As part of my new ‘Ask the expert’ blog post series, I ask wedding suppliers their most frequently asked questions by wedding couples, so you don’t have to! First up, I spoke to Karen at Cakes By Kit who runs a successful cake service.
Lets start with the introductions…
1. What does Cakes by Kit do and how long have you been in business?
Cakes by Kit offer a fully bespoke cake service for Weddings and other occasions. A large part of the business is weddings and I deliver a personal service from initial contact to delivery and set-up. My clients have a care free experience and I spend as much time with them as needed to create their dream cake. No group tastings and I do not charge for consultations. Clients should expect to feel that their cake is the most important cake I am making this year!. The high quality finish and taste of my cakes often gets commented on.
I can certainly vouch for their deliciousness!
2. What should a couple expect to be asked when looking for a wedding cake?
I would start with an e-mail asking them to send me some initial details – number of guests, location of venue, styles they like ( a couple of pictures from my website, google or pinterest are useful at this point). If they are happy with the guide price I would then send to them, I would offer them a tasting and design consultation. We would then spend as much time as needed to design the cake with the colour/theme/venue form in part of this discussion.
3. What is the process of booking a wedding cake?
The process in point 2 above usually starts around a year to 6 months before the wedding date depending on the time of year for the wedding. Summer dates get booked up earlier. It can be arranged in less time – 6 weeks lead time is possible but a bit risky as it depends on my availability.
4. How do you price your wedding cake?
All of my cakes are priced individually as no two cakes are ever the same . I do ask for a deposit to secure the date and if the cake is cancelled before any work has been done I offer a proportion of the deposit back as long as I have not turned away clients on that date. I try to be as fair as possible in the event of cancellations. I offer a small range of cake stands which are free of charge to hire subject to a deposit which is returned to the client when they bring the stand back to me.
5. How do you ensure your wedding cake is transported properly?
Cakes are transported by me in strong boxes which are well protected for the journey. Often cakes are transported in sections and final assembly happens at the venue. Repair kit and spares are always carried too!
6. Do couples need to check for certain qualifications or insurances when booking with a wedding cake supplier?
I would ask the cake supplier if they hold Food Hygiene certificate and ask if they have their kitchens inspected by the Local Council (5 Star rating) so that they know their cakes are made in hygienic conditions. Full Public liability insurance is also essential. I also provide full allergen details to the venue on delivery or in advance if requested.
7. Is there anything a couple should worry about?
Always use a professional for all your wedding needs. A wedding is too important and if your cake is not made by an experienced cake maker there is no guarantee that the cake will look like the pictures. I have had many anecdotes from venues about such cakes!! I do understand that sometimes family will offer but couples should not underestimate the time and stress involved in creating the perfect cake usually in the last few days before the wedding.
8. Are you seeing any trends at the moment?
This year ahead I have less rich fruit cake on order and more naked cakes or semi naked cakes with fruit, flowers and foliage. Alongside are the more traditional and modern decorated cakes with a variety of colour themes. Elegant, pastel colours dominate with some modern elements.
9. What are the best and worst things about being a cake baker?
Best things: creating the dream cake that tastes amazing; being recommended to couples by other bride & Grooms who have used my services; working with some amazing couples, venues and suppliers; superb feedback and ‘thank-you’ letters from clients; being my own boss.
Worst things: Too many off cuts to tempt me!, not enough time to help every couple that asks me (I am working on increasing my capacity without any compromise on quality), work/life balance is hard to achieve when I love what I do – using the phrase “ sorry I am fully booked” does not come easy!
10. What one top tip would you give to newly engaged couples when looking for a wedding cake supplier?
Read genuine testimonials on Facebook (as no one can write these but the clients) or use personal recommendations where possible.
Contact Name: Karen Thomas
Location/Coverage: Brackley – covering mostly Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire, Warwickshire and Gloucestershire. Delivery further afield is possible subject to availability.