Cake Boss DVD

Cake Boss Season 1 DVD is available from Amazon.com and directly from the TLC Discovery Channel Store.

CakeBoss DVD
CakeBoss DVD

Buddy Valastro is one of the most successful and renowned cake artists in the United States. Master baker of Carlo’s City Hall Bake Shop in Hoboken, New Jersey, Buddy is the cake boss. He supervises a team that includes his mother, four older sisters and three brothers-in-law. And when you’re working with family on a daily basis, there is bound to be a lot of drama. The Valastros know drama but at the end of the day they also know love. Cake Boss is the half-hour series that chronicles Buddy’s over-arching desire to achieve his late father’s dream of making Carlo’s Bake Shop a household name with or without the help of his family.

Disc 1:

Ep. 1 A Bride, A Boat, and Bamboozled!
Ep. 2 A Fire, A Fashionista, and Family
Ep. 3 Bunny, Birthday, and Burnt Food
Ep. 4 Weddings, Water and Whacked!
Ep. 5 Bi-Plane, Bridezilla & Busting Buddy
Ep. 6 Undead, Unclothed, and Unhappy Mama
Ep. 7 Doves, Ducks, and Delicacies
Ep. 8 Museum, Mistakes and Mother Mary
Ep. 9 Soldiers, Sand and Salads
Ep. 10 Chinese Culture and Cannolis

Disc 2
Ep. 11 A Blindfold, A Bikini and Breathing Fire
Ep. 12 Leaning, Lobsters and Lecutres
Ep. 13 Fireworks, Falling Fondant and Fathers


CakeBoss DVD
CakeBoss DVD

Bakery websites, hosting and domains

Buying a Website Simplified

I see many people asking the same questions about setting up a cake business or bakery website. They vaguely understand what is involved in getting a website operational, but because of their inexperience they postpone the purchase or worse, are taken advantage of as they shop around.

Here are the basics if you still need a website for your bakery or cake business. This guide is intended to explain the basics and offer some suggestions on providers I have used and recommend.

What you need:

1. Hosting

Your website is a collection of web pages (text files and pictures) stored in a super computer with a high speed internet connection. It is the web hosting company who is responsible to host your website. You will purchase a hosting package from the company and can pay them monthly or annually.  When shopping keep in mind their lowest prices are for those customers who pay for a year or more in advance.

HostGator.com
Hostgator.com has plans starting at $4.95 a month, but that price requires you to pay for three years in advance

Webhosting will cost anywhere from $4 dollars a month upto $20-30 dollars a month. Unless you are getting hundreds of thousands of visitors a month visiting your website, I would advise a package under $10/month. HostGator is used by many bakery websites. Hostgator is a reliable, honest company offering plans from $4.95 a month if you pay in advance or a $8.95, billed monthly. SuperGreen hosting also offers a $7.95/month plan billed monthly. I like this company because they are, as their name suggests, a green company enabling you to Neutralize your website’s carbon footprint. Finally, Yahoo! is used by many cake businesses. Yahoo! Web Hosting currently has a deal where you can save 25% on your first 3-months of hosting service. They also give you a free domain name. Of course, Yahoo! is a name you can trust and they provide 24/7 support.

2. Domain Name

This is your URL or website address. Your domain name is an annual expense, and needs to be renewed each year for as long as you want the URL. Most registrars offer automatic renewal so you don’t have to worry about losing it.  You can register a domain name separately from your hosting package and it is not required that you use the hosting services of the company where your name is registered. For example, you can register a name at GoDaddy.com then host the website at HostGator. On the other hand, many companies will give you a great deal on the domain name (sometimes free) in order to get you as a hosting client. For example Yahoo! web hosting offers a free Domain when you purchase their services.

The main takeaway here is that if you own the domain, you can host it anywhere. If you want to hold it for several years without building a website, I recommend GoDaddy. Once you’re ready to build your site you can either purchase a hosting plan or tell the domain registrar (e.g. GoDaddy.com) where the website is hosted. GoDaddy is the industry leader in Domain Registration  and they offer compelling deals on webhosting services.

3. Website

Finally, you need a website. Your website is a series of files that live on your hosting provider’s computer (called a server). Many cake business owners prefer to use a template or site building tool provided by their hosting company. This is a great way to get a site up quickly and with little technical expertise. These are typically Drag-and-Drop tools enabling you to pick a pre-existing theme, then customize it with your own content. A good hosting company will provide tutorials or instructional videos on how to design and build your site. Again, I know many cake businesses who use Yahoo! Web Hosting and are very happy with the quality of their templates. Alternatively, if you wish to do something more custom, you can hire a designer or use many of the free tools available online.

If I can answer any questions about websites, hosting, domains, etc. please leave a question in the comments section below.

Register your Cake Domain for $1

If you’ve been thinking about registering a domain name for your future cake business but haven’t wanted to pay the fees,here’s a great offer for you. GoDaddy iss offering a coupon for one year domain registration for 99 cents. Enter BOWL2010 in coupon field to show the discounted price. Additional 18 Cent ICANN fee applies.

World’s Largest Registrar – GoDaddy.com

Visit GoDaddy.comDomain Registration at GoDaddy.comHosting Plans at GoDaddy.comWeb Sites at GoDaddy.comSecurity at GoDaddy.com
What is a domain name?
A domain name is a Web address, such as godaddy.com, that is linked to an IP address (which represents a physical point on the Internet). When someone types a domain name into a Web browser, the requested Web page displays.

A domain name consists of a top-level and a second-level domain. A top-level domain (TLD) is the part of the domain name located to the right of the dot (godaddy.com). The most common top-level domains are .COM, .NET, and .ORG. Some other popular top-level domains are .BIZ, .INFO, .NAME and .WS. These TLDs have certain guidelines but are, for the most part, available to any registrant, anywhere in the world.

The part of the domain name located to the left of the dot — “godaddy,” in this case — is called the second-level domain (SLD) name. The second-level domain name is the “readable” part of the address and refers to the organization or entity behind the Internet address. Second-level domain names must be registered with an Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)-accredited registrar.

Copyright © 1999 – 2007 GoDaddy.com, Inc. All rights reserved.

Google Voice for your Cake Business

What phone number to give out?

Many small cake businesses ask us about the propriety of giving out a non-business phone number to their clients. For example, “Is it OK to give customers your cell phone or even home phone number.”  Those businesses who operate in a rented commercial kitchen or from home need to be accessible and professional.  Some opt for setting up a separate business line or business only cell phone.

Google Voice makes it much easier for small business owners to be readily available to their clients no matter where they are, at home or on the go, without the additional expense of a new phone line. Think of it as a central phone system for your cake businesses.

Once you have an account, Google will handle all of your incoming calls and voicemails re-routing them to your existing phone lines. You’ll never miss another call and more importantly, you can screen your calls live. If you’re a small cake business working out of your home to save money or operating from a rented kitchen and a cell phone, this tool is very cool. As a growing, legitimate business, you don’t want to give out your home or cell number.  With Google Voice you can give customers and suppliers your new Google Voice number instead.

How does it work?

Continue reading Google Voice for your Cake Business

Advice and Inspiration for Beginners

Let them decorate cake:

Here’s an article about some women in upstate NY who find cake decorating  more than a hobby: 2 cake business owners, a decorator and a party store owner who offers classes.

New Berlin’s Kelly Banks started her own cake decorating business in 2005. Banks, who trained at the Culinary Institute of America, decided that she didn’t want to spend all of her time working for someone else after she had her daughter. With that decision, Kelly Banks Cakes was born.

“It started off just being something fun, extra income. Every once in a while someone would ask me to do something for them,” she said. “Now I just have cakes every single weekend. It’s definitely more of a business now that it was even last year.”

Cathy Wise, Party Perfect’s owner, knew she wanted to offer cake decorating classes from the minute she opened her store. Two years ago, “it all just fell into place,” Wise said. “It’s just a fun thing to learn and it’s a great skill to have.”

…Winnie Talbot not only teaches the Wilton classes at Party Perfect, she also decorates ice cream and wedding cakes…

Talbot didn’t intend to become a Wilton teacher.

“I took a bunch of Wilton classes and then I took other cake classes because I wanted to know how to do cakes for our business. Then Wilton started calling me asking me if I’d teach class. I kept telling them `no.’ I didn’t have time. Finally I said, `you know what? If you wait until late fall, then I will start,'” Talbot said.

…Cooperstown-based cake decorator Marjorie Landers has had a few odd requests as well.

“The most unusual cakes I do are groom’s cakes, which can be in any shape or form,” Landers said. “One groom’s cake I did that was a for a groom who was a serpentologist. So that cake was in the shape of a snake.”

But these challenges are part of what has kept her engaged in her work for the last 15 years. “I do enjoy doing new things. It’s fun for the artistic part of me. If you do the same thing over and over again, it gets to be no fun,” Landers said.

via The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY – Otsego, Delaware, Chenango and Schoharie County News, Sports and Opinion – Let them decorate cake: Local women find decorating desserts more than a hobby.

How Do I Get More Visitors to my Cake Business Website?

From MarketingLoudly:

Getting your small business listed on the local search engines sites is critical to getting not only more traffic to your website, but more calls on the phone and more new customers in the door.

Local search listings include not only your basic contact information, but they also include a map of your business location. Think of local search listings as the Yellow Pages ads of the 21st century – with one clear advantage – the listings are free!

If you don’t have your small business listed in the following local search engines, you are missing out on targeted FREE traffic in your area. What are you waiting for?? Read on to get your small business listed on the top local search engines..

CitySearch.com /AOL Local / InfoUSA

(Both Citysearch.com and AOL Local use listing information from InfoUSA.com.)
Step 1 – Go to InfoUSA.
Step 2 – Click ‘Add Business Record’.
Step 3 – Click ‘Submit’.

Google Local

Step 1 – Go to Google Local to create a Google Account. You will need this to create your Google Maps listing. If you already have a Google Account, you can login here as well.
Step 2 – Enter your information, and Google will send you a confirmation email.
Step 3 – Click the confirmation link in the email to login to the Google Local Business Center.
Step 4 – Click ‘Add New Business’.
Step 5 – Follow the steps and fill in your practice address, phone number, website, etc. You will also be given a chance to choose a category for your business, as well as enter your store hours, payment methods accepted, brands you endorse, parking information and a wealth of other information about your practice.
Step 6 – Once you have all of your information proofed and spell checked, click ‘Submit’.
Step 7 – Google will then either need you to confirm your submission by calling a 1-800 number (faster) OR having a postcard sent to your physical address (slower). Your listing will not go live until you confirm it by one of these methods.
Step 8 – Once you have confirmed your submission, it will take 4-6 weeks to show up in the Google Maps listings, so be patient.

Yahoo Local

Step 1 – Go to Yahoo Local to create a Yahoo Account. You will need this to create your Yahoo Local listing. If you already have a Yahoo Account, you can login here as well.
Step 2 – Enter your information, and Yahoo will send you a confirmation email.
Step 3 – Click the confirmation link in the email to login to the Yahoo Local Listings Center.
Step 4 – Follow the steps and fill in your practice address, phone number, website, etc. You will also be given a chance to choose a category for your business, as well as enter your store hours, payment methods accepted, brands you endorse, parking information and a wealth of other information about your practice.
Step 6 – Once you have all of your information proofed and spell checked, click ‘Submit’.
Step 7 – Yahoo Local Listings show up in search results very quickly – typically within 5-10 business days.

Cityguides (MSN) / YellowPages.com

(MSN’s City Guides uses listing information from YellowPages.com)
Step 1 – Go to YellowPages.com.
Step 2 – Enter your business phone number to see if your practice is already included in the directory. If it is already included, you will have a chance to update your listing.
Step 3 – If you are not already listed, enter your information on the following screens.
Step 4 – Click ‘Submit’.

Superpages.com

Step 1 – Go to Superpages.com.
Step 2 – Enter your business information.
Step 3 – Select business categories that help customers find
your listing.
Step 4 – Review your listing & profile
Step 5 – Enter account information.
Step 6 – Click ‘Submit’.