all other associated domesticity along with running a business, working late into the night and up in the early hours to achieve what they need to bring in a second wage to many families. I do not include myself in this category, I am lucky enough not to have children at home and a partner who understands my creative mess and doesn't mind egg on toast for tea !!!

These hard working women, many talented and dedicated women creating stunning, head turning cakes for other's big happy occasions, weddings, christenings and birthdays, all ordered from them because they make such an amazing job of what they do and because the cake is always (OK apart from the happy couple, baby, birthday celebrant) the centre piece of any party, the wow factor and one of the few elements that we all remember from our life-times – ask my children what they had for such and such a birthday and they will be hard pushed to remember what gifts they received, whereas ask them what cake they had and they reel off a list of what cake they had on what birthday .... imprinted in their memories forever ....... I could ask for no bigger accolade :-)

So, back to the living wage and minimum wage. It is well known between cake makers around the world, let alone the UK that the majority of cake makers receive way less than the minimum wage, and in a previous blog entry I discussed just this, being paid £3 or less an hour......

Now if I or you were to employ the services of a carpenter to mend that broken door, even the local handy man, the window cleaner (!!!) the kitchen fitter, all things we can't or don't have the time to do ourselves, we would be bowled over if they turned round and quoted us a price of £32 for 8 hours work, plus the parts, in fact wouldn't we start to wonder if they were up to the job?

So why when employing the services of a cake maker, a cake maker who obviously has talent do people baulk at the price quoted and complain ....

Isn't it about time that a cake maker with experience and skill is given the same acceptance and recogintion to that of other trades and paid a decent wage based on the work done and the finished product being something that people will notice, unlike the new door or clean windows ( and 'she says very quietly' I don't know about you, but if a window cleaner charges you £10 to clean your windows and does them in 10 mins that seems like a pretty good hourly rate to me !!! ... but then I don't want to do that job and best of luck to them) round that up to me charging the same rate ..... my average cake is going to end up setting you back .... £600 ..... hahahaaa #hysterical laughter ....oh yes bring on a life of luxury !!!


So remember this Good Cake isn't Cheap, Cheap Cake isn't Good ....



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Reply pimpmycake, pimp my cake
3:11 AM on October 31, 2012 
Absolutely Lisa, but how do cake makers up their credibility, that's the thing. It seems that unless you are one of the 'big' names you are going to struggle to to do this. I imagine that most artists have the same issue. In other countries artisans are highly regarded, but here we are considered slightly crazy !!!! and I suppose we must be to continue doing it.
Onwards and upwards though :)

Reply Lisa fothergill
8:07 PM on October 30, 2012 
I totally agree!!! You have just described my life as a cake maker. Also what about the research that goes into making that perfect cake or if your kids are unwell! I had a plumber recently charge me 80 for 5 mins "work" and I'd already bought the part needed. Yet I still get people say "35, but I only want a small cake" it makes me mad. Anyway, I do love making them and the joy that they bring, and I can't imagine doing anything else, I just wish I didn't need to be crazy to do it. :P

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