This is a story about my decisions to use certain packaging from when I began to the present day. When I first started baking for my market stall I used the basic cardboard folded boxes. These had a limited height for the cake so I had to be careful with the mixture used and make sure the cakes fitted in the boxes. These boxes had no windows in them, very cheap indeed, so for the customer to view the cake I left the boxes open and covered the cake with cling film. I hated the idea of anyone coughing or sneezing on the cakes or anything getting onto the cake. Being in a outside environment meant that there was always something in the air.
From these basic boxes, I changed to plastic domed containers. These were more expensive so I passed the cost onto the customer. The problem with these containers were that they were harder to pack into crates for transporting to the market. The positive side was that the domes had more height which in turn allowed me to become more elaborate with the decorations. Also the customer could see the complete cake in the box which was much more appealing. Even with these really positive points I could accept the cost but the public did not like the price hike.
My next and final attempt was a cheap cardboard box with windows. Easy for transporting and very sturdy. Great for storage as they were delivered as a flat pack. The customer could see the cake through the window so it kept everyone happy.
At the same time as I changed to these I had been using plastic hinged loaf containers which were also proving expensive to buy. I changed to cardboard trays which were oven proof so the cake was baked in these. This made it easier and allowed more cakes to be baked in the oven at the same time. The problem now was the packing of these after baking so that I could label them and keep them air tight.
My answer and life saver was a heat sealing machine. This changed my life. So easy to use and look after. The bags which were used with it were readily available and always in stock. Using these bags and heat sealing machine gave a more professional looking finished product which the customer found very appealing.
After using this machine and my new packaging I invested in other packaging like the mini loaf trays, dessert pots etc.
My other best seller was pushpops made using cake and butter cream with decorations in a push up container. For these I had a custom made stand made to display them in. It really looked eye catching on my stall. For the stall, I liked the idea of checked oil cloth with muslin cloths in a contrasting colour but for displaying the products I liked the use of wood and wicker baskets along with different heights to catch the customers eye.
Finally the cake pops became a really good seller , children loved them and so these were always placed at the front of the stall as they proved irresistible to children. I had a display stand made for these too, custom made to meet my requirements.
As you can see with time and many years of practice I learnt by my mistakes and eventually owned a good one person business. Very hard work but so worth it in the long run. I would do it all again if I had too. Now I have moved on to pastures new. Although I stopped the market stall I still have my regulars from the market who place orders and collect them from my home. Now I am hoping to run my blog and website successfully and pass on some of my business knowledge , failures and successes with my readers.