Announcing Our April Live Chat: Michelle Green of The Business of Baking

 

As it so happens, our next live chat (Saturday, April 7 at 4 pm central) is super opportune. Lately, we've been getting a larger than usual number of business questions in our forums. They run the spectrum from cottage food law to pricing to time management to . . . you name it! I'm now many years out of the bakery business, and not very up on the topic, so I'm extra pleased and grateful to announce that Michelle Green of The Business of Baking, and also a past Cookie Connection business contributor, will be sharing her much deeper and more current expertise with us.

For those of you who don't know Michelle, here's a bit of background, extracted nearly word for word from Michelle's blog (with her permission, of course) . . .

GreenCROPPEDMichelle Green is a chef, cake decorator, writer, mentor, business educator, and mom, and like so many of us, wishes there were more hours in the day! She is also the mastermind behind The Business of Baking blog, which was created for people who want to make a living doing what they love – namely baking and decorating sweet art.

Michelle was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, USA, but now lives in Melbourne, Australia. She's been a cake decorator since she was 16 years old, when her sister asked her to make a cake for her wedding shower. Back then, Michelle relied entirely on tubes of gel icing and containers of Betty Crocker frosting purchased from the supermarket. It wasn’t until many years later that she finally took an actual class in cake decorating (a Wilton level one buttercream class, to be exact). She loved that class so much that she decided to go to culinary school, where she got certified as both a chef and pastry chef. During that time, she still made cakes from home (very illegally) for fun and no profit. (She charged $30 per cake and was thrilled to get that kind of cash in her pocket!) Michelle later went on to work in several cafés, catering companies, and bakeries before finally opening the doors to her own custom cake business, which she operated for ten years.

Michelle now focuses on mentoring other cake and cookie business owners (and aspiring owners) through her blog, her book (also entitled The Business of Baking), and her in-person and online classes.

Photo credit: Michelle Green

To learn more about Michelle and the resources she provides to bakers and decorators, please visit her blog and read her past Cookie Connection posts here. Michelle recently opened enrollment in her online course, so I encourage you to check it out too. Though entitled "Build Your Profitable Cake Business," the course covers principles that apply equally well to cookie businesses.

And, of course, please attend our chat on Saturday, April 7 at 4 pm central. (Yes, that's 4 pm central, much later than our usual chat time due to the 16-hour time difference to Melbourne.) If you can't make the chat at the appointed time, no worries. You can always log questions in advance by visiting Michelle's newly opened chat room and following the instructions at the top of the page! Either way, Michelle and I hope to receive many great questions from you! However, please do limit your questions to ones related to starting or building a sweets business. Thank you!

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Hi, my name is Valerie, I’m from California, I’m so happy to have this opportunity! 

I want to get into the business of selling my hand made decorated surges cookies. But I’m scared that I will be working my butt off for $4,000 a year. I’m a stay at home mom that would love to bring in  extra cash (around 10,000 a year would be great for us) but after I’ve done some calculations on how many cookies I can make a week and how often and how much I could charge per cookie I came up with 4,000.  That would come out to 10 dollars an hour and when I quit my job 6 years ago I was making a little over 15 dollars an hour. So I feel I would be working very hard for very little pay. Is this an accurate amount for all the other cookie businesses out there? I can’t tell if it’s worth it. I would love your input on the matter and any advice.

Thank you, 

Valerie 

 

cookies and cakes posted:

Hi, my name is Valerie, I’m from California, I’m so happy to have this opportunity! 

I want to get into the business of selling my hand made decorated surges cookies. But I’m scared that I will be working my butt off for $4,000 a year. I’m a stay at home mom that would love to bring in  extra cash (around 10,000 a year would be great for us) but after I’ve done some calculations on how many cookies I can make a week and how often and how much I could charge per cookie I came up with 4,000.  That would come out to 10 dollars an hour and when I quit my job 6 years ago I was making a little over 15 dollars an hour. So I feel I would be working very hard for very little pay. Is this an accurate amount for all the other cookie businesses out there? I can’t tell if it’s worth it. I would love your input on the matter and any advice.

Thank you, 

Valerie 

 

Hi, @cookies and cakes, This is a great question for the chat, but for it to be included in the April 7 chat for Michelle to answer, you need to place the question in Michelle's chat room, not in this post. Again, here's the link to her chat room: http://cookieconnection.juliau...e-business-of-baking

Just click on the link, and then follow the instructions at the top of the page for entering this question into her chat room. Michelle's answer to the question will then be posted on the day of the chat.

Thank you.

cookies and cakes posted:

I thought I could have  even posting to the wrong area, sorry. I’ve attached screen shot of the area I “think” I’m suppose to comment on. Is that correct? 

Yes, click on the link I gave you and then scroll down to the area you just showed me, and enter your comment there. Thanks!

I  adore your  cookies you are so talented.

Thanks so very very much for sharing your thoughts and time.

What is the best flavor and no spread rescipe you can share.

How long can you freeze  cookie dough?

Thanks again lori

Lori Stone posted:

I  adore your  cookies you are so talented.

Thanks so very very much for sharing your thoughts and time.

What is the best flavor and no spread rescipe you can share.

How long can you freeze  cookie dough?

Thanks again lori

Hi, Lori! To whom are you addressing these questions? They aren't related to the post above as far as I can tell, so I was not sure. But, if to me: All of the recipes that I have available for free are posted on my web site (www.juliausher.com, under Blog/Recipes/Cookies). The gingerbread one barely spreads, and my sugar cookie recipe (only available for sale in my books and ebooks) can be flavored an infinite number of ways. I have several flavor variations in the books. As for freezing, every recipe has different storage and staling properties, but I've frozen my dough for a few months and seen no deterioration in flavor or texture, but I wrap it very well!

~ I Luv luv The Business of Baking, have learned so much from reading this blog, thank you, Julia Usher, for bringing us this lovely lady Michelle Green & even though I missed out on this live chat, I know many new members will be learning from Michelle over at her blog.

Luv,

xoxyanixox🌺

yani posted:

~ I Luv luv The Business of Baking, have learned so much from reading this blog, thank you, Julia Usher, for bringing us this lovely lady Michelle Green & even though I missed out on this live chat, I know many new members will be learning from Michelle over at her blog.

Luv,

xoxyanixox🌺

Hi, @yani, yes, I agree: Michelle and her blog are great! But, if you missed the chat, you can still reap the benefits of it too. Chat transcripts are always saved on this site. Just go to "Chats" in the main navigation line, click on it, and then look on the right hand side of the page that opens up for a listing of past chat transcripts. Here's the link to Michelle's transcript: http://cookieconnection.juliau...e-business-of-baking

Julia M. Usher posted:
yani posted:

~ I Luv luv The Business of Baking, have learned so much from reading this blog, thank you, Julia Usher, for bringing us this lovely lady Michelle Green & even though I missed out on this live chat, I know many new members will be learning from Michelle over at her blog.

Luv,

xoxyanixox🌺

Hi, @yani, yes, I agree: Michelle and her blog are great! But, if you missed the chat, you can still reap the benefits of it too. Chat transcripts are always saved on this site. Just go to "Chats" in the main navigation line, click on it, and then look on the right hand side of the page that opens up for a listing of past chat transcripts. Here's the link to Michelle's transcript: http://cookieconnection.juliau...e-business-of-baking

Thank You so much Julia for the reply, I have been gone for a while & must get re-acquainted with your blog.  Can't wait to to go over the transcript.  Thank You.

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