Dessert Works is a custom cake shop best known for their wedding cakes, specialty cakes, and unique desserts. Dessert Works is led by pastry chef and cake designer Kristen Repa, who spoke with TwinPeaks Online just following her shop’s 13th anniversary.
Back in 2004, Dessert Works moved from its original location because the business was growing and successful; nonetheless, lost, misplaced, or ruined order sheets became a more frequent problem because of the high volume of new customers. Thus, Kristen used this transition to increase efficiency, including phasing out “old-fashioned” order entry in favor of a more reliable, computer system. “Everything was done by paper,” she explains, “A customer would call in, we would write up the order by hand, and then begin production. Everything was done on carbon copies: you did 3 sheets of paper, two for receipts and one for production. If we needed duplicates of an order for whatever reason, we were hand writing those. It was really awful, in retrospect.” So, amid the new beginnings of a new location, Kristen considered possible solutions.
“I’m a pastry chef; I’m a cake designer, I don’t know a whole lot about software,” she relates. “[At first], we thought we could use a simple point of sale, but as a custom cake shop we have so many options. We realized that software designed for restaurants was insufficient. Z-Bake actually does quite a bit more than those types of software.” She continues, “It has the customer history as well as multiple options for us to program in what makes us unique as a business. We are able to modify everything within Z-Bake which has been a great benefit to our store.”
Initially, says Kristen, “it was such a big adjustment going from paper to relying on the computer. We were very skeptical.” Kristen says Dessert Works found a middle ground by writing the initial notes of the order on paper, then entering it into Z-Bake. “We finalize everything with the customer, we get the gist of what they want, and then we go ahead and enter their order into Z-Bake.” Aside from order entry, Dessert Works also uses Z-Bake for production purposes. Kristen says, “We’re repeatedly – throughout the day – especially in the peak holiday seasons – pulling reports and getting up to the minute numbers on what is on order and in our inventory, even considering recent sales.”
In conclusion, Kristen says she is happy with Z-Bake and the company behind the product. “I use the system for what it gives us on a daily basis as well as, of course, the monthly reports. It definitely saves us a tremendous amount of time in processing orders and printing production reports,” she says. “Since implementing Z-Bake we have felt a great weight taken from our shoulders.”