Thursday, September 8, 2011

Bad Bakers

Goldilocks is one of the biggest bakery chains in the Philippines. I've grown up knowing that something coming out of a Goldilocks box was guaranteed to be good. The first time I ever touched down in California, the first place my friends took me to was Goldilocks. What my family has instilled in me was that if you want a REAL Ensaymada, the place to go was Goldilocks. Period.

Ensaymada: In the Philippines, a Spanish colony for over 300 years; the Majorcan ensaïmada (commonly spelled ensaymada in Tagalog and Cebuano ) has evolved over the centuries and is perhaps one the most common delicacies in that country, the ensaymada is a brioche made with butter instead of lard, and topped with grated cheese (usually aged Edam, known locally as "queso de bola") and sugar. Upscale versions of ensaymada are also topped with butter cream. It is extremely popular throughout the islands, especially during the Christmas season, when it is often, although not always, eaten with hot chocolate. (Thank you, Wikipedia!)
So, that's the background info I have on Goldilocks and why my family has always loved it. Whenever I traveled back and forth from LA to NY, I'd always make sure to stop at Goldilocks before heading to the airport to bring home 3 dozen ensaymadas for my family. In fact, I think that's the only reason they liked it when I came home for visits.

Imagine my dismay when I was scrolling through my feed to see a smallish wedding with a Goldilocks cake. It was a generic looking cake, which probably didn't set the couple back much. I'm assuming it was probably a hundred dollars, at most, if that. Well, look at the pics:

God, where do I start? First of all, it looks like a cake that was sitting in a case, picked out from behind the glass, and boxed up and sent home without much fuss. I'll give it to them for getting it to their destination with no damage. Hell, I'm still working on that feet!

If you look at the first pic with the plastic topper, there's a Goldilocks logo steak stuck right there on top of the cake. WTF is up with that?!?! This is a wedding cake, for Christ's sake!! Advertising on top of a wedding cake? Really?!?!?!

If that isn't bad enough, their cake board is plastered with their logo, too!!! I understand if you want to do this with smaller cakes actually sitting in a case for a walk-in customer, but why in God's name would a business do that on someone's wedding cake? I think it's tacky, unprofessional and pretty low-class.

I'm often told that I am welcome to throw my business cards on a cake table or dessert display at an event I'm making the cake for. The hosts are always keen to ask for cards and encourage me to leave my marketing materials in full view for future business. I've left cards with my host, but NEVER EVER on a table. I've also been sure to make it clear I don't want my cards on the table. How terrible to ruin a beautiful set up with cheap, tacky advertising!! I don't throw my label on small take home favors, either, be it cookies, chocolates or anything of the sort.

If someone wants me, they will find me.

I know Goldilocks is HUGE now in the Phlippines and in certain parts of the US. The Filipino community flocks to them for their cultural baked goods, hoping to be transported back to memories of special holidays back in the homeland. Besides a tacky-looking cake, their tacky-looking ads are just another reason why I'm happy to still have personal interest in my small business, and thankful that I have not ballooned to the size of this corporation yet, throwing a logo on anything it will stick on.

I'm all for self-promotion. I'm also VERY thankful for the people who have helped me get to the step I'm standing on today. That's why you'll only find ONE logo on my website, besides my own, and that's saying A LOT about how grateful I am for the help I got from that graphic artist.  It was also done in good taste and not obnoxiously throw up in people's faces like a low-budget meet and greet set up for networking. And, when people ask me who designed my logo and business card graphics,'s easy for me to point them in the right direction, followed by, "If you can't remember the name, just go to my website and click on his logo. He does great work."

I can do that because I don't have a million and one logos junking up my website. I like seeing my labels on my boxes. I really do. They are designed well. The colors are exactly what I wanted. I feel like the artist reached into my head and managed to make me something that represented me and my work perfectly.  I couldn't be happier with how everything turned out, and I will resoundingly be grateful for the favor that was done for me. When I see my logo displayed on my cards, my website, and my product I'm proud of how far I've come and how much more professional everything looks now with a little help from a friend, who happened to be a fantastic artist.

I won't disrespect my business, my products, or my name by throwing it on anything and everything. I feel that your reputation should carry you before your logo does. I've built a reputation over the years...slowly. The logo just added the much-needed cherry on top.

What Goldilocks has done is very common with a money-hungry company. They are not some huge conglomerate like McDonald's with cold, calculated marketing maneuvers. I feel like this huge, highly successful bake shop has jumped the shark and put people in charge that still operate on the  "in your face" way of getting business. Take every dollar that comes through the door, say yes to any cake job solicited, and treat the business like a factory pumping out products to turn over into profit. I guess if you like doing things like that, it's fine. I can tell you, their customer service has suffered for it. They are not the friendly lot you would expect walking into a shop called "Goldilocks".

I don't operate that way. And I don't respect it when I see a fellow baker (that's what I will call Goldilocks, because at the heart of their business is still a bake shop) unprofessionally throwing their name into someone's special occasion. I feel like their stupid plastic logo and cheap pre-printed cake boards just photobombed this couple's most important day.

Shame on you, Goldilocks. Bad form.

1 comment:

  1. That brioche cake looks pretty good. Bring me one next time we see each other! I wanna try it out. And if I go back to LA this year, I'll bring you back a box for you and your family! You should've asked me to get it for you when I went last month.