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Need advice on Dessert Marketing for Coffee Shops

post #1 of 6
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I've just started a small dessert wholesale business. I just made my first deliveries to a local coffeeshop yesterday. I delivered coffeecakes and cheesecakes. I returned to collect payment later in the day and found, to my horror, that all of the cakes had been cut, placed in individual plastic serving containers and placed in the display cooler. I suggested that they remove the coffeecakes and keep them at room temperature (and unsliced) to keep them tender and moist. As for the cheesecakes, they won't suffer as they are, but they won't sell well either. A nice, clearly visible display of a whole cheesecake is eye-catching and I believe will lead to more sales. As it is, you have to really study the display to tell what's in the individual boxes. In other words--you have to be specifically looking for dessert. It doesn't catch your eye. I went home and drafted a "Storage and Serving" sheet for proper handling of the desserts that will be included with each order. What can I do to help them market the desserts better?

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post #2 of 6
Just tell them! Keep them whole and serve them to order. It helps if you have a storefront and outlet yourself. That way they can come in and absorb ideas.
post #3 of 6
Hi, I have a chocolate business and have run across the same problems when we first started. We found that you have to be specific with the shop owner as to how you want your product displayed. We provide containers that we feel show off our product, we give them graphics that also show who we are and we encourage them to give us a space that we feel is suitable for best sales in their store. It's your product, don't be afraid to protect it.

I have seen cheesecakes and cakes precut with paper in between slices...but the cake is still assembled giving you an idea of what a whole cake looks like.

Also, a double marketing idea for you if the shop only wants to display single pieces, is to have a graphic done of your whole cake and include a phrase like...."Call to order whole cakes" Also, if the shop owner doesn't want to take up the space for your whole cakes, suggest he take orders and pay him a cut.

Hope that helps,
Good Luck
post #4 of 6
Of course, say something! I assume they want to package it so that it's easy to give to the customer to take home. Maybe you can make one for display, and one they can cut up. As soon as they run out of the pre-wrapped peices, they can cut their back-up, and order another whole cake for display.
post #5 of 6
Hi Shaloop...would you be interested in telling me where you are located? It sounds like you and I are working on a similar business, and I am interested in your set up, if you care to share. Are you working out of your home? Do you have a separate kitchen set up somewhere? What equipment are you using and where did you purchase it? I am in Georgia and am hopefully opening my own small bakery/coffee shop this year. Thanks for any help/info/opinions you have!!
post #6 of 6
Well, hopefully all this will help a little.

First, see if they will keep the cakes whole. Same thing as the cheesecakes, they sell much better. If they have to, cut half the cake, so the front half can be displayed, while the other half can be prepped for to-go orders. If you don't already, I'd cut the cakes yourself. (I usually get 16 per cake)

I work at a little resort, we have a coffee shop there and I make all the pastry's for them. They have a glass case and everything is displayed whole, they don't put anything in containers until the customer buys it.

I make two deliveries every day. By 7am I take Muffins, Cinnamon rolls, Pecan sticky buns, coffeecake, and sometimes I take some puff pastry.

By 11am I have all their lunch stuff there. Layer cakes, cheese cake, cookies, biscoti, ├ęclair's, fruit tarts, pie, pecan bars, fruit bars, and the best seller - pepperoni rolls, lol.

I try to do a mix of things people want to eat at the shop, and things that can be taken and eaten in the car. Some people want savory items also.

I'm not sure if this helps any, but hopefully it does. If your shop is fairly slow try making items that last a least a few days. If you brush on some heavy cream onto the cinnamon rolls, before you bake them, they will be softer, and last two-three days. The pepperoni rolls will probably bust open, take a brush and dip it into the pepperoni grease and brush it onto the rolls, it adds flavor and makes them softer-longer, also seals them so they don't go stale so fast, plus when reheated they shine, lol.

If you people want I can post a full list of my menu and what items sell the best?
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