About Me

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Durham, NC, United States
My name is Veronica and I own Southern Gold Leaf Cakes. I opened my home-based business in 2008. I am a licensed and inspected home bakery specializing in custom cakes. Since all cakes are made to order there are no frozen cakes here, only fresh and only home made. I am a self-taught baker but I have a strong art background with years of baking experience. It is the most rewarding feeling in the world when you can apply your skills to do something you love. To see my cake creations and view our yummy menu visit us at www.southerngoldleafcakes.com!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Making or breaking a budget

I know it's been touch on by others but I think it is worthy of being repeated.  I know how important a budget it and how hard it can be to stay within that budget and still get everytihng you want/need.  However, just because something costs less and "fits your budget" doesn't mean it's the right fit.  There is also a saying, "you get what you pay for." 
  My husband has teased me with a video of a couple buying a cake that costs next to nothing and then the girl mentions it will be perfect for their wedding.  The lady behind the counter then pulls out an exact replica of the cake they just looked at and says, "Oh, then you want this one.  It's a wedding cake."  It also costs triple but it's the same cake.  The joke is that everything is more expensive if it's for a wedding. 
   It's in my experience that most, not all but most, cakes are priced on a per slice basis and then the additional fees come in the form of either extensive sugar work, delivery, special order items and such.  I have vistied many websites that don't even list a price range and insist that you have to meet them for those details.  I have seen websites where the per slice price is extremely low but they tell you further down the page that additional charges may apply.  I have even priced cakes through these bakers only to find that in the end the cake they quote me is no more expensive than my own even though the initial price per slice is dramatically different. 
  It comes down to knowing all the facts on the baker and how the final cost is tallied.  This is something that many brides do not think to look for because of all the other things they are juggling with their wedding.  It is my opinion that it is the baker's responsibility to make sure they understand where and why each and every additional fee occurs.   You may think you have found a baker who fits your budget when looking at the intial price but find that it costs more in the end and your budget won't cover all that you want. 
  I was recently told by a bride that she wanted to meet as soon as possible to discuss her summer wedding and that she had heard nothing but good things about me and was so excited.   An hour later she re-emailed me and siad that she just noticed my prices were too high and she couldn't afford me but thanks anyway.  It came down to the fact the other bakers she spoke to started their cakes at half the price but what I never heard her mention was any frame of reference.  She had hunted down other bakers based on their "price per slice" and no other referral or frame of reference.   I give you now the same words I gave her (after I thanked her for contacting me and wished her well - and I did mean it):

1.  Ask questions.  Ask for a copy of their preliminary contract to see all the fees they are going to include to your cake price that will result in your final price.  How many additional fees are added to make up for such a small initial fee?  Ask for references for past brides.

2.  Love the cake you taste and be comfortable with the baker you choose.  Don't feel pressured because of price and don't allow yourself to be limited in your visual design or amount of cake you must purchase in order to get such a reduced price.

3.  Be satisfied with your decision.   When you are ready to make your deposit and sign your contract know that you will walk away with no regrets and feel that your cake is in good hands.

These are the things I want for my clients and for people who aren't my clients.  So remember you'll get what you pay for and you can still get good things without breaking your budget.

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