Going solo with my cheesecake

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Joined Jun 2, 2020
Looking to sell my cheesecakes from home instead of from a commercial kitchen. I bake more than just a plain cheesecake. What should I be selling my cheesecakes for and am I basing that price around each inch making up the cheesecake?
 
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A good rule of thumb is that the product should have a "food cost" of no more than 30%. Factor your price of ingredients, labor (at a normal rate) and the amount of what you'd spend for rent in a traditional setting. Given you are working from home, your "rent" cost is going to be lower than it would be in a commercial setting, but it still exist in the form of electricity, heat, lights, etc...
 
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
If you’re baking from home, you really have no “right” to be charging more than 20% markup.

Why?

You aren’t paying commercial rent.
You aren’t paying commercial municipal taxes.
You aren’t charging taxes, or deducting income taxes from employees pay checks
You aren’t paying salaries
You aren’t paying liability or commercial insurance
You aren’t getting regular health inspections and cannot guarantee cleanliness as per municipal/state guidelines .
You may or may not be getting ingredients from reputable suppliers and cannot guarantee “traceability” on your ingredients.
You don’t have ingredient lists or best before dates

Therefore you have no right to charge the same markup as those who do pay all these overhead costs and who MUST take responsibility for their products.

In short, you are a reputable business’s worst nightmare.
Sounds cruel and heartless, I know, but I’ve been doing this for a long time, and I have had health inspectors shut down home businesses on several occasions.
 
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Joined Jun 2, 2020
If you’re baking from home, you really have no “right” to be charging more than 20% markup.

Why?

You aren’t paying commercial rent.
You aren’t paying commercial municipal taxes.
You aren’t charging taxes, or deducting income taxes from employees pay checks
You aren’t paying salaries
You aren’t paying liability or commercial insurance
You aren’t getting regular health inspections and cannot guarantee cleanliness as per municipal/state guidelines .
You may or may not be getting ingredients from reputable suppliers and cannot guarantee “traceability” on your ingredients.
You don’t have ingredient lists or best before dates

Therefore you have no right to charge the same markup as those who do pay all these overhead costs and who MUST take responsibility for their products.

In short, you are a reputable business’s worst nightmare.
Sounds cruel and heartless, I know, but I’ve been doing this for a long time, and I have had health inspectors shut down home businesses on several occasions.
All I asked was a simple question and not one that necessitate a pissed off response. I’m only doing this on the side outside of my work kitchen in one that will be certified, so please no need to worry about your shop getting shut down. Your opinion doesn’t dictate the market value, the customer, or market decides that. The market isn’t concerned with all the overhead, price is based on what the market demands. I’m not using random garbage off the shelf, I’d be buying products from reputable suppliers. I never once wondered about “does this product and it’s price reflect the number of employees on staff, taxes and wages paid forth?” I’m sure you have had home business’s shut down, all in the interest of your business. In conclusion, if I make a cheesecake and my customer base is willing to pay a 30% or markup, I’m gonna take advantage of it. I’m wondering you charge an arm and a leg for some cocked up meal and probably justify that price Based on your Reasonable but angry list. Have a good day. Btw, let me know how many cheesecake I can sell you.
 
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Joined Aug 21, 2004
Your opinion doesn’t dictate the market value, the customer, or market decides that.
You answered your own question. Research the market in your area to see what others are getting for cheesecake.

Just curious as to why you answer anger with anger. Does it make you feel better or is it if you can't beat them, join them? At any rate, FWIW, it makes people less likely to respond to your questions.
 
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Your opinion doesn’t dictate the market value, the customer, or market decides that.
(Stifled laugh)
umm, no,... costs plus overhead plus profit dictates market value. If a producer sells at below these costs, they won’t be in business for very long.

Pay attention to the costs I listed above, because these have to calculated in the sales price, this is why I charge “ an arm and a leg” to customers, and why I have survived and have grown these past 20 years.

I’m laughing hard at the bit about “ market isn’t concerned about overhead”.
Of course they aren’t!!
If your costs at home for a 10” cheesecake is $6.00, it’s guaranteed that a customer who bought it last week will want it for for $4.50 this week, they might cajole you with promises of future sales, or threaten with a health inspection.

Good luck with your business endeavour!
 
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Joined Jun 2, 2020
You answered your own question. Research the market in your area to see what others are getting for cheesecake.

Just curious as to why you answer anger with anger. Does it make you feel better or is it if you can't beat them, join them? At any rate, FWIW, it makes people less likely to respond to your questions.
You’re right I should have not have put little jabs in it. I don’t know the private market so I asked for an opinion. But right off the bat I get some guy who can’t just say “hey usually businesses charge based on this that and the other. No, I get some guy who is angry about whatever. Why would I want to have a business where my profits are shit, why would I want massive overhead? just like a FB group I’m part of where I ask people to be mindful of safety and I get angry people responding.
 
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O.k., here we go again...
If you want to base your prices on other home based, unlicensed, businesses, check with home based, unlicensed businesses.

If you want to base your prices on what a licensed bakery charges, and don’t want to bother with “ massive overhead”, you’re going to price yourself out of the home based, unlicensed clientele, that won’t pay those prices.

It’s kind of like that old saying about Rolls Royce: If you have to ask how much a Rolls costs, you can’t afford it.

If you don’t know how much to charge for a product, you aren’t ready to sell it.
 
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Joined Jun 2, 2020
O.k., here we go again...
If you want to base your prices on other home based, unlicensed, businesses, check with home based, unlicensed businesses.

If you want to base your prices on what a licensed bakery charges, and don’t want to bother with “ massive overhead”, you’re going to price yourself out of the home based, unlicensed clientele, that won’t pay those prices.

It’s kind of like that old saying about Rolls Royce: If you have to ask how much a Rolls costs, you can’t afford it.

If you don’t know how much to charge for a product, you aren’t ready to sell it.
WTH, I didnt say anything else, I left it alone. Not staying on this page website I took what you said and Will be basing things off of that. Thanks for pushing me off the page.
 
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And hopefully out of the “ home based” cheesecake business.

Your post is uncalled for. If someone is trying to feed their family in this time of crisis, let them.
He is *not* taking market share from you.

I generally agree with your post, as I find you to be a level headed and open minded person. In this instance, you seem to trivialize and belittle another person who's trying to earn a living. Did you stop to consider he or his family may be one of the 40 Million Americans who don't have a job at the moment?
 
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Joined Sep 17, 2018
Looking to sell my cheesecakes from home instead of from a commercial kitchen. I bake more than just a plain cheesecake. What should I be selling my cheesecakes for and am I basing that price around each inch making up the cheesecake?
First depends on what you mean by "more than just a plain cheesecake" If you have a base price for a plain cheesecake, then added toppings/flavors should be costed as added cost off of the base model. Also I wouldn't mess around with multiple inch sizes rather go by whole cake or slice. Also have to factor in any packaging.
 
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Many home based businesses in the US are not allowed to sell perishable goods under the cottage laws that allow residential kitchens; you need to get a license from your local board of health to sell under cottage laws.

Dessert is an indulgence, not a necessity and people are always looking for the "best price". As a home based business, assuming you get the appropriate licensing and business liability insurance, people are going to expect you to be much less expensive than a commercial bakery. Our bakery prices custom design cakes and we usually come in higher than the home bakers (my costs are higher); people go on the cheapest price not the highest quality.

And as for the comment about people being out of work and trying to feed their family - how am I any different? I'm an independent bakery owner, with commercial expenses (rent, utilities, insurance, pest control mandated by the health dept, grease trap cleaning also mandated by the health dept) in addition to my personal expenses. I'm in the same boat.
 
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Hi dectra,

1) I find your posts to be informative, honest, and interesting.

2) Jcakes pretty much took the words out of my mouth.
Not only doI have to earn for my family, but I have to honour my commercial lease, pay my rent, and in my City, commercial property taxes are a whopping 433% higher than residential property taxes, and I’m not getting any breaks from the bank, landlord, or the c(sh)ity, so yes, I have a right to earn as well. Since I’m paying what three levels of gov’t demands of my business, I feel my rights supersede the rights of someone who purposely flouts the demands the various gov’ts place on businesses.

I meant what I said in my second post about customers— If you charge 6 bucks for a home made cake, they’ll want it for $4.50 the next time. I’ve spent many, many years “educating” customers on why I charge the prices I do, and when a home based bakery starts dealing I find myself explaining more and more to customers why I can’t sell for half price, and why I can’t “ just forget about the taxes” I’m forced to generate and collect.

I hope I’m making sense, and I hope you can read between the lines how much pressure all three levels of gov’t place on small businesses.
 
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Not only doI have to earn for my family said:
I get it. I really do.

You, like me and everyone else is trying to "earn" in this time of calamity. I also completely understand the "commercial cost" aspect you're in.

I spent 14 years in a Hotel Kitchen, working under an owner who was clueless of what had to happen in that kitchen to make good, respectable food *and* cover cost *and* turn a profit. It absolutely SUCKED....the owner was without understanding of how food was put on a plate, the time and effort we put in, or (God Forbid) what life behind the line was truly like.

That is completley different from a guy trying to cover his mortgage, health insurance, or to even keep a roof over his head by selling a few cheesecakes from his house.

In the end, I tend to see folks trying to eeek out a living as doing just that: Survive. They aren't truly the competition, the restaurant down the block IS the guy I'm trying to pull customers from.
 
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Hi dectra,

I guess I didn’t explain myself clearly enough, let me try again

When you call the police or fire, you expect them to show up.

When you send your kids to school, you expect the teachers to be paid.

When you flush you toilet, you expect it to flush—no backups.

All of these things are paid for by taxes, and the majority of these taxes are generated and collected by businesses.

When someone purposely bypasses the legitimate way of doing business, the taxes still have to be paid, and gov’ts just lean harder on the legitimate businesses to cover lost tax revenue from the non- legitimate businesses.

There’s a big difference between baking a cake for Aunt Sally’s 75 th b day and Uncle Frank slips you $50 to cover ingredients and a case of beer, and someone actively soliciting cheesecake business “without all that overhead”. There’s a difference between someone selling a used lawnmower on Craigslist, and someone buying 50 lawnmowers across the border, smuggling them in, and selling them at $300 a pop from the back of a truck on a Friday afternoon “ without all that overhead”.

The point I’m trying to make is that the o.p. Is purposely trying to bypass all the criteria needed for a legitimate business, because he knows he can beat legitimate businesses prices, and yet wants to charge as much as a legitimate business.
Be that as it may, the cops and firemen need paying, the teachers need paying, and the sewer workers need paying, and the various gov’ts will just lean harder on the businesses for more money.
 
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WOW. ... I am up way too late.

1 1stBatman ... Lots of things in the food industry are hard to take. You are not going to like that. Everything that Foodpump told you is correct and to the point. He told you as cold and hard as it is in the industry. I agree with everything he said.

If I would have said the same things he said the way he said them I would have had 2 moderators and probably Nico jump down my throat telling me to be nice.


"We work in kitchens ... It ain'te rocket surgery.".
 
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[/QUOTE]

The point I’m trying to make is that the o.p. Is purposely trying to bypass all the criteria needed for a legitimate business, because he knows he can beat legitimate businesses prices, and yet wants to charge as much as a legitimate business.

Be that as it may, the cops and firemen need paying, the teachers need paying, and the sewer workers need paying, and the various gov’ts will just lean harder on the businesses for more money.
[/QUOTE]


Perhaps I am not as cynical. You make a huge assumption that o.p. is intentionally trying to skirt the rules, and you do this without any actual proof. I see a guy trying to make cheesecakes. Realistically, how many can one guy make from home? How's that actually going to impact the market for that item?

Part of my view on this is that I've worked in the Federal Justice System for almost 20 years. I've seen, on a daily basis, people "leaping" to conclusions that are not backed by actual, verifiable proof of intent. It is too common to make assumptions about others; it's almost baked into the conversation most days.

That being said, the thrust of my post remains the same: he is *not* your actual competition. Odds are (and you'll likely agree) his business will fail...60% of new restaurants fail within the first year. And nearly 80% crash before their fifth.

Seeing him as a ne'er-do-well is fine; I get that if that's how you perceive him. But railing against him is like spitting in the wind.....
 
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Joined Sep 17, 2018
The point I’m trying to make is that the o.p. Is purposely trying to bypass all the criteria needed for a legitimate business, because he knows he can beat legitimate businesses prices, and yet wants to charge as much as a legitimate business.

Be that as it may, the cops and firemen need paying, the teachers need paying, and the sewer workers need paying, and the various gov’ts will just lean harder on the businesses for more money.
[/QUOTE]


Perhaps I am not as cynical. You make a huge assumption that o.p. is intentionally trying to skirt the rules, and you do this without any actual proof. I see a guy trying to make cheesecakes. Realistically, how many can one guy make from home? How's that actually going to impact the market for that item?

Part of my view on this is that I've worked in the Federal Justice System for almost 20 years. I've seen, on a daily basis, people "leaping" to conclusions that are not backed by actual, verifiable proof of intent. It is too common to make assumptions about others; it's almost baked into the conversation most days.

That being said, the thrust of my post remains the same: he is *not* your actual competition. Odds are (and you'll likely agree) his business will fail...60% of new restaurants fail within the first year. And nearly 80% crash before their fifth.

Seeing him as a ne'er-do-well is fine; I get that if that's how you perceive him. But railing against him is like spitting in the wind.....
[/QUOTE]

To be fair the OP did state that he was doing this on the side outside of his work kitchen, so that to me sounds like he works in the restaurant business and would know about a lot of these issues brought up. Plus I do not know how you can operate outside of the rules purposefully without the intent to do so?

And if he does work in a restaurant, who is to say it isn't somewhere that sells cheesecake and he could potentially be poaching customers from his employer. I'm sure Foodpump does not consider this person a threat or competition, rather he was referring to the situation of this happening in the industry on a whole and for some people it may lead to actual competition. And even if he does go bust with this venture, how much capital will he really have invested in it? Certainly not the same as someone who opened a brick and mortar bakery and went under.

At the end of the day it really isn't any of our business what this person does for themselves in their own home, but they should be prepared for any criticism or backlash from the professional community when they do this sort of thing.
 
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