I'm interested in having GSG make me a cake! What's the first step? Reach out! Use the inquiry form or contact page to find out if I am available for your date. You'll need to know your venue (site or reception location) and have your date finalized in order for me to confirm availability.
How much do your cakes cost? Price is determined by size/number of servings and complexity of design. All cakes are individually priced and usually have unique, custom characteristics that determine the final cost. The basic price for Wedding and all Tiered cakes is $6.50 per serving (price subject to change). This would include a smooth buttercream icing with simple style of decoration. More elaborate icing (such as fondant) or more detailed decoration will add cost. GSG has a $200.00 minimum order requirement (excluding delivery fee).
Do you offer specials or exceptions to the minimum order requirement? Recently I have been offering a pre-order for "monthly special" or holiday specials for small, family gathering size cakes. These are themed around the occasion (like Mother's Day or Graduation) with a limited menu of flavors, and available for pickup on the set day. It seems to be popular so I will keep it available. Its also a good way to try new flavors without having a big event.
Watch social media for announcements and get your order in quickly as the limited space has been fast to fill up! :)
Can you recommend any "budget-friendly" ideas? I can work with almost any reasonable budget. For a quality dessert, you should budget at least $4-5 per serving. To keep your cost as low as possible I suggest sticking with buttercream icing and simple designs. Larger events will often have a display cake supplemented with a "back up" sheet cake. This will, sometimes significantly, reduce the overall cost per serving. Please ask for more info on specific pricing and budget options for your specific event. Special Occasion cake pricing is based on the size, shape, style of icing and decoration. Please ask for more info on pricing suggestions.
How far in advance should I book my order? It is NEVER too early to book your order! If you have your event date and location/venue decided… book your cake! I only accept 2-3 orders total per week, which means I book up quickly (much quicker than a larger, retail bakery would). Summer and Fall dates usually book up by late April/early May. Off season (Winter/early Spring) are not as popular so tend to be more available. This is not to say that I don’t take last minute orders ~ of course I do! If I can fit you into the schedule, your in! But please be aware that I intentionally limit my production so that I focus on producing my best product possible, and providing excellent customer service. All that being said, what are you waiting for? Book your cake! :)
How do I reserve my date? Regardless of any conversation, either by email, phone or in person… no date is officially reserved without your paid retainer fee and signed contract. I require a signed contract with 50% reservation retainer fee for advanced orders, with final balance due at 2 weeks prior to your event. Last minute orders (anything less than 2 weeks) are to be paid in full at the time of order. Checks are not accepted after the “2 weeks” deadline. Exceptions to this policy are rare... in an effort to maintain consistency and keep bookkeeping problems to a minimum, I respectfully request the same of everyone. If we have met for consultation and another competing inquiry should come in during your decision making time, I will contact you for “1st right of refusal” and would need your answer and commitment within a day or two to secure the date.
What payment methods to you accept? Accepted payment methods are cash, check, credit card, Venmo (ID is: kellyobrien0212) and EFT/bank transfer (my email is: email@example.com ) $25.00 return check fee.
What is your reservation and payment policy? All orders require a 50% non-refundable reservation retainer to secure the date. Final balance on all orders is payable at two weeks prior to the event. If you are renting equipment, such as a cake stand, an additional refundable equipment deposit (if applicable) will be requested at two weeks prior. Your reservation retainer fee, once received, is non-refundable. As soon as your retainer fee and signed contract is received I will then turn away any other competing inquiry for that same date/time, so you need to be sure of your commitment.
What is your cancellation policy? Once an order has been accepted with an estimated 50% reservation retainer payment and signed contract, all other inquiries for the spot reserved will be turned away. The order can be cancelled, but the retainer fee would be forfeited.
What is your policy response to the Coronavirus Pandemic? In response to this unprecedented situation, GSG has amended the normal "non-transferable" section of the policy. If your event is impacted by the COVID19 pandemic, either by government mandates or by voluntary choice due to health, financial or logistic concerns, GSG is offering ONE courtesy transfer of the retainer payment towards any new available date within 12 months of the original event date. This is without fees or price increase, and the credit can be used for any type of event for normal service/products offered, for yourself or gifted to another. The credit is to be used for one single occasion (cannot be split). Cancellations will still forfeit the retainer payment, so it is highly advised to reschedule rather than cancel . If you do not know your new date the credit can be marked as "TBD", and used for any available date within 12 mons of the original date. Please contact Kelly ASAP if you find yourself facing this difficult task and we will get through it together! xoxo
Can I still have a dessert buffet "post-COVID"? Technically, there is nothing prohibiting the sale of these type of desserts, but there are restrictions on serving them. If a self service dessert buffet is an idea you're considering for your event, you might want to rethink that option. While dessert buffets are still GORGEOUS, unfortunately they now pose a difficult situation to safely display and serve. And, it will be the host's responsibility to ensure guest safety as much as possible. In pre-COVID days, displays were commonly set up to encourage and invite guests to ponder their selection and help themselves to the abundant array of treats. Now, there are restrictions on how food is presented, and in some regions buffets are strongly restricted or even prohibited. Additionally, there is a greater chance that your guests will not feel comfortable standing in line to serve themselves with utensils touched by others.
Having a plated dessert, such as traditional cake slice, may be the safer option, with guests staying in their "bubble" and knowing that the server will be following protocols. In honesty, I personally think is the best choice at this time. *IF* a buffet is allowed by your venue (you will need to check your County regulations) then perhaps think about having the desserts served by an attendant instead of self service, and, implement barrier protection and "traffic control" at the dessert table. Or, consider displaying boxed desserts (think, Bento box) that guests can quickly access with little "touching".
GSG is currently brainstorming some clever (and attractive) barrier ideas, and sourcing pretty box options to offer as possible solutions. These ideas will add an additional cost, but it will be well worth the investment to protect your guests and make them feel more comfortable, and allow you to have the wedding dessert as close to your dreams as possible.
I'm ready to taste! What is the procedure?
IN PERSON TASTING APPOINTMENTS ARE CURRENTLY SUSPENDED DUE TO CONTRA COSTA COUNTY PANDEMIC RESTRICTIONS. ONCE "DINE-IN" SERVICE IS ALLOWED, IN PERSON TASTINGS CAN RESUME.
In the meantime, a to-go cake sample box is available for curbside pickup (in downtown Martinez) with a ZOOM virtual meeting to discuss flavors and design. It's not ideal... but we'll make it work! Tasting box is $20.00, with optional 30 min ZOOM meeting at $15.00.
Once we've established my availability and your basic cake needs, the next step is typically the tasting. The fee is $35, which is (upon request) refundable towards a $650 or greater order (excluding delivery fee). The tasting will include approximately 12 random cake flavors (bakers choice), and will serve up to 4 if shared. The tasting includes cake ONLY (mini-desserts, cupcakes, donuts not offered/available to sample as they are made to order). General schedule is Tue-Fri 10-4pm and Sat. 11-2pm. Saturdays are typically a longer lead time than mid-week. Typically I am booked out at least 2-3 weeks for tasting appointments. If you are ready for to schedule your tasting appointment please contact me with your preferred day of the week and time.
Can I have more than one cake flavor in my tiered cake? Yes, you can! The initial price quote will include your first standard flavor choice. An example of a standard flavor choice would be “Princess” or “Black Tie” or “Chocolate Divine”. You get the first one included. Any additional flavor choices will add a $40 per flavor cost. So, if “Princess” was your first choice, and you add just “Chocolate Divine” it will be $40 more. Also add “Black Tie” and it’s going to be $80 more. Additionally, “premium” cake flavors add a 10% cost to that portion of the order to which it applies. An additional flavor cost PLUS a premium flavor cost can apply if that turns out to be your choice.
Can you recommend a flavor for my event? Answering that question is a hard one… every event (and it’s variety of guests) is different! So, there is no one-perfect flavor. However, if your crowd leans more toward the simple/traditional flavors, then Princess, Pucker Up, Red Velvet, Chocolate Divine, and either Vanilla or Chocolate Cappuccino are good choices. If your crowd is full of “foodies” and gourmet-types…. By all means, try Honey Bee Mine (the signature GSG flavor), Chai Bliss, Mexican Hot Chocolate, Snickerdoodle, or Valencia.
Kids love the Cookie Cake, of course. If I had to serve 300 people with one choice, well, then…. Black Tie (it’s simple, but realllly good and yummy).
Does the flavor(s) I choose for the inside of my cake alter the appearance of my cake? No, you can choose any flavor, or combination of flavors, for the inside of your cake. The icing is not effected by the inside flavor.
Will you put my fresh flowers on the cake? Yes, fresh flowers are a beautiful, and usually economical, choice for the finishing touch on your cake. I prefer the florist to provide the flowers, so that they match the rest of the floral décor, but just leave them at the cake table (in water) for me to place on the cake. You may consider requesting “organic” flowers for your cake to avoid potential pesticides. I don’t think it’s usually an issue, but some people are more sensitive to this than others. There are some flowers, such as calla lilies, that are not safe to put on the cake due to toxins and your flower choices should be discussed in advance to determine this. Sugar flowers are always a fantastic alternative to fresh if you have any concerns on this topic.
How much does “This” (insert internet found image) cake cost/feed? If you find an inspiration cake that you want a quote on, please keep in mind that your cake made for you, it will be custom sized to number of guests you need to serve at your event. The size of a cake in a photo is not relevant, because it’s not necessarily the size YOU need. Plus, many cakes in photo shoots for magazine/print are staged and not a real-life size. In asking this question, please also provide info on how many guests you will need to serve so that a more accurate answer can be provided.
Can I provide an inspiration cake design I found off the internet, magazine, etc.? Yes, of course! We all love surfing the internet (Pinterest, especially!) for design inspiration. If you find a cake you love by another designer, please feel free to provide it as a tool to show me what you like… but, keep in mind, that to honor the original artists work, some details should be altered to make the cake your own. Whenever possible the original artist’s inspiration cake should be credited as well.
Do you make cakes for same-sex weddings? Sigh.... honestly, I thing it's kind of sad that this is even a question someone might feel they need to ask. But, it's asked often enough that it needs to be addressed.
Short answer: YES!
Long answer: I am in the business of making cakes for celebrations. All kinds of celebrations! I'm honored and thrilled to be a part of what ever YOU are celebrating! GSG does not discriminate and welcomes ALL equally! I hope that some day, soon!, this will not be a topic that even crosses someones mind. xoxo
What is your company stance on "Black Lives Matter"? As mentioned above, I believe in EQUALITY! There should be no distinction for who does and does not receive the rights and protections that our constitution affords us all! As a white person I cannot claim to know in my heart the feelings my friends of color experience on an ongoing basis, but I emphatically care and support this fight, our fight, for a society where they can feel safe, protected, and empowered to thrive. I have been taking time to learn more and be better at expressing this sentiment, to my friends directly and publicly. I worry that I may not say it "correctly" every time but by speaking out and asking questions, I learn. I do know, and always have known, Black lives DO matter! xoxo
How far in advance is my cake made? Typically, the production process starts about 3-4 days prior to your event. Designs with more elaborate decoration time may be started earlier, and some external decorative details may be started well in advance. Your cake is never frozen, and is guaranteed to be fresh on your wedding day.
Do you offer gluten/allergen free, sugar free, or vegan cakes? No, at this time I do not. I have not found gluten, sugar free or vegan cake recipes that I consider of good enough quality to want to put my name on. I recommend going to a specialty baker for these needs. Additionally, allergens such as nut, soy, dairy, wheat, egg, etc. are all part of my regular cake menu ingredients and may come into contact with any other ingredient or equipment during production. I cannot offer or guarantee any allergen-free product at this time. If you have a guest with special dietary needs I recommend getting a small dessert option from a specialty bakery for them to enjoy. It may not be necessary to base your entire cake order on the needs of just a few guests.
Can I pick up my cake? My preference is that ALL CAKES ARE DELIVERED… The reason for this is that in the event of (bite your tongue!) damage to the cake during transportation/set up I am able to address the issue onsite. If you opt to pick up your cake, you'll be advised of best transportation practices and advice, but GSG cannot be liable for it's safe arrival.
Delivery fees are usually between $25.00 - $175.00, and includes the safe transportation and set up of your cake (including flowers, toppers, simple table decoration)...and is highly recommended
Do you ship your cakes? Well, no… I’ve not been able to find any postal carrier who would take the time to carry your cake with the same care that I do from my door to yours (wherever that may be) with the same thought and care that I would do it with… so, no. If, however, you want to buy 2 plane tickets to “anywhere” (one seat for me, one for the cake), well, then… let’s talk.
How far will you deliver a cake? Most of the cakes I do are locally delivered… meaning, within the San Francisco Bay area (most of those being in the East Bay), but I regularly deliver to the Napa Valley, Monterey/Half Moon Bay area, Tri-Valley, Greater Sacramento region… even Lake Tahoe!
How long can my cake be on display and can it be outdoors? Your cake is meant to be displayed in a moderate (cool room temperature) climate, and sheltered from direct sunlight, debris, etc. The typical display time for an indoor cake is several hours, sometimes up to 4 or 5, and your cake is designed to withstand normal conditions. Buttercream is made from... you guessed! BUTTER! and, butter melts easily. Generally, i like to say, if the room conditions are comfortable for people (dressed in formal attire) it's probably ok for the cake too. If you have other conditions, such as no air conditioning at your venue or want to display your cake outdoors, some exceptions should be considered. For example, a fondant icing will offer more protection against elements than buttercream icing. Or, if your event is outdoors, perhaps displaying the cake for a short time only would be a good decision. Please ask regarding your specific set up.
How can I preserve my left over cake or anniversary tier? leftover cake will store very well IF preserved properly. If you intend to eat within a few days should be promptly covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated. Sometime, though not always, couple save the top tier for their first anniversary. The tier should be frozen immediately (unwrapped), then once solid you can wrap it in several layers of plastic wrap, or even use a vacuum wrapper to seal it. It will keep well for a year if kept at a constant frozen temperature and protected from air circulation. When you want to eat it, unwrap it while frozen, then thaw in the fridge for 1-2 days.
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