We have pulled together a list of our most commonly asked questions and paired them with answers for you below! These questions range from generic order placing information up to specific questions about wedding orders!
If your question is not on this list, feel free to contract us using our Contact Us page!
How far in advance do I need to place an order?
We generally ask for 48 hours notice on most orders. There are situations that require more notice, such as large orders, specialty cake flavors, fondant decoration on cakes, and weddings. We encourage you to give the shop a call directly to see if we can fit your order in if it under the 48 hour mark; we try our best to accommodate as many customers as possible.
I need a lot of cupcakes to pick up in an hour, can you help?
We do have a case stocked with cupcakes, cookies, and petit fours and can accommodate immediate pick up orders of a dozen or less for walk-in customers. Because we strive to focus on the freshness of our sweets every day, we do not keep an excess back stock of product. We will do our best to accommodate last minute walk-in customers, but please be aware that we do have a finite amount of product made each day.
Do you have ready made cakes in your case?
We do not have ready made cakes in our case. We prefer to bake cake only for what is on order. With our focus on freshness, we prefer to keep cakes available for order only.
Do you ever reach a point of being completely booked for a specific date?
Yes, this happens often for us. Our small staff's main focus is more on quality rather than quantity. We would much rather accept fewer orders and showcase our very best work, rather than accept too many orders and let the quality slip. Common weekend dates for weddings, graduations, and holidays are the first to book up. It is never too early to place an order to reserve your spot if your event date falls on a known busy date.
Do you offer delivery?
We do not currently offer delivery. We are working to find a trusted courier service to accommodate delivery. We will update this information after we have confirmed a trusted service.
*Please note, weddings are exempt from this rule as there is a built in delivery and setup fee established during your wedding consultation.*
Do you ship cupcakes?
Unfortunately we do not ship cupcakes. We prefer to keep our focus on having the freshest product available in store.
I have a specific picture I found online, can you do this exact cake?
While the internet is a great source for inspiration photos, our work will never be exactly like another decorator's work. Our cake decorator has her special style and all of her work reflects that. We are more than happy to work with your inspiration photo to make a
similar design, but typically we try not to copy another’s work out of respect for that decorator.
Do you sell cake toppers, candles, fake flowers, or decorative toys in store?
Since the bakery is on the smaller side, we do not have room to store and sell toppers, candles, fake flowers, or decorative toys in store. We do suggest checking at Hobby Lobby for these types of additional cake accents. We are more than happy to place these items on a cake for you.
To simply cover a cake with fondant, we need a week's notice. For any additional fondant decoration, please see the next questions for more detail.
I want fondant decorations/figurines on my cake order; do you do this?
We enjoy the challenge of fondant work, but it can be a tricky medium to work with and not all fondant decoration is feasible with our staff size and time constraints. Fondant bows, fondant toppers, and other simple fondant decorations, we normally need 2 weeks notice for. Please plan accordingly, as we need up to a month's notice for figurines. We reserve the right to turn down any fondant decoration we do not feel comfortable accepting. We strive to produce the best looking cakes and our focus is always on quality. If we are not positive that we can match your vision, we are happy to offer alternatives in buttercream.
How do you price out fondant work?
All of our fondant work is priced out by the cake decorator and is based on complexity of deign, material cost, and time commitment. Because of this, pricing can range from as little as $20 additional up to $100+. We will try our best to work within your budget and vision.
How far in advance do you book weddings?
We are currently booking into the fall/winter of 2018. We accept only a select amount of weddings that require delivery on any given weekend so our dates tend to book up quickly for the traditional Iowa wedding season. We suggest that you set up your consultation and book your date early in your planning process.
How do we set up a consultation?
We handle all of our wedding consultations on a first come, first serve basis. We will gladly accept them during the week Tuesday -Thursday from 10-1. We also can accept on weekends (Friday and Saturday) only if we do not already have weddings scheduled to leave the shop that day. Our first priority is making sure our booked wedding caterings go smoothly so we prioritize those as most important. During our busy wedding season, sometimes we just are not able to accept any Saturday consultations. We hope you can understand the need to put our current brides first, just as we will put you first when you book with us for your special day.
All consultations must be scheduled through Alison personally. Please reach her via email.
We're having a small wedding, do we need to set up a consultation?
We do not set up consultations for small weddings (100 guests or less). We are more than happy to send you home with a sample box for you to enjoy at no cost to you. Please contact Alison via email to set up a day for you to pick up your wedding sample box. Typically, smaller weddings opt to pick up their order and avoid any delivery and setup fee.
Do you require a deposit to hold our wedding date?
We do ask for a $100 deposit to 'save the date' with us. This is a non-refundable deposit that goes off your catering grand total.
When do I have to have my final numbers in for my wedding?
We ask to have your final head count for guests two weeks prior to your wedding date. This allows us to properly order dry ingredients from our distributors. We aim to be as accommodating with our bridal clients as possible, so we can accept minor changes within the two weeks before your date.
When do you need final payment for my wedding?
We ask to be paid in full two weeks prior to your wedding date. We are not able to accept payment during delivery of your wedding; payment must be secured prior to that.
Do you rent any cake stands for weddings?
We do have a few options of tiered stands and pedestals available for rent for weddings. All of our items do require a deposit and are rented on a first come, first serve basis. We require all rented items to be returned within a week's time from date of celebration in the same condition they left the shop. We kindly ask that all rented items are returned to us clean and ready for our next guest to enjoy.
I sent an email earlier this week and haven’t received a response, what should I do?
We try to respond to all emails in a timely manner, and we apologize if responses take a bit longer than expected. Please be aware that all of our correspondences are handled secondary to day-to-day operations. We do our best to check our email throughout the day, but during busy times at the shop we only check emails in the morning before our doors open, and once again after the doors close for the evening. All correspondence is unattended on Sundays and Mondays since we are closed. Rest assured you will get a response, but we ask for your patience.
Are you currently hiring?
We are not currently looking to add any team members to the Ali Cakes staff. We are always happy to accept your resume by sending it to our email. When we reach the place of needing a hand, these are the first thing we turn to hire from.
I have a class project that Id like to interview you for, can we set this up?
While we love to be able to talk about our passion for baking, we can only accept interviews during the week. Please feel free to send your request to our email to start this process.
Do you offer: tours of the bakery, decorating classes, kid's birthday parties?
Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate any of these requests due to the insurance liability aspect of inviting a larger number of people into our space.
Do you do donations?
We love to give back to the community that has given so much to us! Since we are a small business, we have set a monthly budget for what we can donate. Typically our donation quota is spoken for months in advance. We ask for you to submit a request on official organization letterhead to our email up to 6 months in advance.