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Quality, not quantity.

In recent years, I've noticed a steady decline in the understanding of quality and what, as a customer, you're receiving.

To start, what do I mean by quality? Well, to quote the Cambridge English Dictionary - "The degree of excellence of something, often a high degree of it." To say something is of quality is to be held by the highest of standards. I hold my products to these standards. I have spent years researching not only top quality ingredients and products to use, but also teaching myself techniques and skills to offer not just a quality tasting product, but quality appearance and packaging, as well. My dream is to create amazing tasting cakes with phenomenal and luxurious designs. Through research and practice, I have learned new techniques and skills to offer you detailed pieces for your special event. But guess what? That comes with a price. And yes, that does mean a higher price than your local grocery store. The two are not created equal. Skill is something learnt with time and training. You must master and define your skill to your own artistic ability and capabilities, and high quality ingredients are expensive. I could easily grab the cheapest ingredients at the nearest grocery store and toss together a quick cake for you, or even cut corners like a lot of bakeries and just order pre-made cake layers and buttercream from wholesalers and toss them together. I would certainly have more sales as I would definitely make more product this way. Believe it or not, a lot of bakeries do actually do this. But I don't. After working for a bakery that prides itself in freshly baked and handmade items, and quickly realized that was false - this broke my heart. This is not quality. This isn't even honesty. I bake 100% from scratch with the best quality ingredients on the market. As a baker and cake artist, I don't cut corners. Honestly, I don't believe I have it in me to cut corners. I'm obsessively detail oriented with no grey area. It's all or nothing. "Do all things with passion, or not at all."

I think it's easy to forget as a customer what goes into something as "simple" as a cake. "It's just a cake!" But is it? Is it just cake? Or is it a custom piece of edible art created specifically for you and your event's theme? If you head to your nearest grocery store and grab a pre-made cake that just needs a name and Happy Birthday thrown on it, you're going to pay around $25.00 [depending on the size, of course!] for about 10-30 minutes of work total. And there's nothing wrong with grabbing a Walmart cake - they're convenient, and it's cake - so if you're not too picky - it's going to be good. But they're using some of the cheapest ingredients so they can sell them as such - cheap and affordable. They're not about quality, they're about quantity. However, if you're going to go to an actual bakery that specializes in custom and quality products - Both custom and quality cost more - and for good reason. To create something custom is to create something specifically to your customers' interest. This sometimes means learning a new skill, acquiring new products, ordering new tools, more time and more research and planning. As an artist, you first have to plan and research a design - then to acquire all of the necessary ingredients, tools and supplies to create the order. Time = Money Quality is to be using high end and more expensive ingredients. Naturally, you can probably double most of your ingredients, if not triple, etc. Knowing this, it's understandable that custom isn't always in everyone's budget - and that's okay! If something isn't in your budget, you can still support for favorite businesses in other ways. But please don't be the person that gets mad when you roll up to Mercedes dealer and they can't give away a car at Honda prices with all the fun features. When you bring more value to the table, you have to know your worth. Heated seats, electric windows, remote starts and custom paint jobs are all custom extras - and they're going to cost you. You're paying more for a custom experience, and a quality experience.

But I can promise, when you take a bite of our pillowy almond velvet cake with freshly made scratch raspberry jam - you're going to taste the difference.

"Your value doesn't decrease based on someone's inability to see your worth." For most orders, I have to prep days ahead of time. If it has fondant pieces, some even take a few hours to sculpt. These have to be made days ahead of time to ensure they're hardened enough to be placed on the cake without damage. Then the cakes are baked fresh, typically the day before pick up - then stacked and put together, then topped with the decor. Not many bakers around the Iron Mountain area work with fondant and create elaborate designs like I create - so I've been the go-to for fondant and elaborate cakes. This is what I really love to do! Then we package our products in custom ordered packaging and wrapped up with quality ribbon. I like to offer an experience.

So to all my fellow artists in all fields, I leave you with these wise words by Thelma Davis. "Make sure you don't start seeing yourself through the eyes of those who don't value you. Know your worth - even if they don't" Please remember the value of someone's work - whether that be a baker, a photographer, a painter, a florist, a chef, a plumber, a lawn maintenance person, the list goes on.

Have yourself a wonderful day! Hi! I'm Heather from The Velveteen Cake Co, an Iron Mountain Bakery that specializes in Wedding cakes, birthday cakes, event catering & dessert cart rental!

Head over to our Ordering page to learn more!

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