What do we expect from our home baked purchases?
When we start looking for gifts are we looking for a gift that provides an experience, something different, a tasty morsel or something else?
When I search for a gift I want it to be personal to the one I am buying it for. I want it to be in his or her tastes. I want them to smile as they open it and I want them to love it – after all I have spent my hard earned money on it and I don’t want to waste money on a gift they won’t want or like or that shows no thought behind it.
Handmade gifts should always something special for the maker, the buyer and the recipient.
As a maker I endeavour to make all of my cakes and cookie boxes special. I want to see that smile when the person sees it. I know when my work looks good and I want everyone concerned to love it as much as I do. It is important that it has the “Wow” factor.
Quality is paramount; my vanilla sugar cookies are tasty and the lemon royal icing really sets them off but it is the decoration that makes them special. A few people have told me that they think the cookies are mini works of art. Many say they are too good to eat! In fact one of my customers told me that their friends who were celebrating a diamond wedding actually went out to buy a deep frame and meticulously glued the biscuits into the frame to hang on the wall. That is praise indeed but they are for eating. Take a photo and frame that by all means but enjoy them as they are meant to be enjoyed.
The same thing with my cakes. Hours of work making a special cake that simply gets cut into a dozen pieces! The cake is a necessity for a centre piece to a party, especially when themed or special to the celebration. Yes the cake isn’t going to be cheap (you can buy mass produced cakes at all major supermarkets). What you are buying from cake makers and sugar artists is an experience, a special personal home baked cake made with the best of ingredients, free range eggs and lots of love.
Expectations are important! Everyone will have an opinion; everyone will have a budget. Some will be happy with any cake! Others may think that cake is a waste of money, an unnecessary expense! But for the young lady who loves unicorns, the young man who is a sports fan, the couple celebrating their big day or a special anniversary or a new baby all of whom want a special day sometimes only a spectacular home baked creation will do.
So, when you buy from a small business, a home baker, someone who goes an extra mile to create your personalised cake or box of cookies – you are buying an experience! A smile! A centerpiece for a celebration! A personalised work of art!
Of course, price is important; the home baker still has a family to support and being bakes at home does not mean that you get a less valuable product. In fact overheads can be more than in big business. So “No” it won’t be “cheap” but neither will it be mass produced because you are paying for a personalised masterpiece; the expertise; years of training and practice, top ingredients; skill and the extra special effort that goes into every creation.
The supermarket will sell a cake for half what I can make one for but equally Harrods will charge 10 times what I will charge. Each price point is acceptable to one person and not another.
Credibility is important to a small business, reviews and feedback a necessity so that more and more people know about my little business. There is a little saying going round social media at the minute about small business – that every time a sale is made an actual person does a happy dance! Well for me it’s the excitement, the smiles and the lovely reviews I have received that make me do the happy little dance.
We all have our opinions and our expectations BUT – only the person who has bought the creation, seen the creation, tasted the cake or cookies can say whether it was worth it or not but if the birthday girl has a smile like a cheshire cat then what price do you put on that and what price a memory!