Why I charge for consultations

I have been asked this question a few times recently , so I thought I should explain the reasoning behind it . 

When I started my business , I did a lot of things for free . I made lots of free cake , I did free consultations with free cake tastings , I did research and sketches for those consultations for free . I offered free detailed quotations before meeting the couples . 

Over the last 2 years I have begun to track my time more accurately , and I discovered I was spending more time doing the free things than I was doing the paid things . This lead me to a realisation that I had to stop giving away my time and creative energies away for free . There are things I have learned over many years and failed experiments , how to do . There is knowledge I have paid to learn or acquired through years of research . 

A consultation takes more time than just that hour or two that I spend with you in your home discussing your wedding and your ideas for your cake . We have probably emailed an average of 7 times to organise and book your appointment. I have baked your sample flavours which takes at least 2 hours and I have driven to your house , which has also taken time and fuel . When we have discussed your cake , I generally have to do some research , maybe some sketches and then email back and forth another 3 times . A quotation takes approximately an hour of my time . 

So please don’t be offended, if I respond to your request for a quote for a 3 tier cake ,with a price guide rather than a detailed quote . When I have no other information than the number of tiers it is impossible for me to give an accurate quote . Pricing is based on the amount of time and skill it will take to make the cake once we have designed it together at your consultation. Every cake I make is made with love , care and skill on a bespoke basis . Your cake will be an individual piece of edible art designed just for you .