The Bakery Arts & Cake Display showcased some of the best products Chicago bakeries have to offer, including this display of Chicago hallmarks.
At the Tips & Trends Demonstration Theatre, Elaine González demonstrated how to make chocolate tulips by rolling balloons in melted chocolate.
Nearly 5,000 attendees participated in the 2005 RBA Marketplace held in Chicago last month. Not only was the exhibit hall a draw, but the show also offered plenty of educational opportunities.
At the Industry Chats, attendees discussed current bakery issues, such as packaging and copyright issues, with other professionals. The Make It & Take It Pavilion provided new decorating and product ideas that participants made on site and could take back to their bakeries.
For the next exhibition, the Retail Bakers of America is joining forces with the New York and New Jersey bakery associations to hold the new American Bakery Expo and National Bread and Pastry Team Championship in Atlantic City, Oct. 21-23, 2006. For more information, call 610/667-9600, or visit www.americanbakeryexpo.com
Bakeries need to know copyright laws
Decorators can not reproduce anything with a trademark™, copyright© or registered trademark®. This message was delivered clearly in the industry chat led by Laura Guder, Bakery Crafts, and Kasia Wilk, Lucks Food Decorating Co. Even the designs on napkins or plates are often copyrighted, and therefore decorators can not match the cake to those designs, they said.
In this question and answer session, retailers asked a variety of questions and offered their own solutions to problems they had run into. Some of the issues included:
- To reprint professional photographs on cakes, you must have permission from the photographer. Many photos are stamped on the back with the name of the photography studio.
- Do not try to reproduce licensed images. You may only use the proudcts from suppliers who have contracts with the licensing company. All licensors have attorneys looking for copyright infringement, and they do prosecute. The companies also often use fielders to set up bakeries. If a customer is desperate to have you recreate a certain image on a cake, be aware that it could be a fielder. Suppliers also are contractually obligated to report any copyright infringements they see in their customers' bakeries.
- Both the decorator and the bakery are liable in any case of copyright infringement.
- When using cake kits with decorating cards from suppliers, you do not have much freedom to change the design. You can pipe a message or change the size or shape of the cake, but you can not change the icing colors used to decorate the cake. If the cake on the decorating card is shown with red borders, you must reproduce the cake with red borders. You also can not change the background design.
Tips for passing bakeries to the next generation
"By the time children are ready to take over, the business has grown in complexity," said Dean Fowler, during his RBA seminar, Successful Habits of Family Business Successors. "It helps to get successors experienced in a less complex business," he added.
That experience can come from working outside of the bakery or by running an extension of the existing bakery business, such as a mail order business with a limited product line. Although parents need to be realistic about how their business has changed, the successors need to take a leadership role in determining their future with the company.
"It is your daughter's problem, not yours," Fowler said. "The successor needs to understand that this transition is about 'me.' 'Can I do this for the long haul?'"
Sometimes the answer to that question for successors is negative, and they need to leave the business. Ironically, the least entrepreneurial children tend to be the ones that stay in the family business because they cause the least amount of conflict, Fowler said.
"The entrepreneurial children often get frustrated and leave," he said. "But the successors need to negotiate their own relationship in the family business. It is their responsibility."
Clear boundaries need to be set up for everyone involved in the business. Boundaries and goals should be established departmentally, operationally, strategically and financially in the successors' transition plan.
"The bottom line is the senior generation has a right to be concerned over the financial plan of the business because they are taking all the risk," Fowler said. Successful family businesses have a clear transition plan in place. And, all parties (the senior generation, successors and stock holders) understand the details of that plan to avoid surprises.
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