This is not our most common nor our most popular cake, but this is Alabama, the heart of Dixie. This customer came in looking for a birthday cake for her son. She said he was interested in "huntin' and fishin' and beer. Did we have anything like that?"
I went through the "huntin' and fishin'" themes in my mind. We've done a life size deer (in red velvet), but he wasn't inviting 200 of his closest friends to share the cake experience, just 15-20 buds.
The armadillo? The big mouth bass? The crocodile? Nope. Nope. Nope. There is the camo cake, with a deer head (trailer hitch cover) on top. And the camo cake with the fish can koozie and gummy worms. Nope and nope.
Beer themes. I had a strong mind to tell her this probably wasn't the place for her. She might find something more appropriate at Wal-Mart. But I went on. Beer themes. Beer glass? No, he doesn't drink beer from a glass (surprised?). Beer bottle? No. Beer can (ouch, I really hate this one)? Maybe.
Then she saw it. The rebel flag. We had a photo of a cake we did a couple of years ago for a history buff in our photo album. THIS IS IT!! HE'LL LOVE IT. THAT'S WHAT I WANT. Allrighty then. Half sheet cake. $70. Serves 48. Are you sure? Yep. Cake ordered and paid for. She'll pick it up on Saturday for the blessed event.
Our policy at Mary's Cakes is we carry the cakes out and put them in the car. That way we know the cake made it that far without being damaged. You'd be amazed how nonchalant people are about their cakes until they slip and slide because they are placed on the swale of the seat, or the driver takes a turn on two wheels and the cake goes bump against the door. Then they come back and complain about the damage. We tell every driver we don't care how fast they drive, just don't slam on the brakes, and no two-wheel turns.
Well, this customer took offense that a 20-something stranger had his hands on her cake and was attempting to tell her how to get it home safely.
- I done already paid for it, I'll do what the *&@% I want with it.
- If I had know'd it was gonna be this hard, I never wudda come.
He came back into the shop (his second day on the job) crestfallen. We all had to reassure him most of our customers weren't like that.