RBA Roadshow speakers announced

The RBA is providing yet another great education program for its membership! At the RBA Roadshow - Chicago we will offer two tracks of education: one for cake decorating/baking, one for business. You may pick and choose from either track. Each class will run approximately 45 minutes, allowing for breaks in-between class times. The education portion of the day is included in the flat fee price, or you may choose only the education portion for $40.00. That's a great deal for the money! To register for the RBA Roadshow, click here.

Cake Decorating/Baking Classes:

1:00pm Michelle Boyd: “Low-Tech/High Impact Sugar Work”

Michelle is the owner of Good Gracious Cakes and a competitor on TLC’s Ultimate Cake Off and Food Network’s Cake Wars

Employing commonly used tools, and little or no fancy equipment, Michelle Boyd will show you simple techniques that can be added to your cake designs for maximum impact. Techniques demonstrated will include: bubble sugar, quick sugar coral, pulled sugar flames, a basic and easy introduction to blown sugar, working with lights, and more!

2:00pm Pat Jacoby: “Internal Structure 101”

Pat, owner of Patty-Cakes in Highland, IL is an award-winning cake designer with over 35 years of experience. Pat's work has been published in over 30 local and national magazines, and she has been a two-time, undefeated champion on TLC’s Ultimate Cake Off. She has a weekly segment on Great Day St. Louis, a daily live TV show.

In this class, you will learn the basics of doing a structure for a sculpted cake that will allow you to give it to a customer to transport with no worry about an accident. Pat will demonstrate how to make a flower pot cake full of flowers with a suspended sprinkling can. The cake will be covered completely in buttercream icing and the structure will consist of items easily accessible at a hardware store. After learning the basics of putting the structure together, you will be able to adapt this technique for numerous styles of cakes to fit your particular theme.

3:00pm Fran Leon: “Cricut Cakes”

Fran is the lead cake designer at Creative Cakes in Tinley Park, IL. She is a graduate of the French Pastry school and in her former life, was a CPA and corporate consultant.

Would you like to learn how to create intricate designs while at the same time improving your efficiency and bottom line? If so, the Cricut Cake machine may be just the right tool for you. In this class, you will be introduced to the Cricut and will learn some easy ways to up-sell your cakes and take your bakery's designs to the next level.

4:00pm Heidi Hedeker: “Individual Desserts”

Heidi Hedeker, MA, CEPC, is a Baking and Pastry Chef Instructor at Kendall College. She grew up in the business, working in her family's bakery on the Northwest side, Gladstone Park Bakery. She also owns SweetChef.net, an online bakery specializing in European pastry. In addition, Hedeker is a consulting baker for The Good Loaf, an organic, not-for-profit bakery.

Entertaining is back in style with bakeries and pastry shops as favorite places to shop. Party food has gone beyond comfort food, to desserts and cakes with some retro twists. In this class, Heidi will demonstrate elegant new desserts for a crowd. Desserts-in-a-glass, miniatures for sweet table miniatures, and variations on a cake ball are the latest options to add to your line of dessert options

Business Classes:

1:00pm Jonna Parker: “Bakery Opportunity: How to Reach Customers More Often”

Jonna Parker is an Account Services Director with the Nielsen-Perishables Group, the industry experts on what shoppers buy in fresh foods.

Building foot traffic and purchase frequency is a goal for many bakeries. Jonna Parker will share the latest sales trends and consumer insights from the research from in-store bakeries. The session will then move to a discussion on what strategies bakeries can use to help make the bakery an everyday destination based on what consumers are or aren't purchasing in super markets.

2:00pm Beth Fahey: “Pricing As Seen on TV Cakes for Profit”

Beth co-owns Creative Cakes in Tinley Park, IL with her sister, Becky. She is in charge of all things business and marketing at Creative Cakes. Beth serves on the Board of Directors for CARBA and RBA.

Profit is Good. It is a necessary and healthy way to think about your business. These days, however, many bakeries struggle with pricing “as seen on TV” cakes; often underpricing their services. Beth Fahey demystifies pricing these labor-intensive cakes, with practical tools like accurate product costing, forecasting cash flow in a seasonal business, and ultimately, which percentages are the ones to pay attention to – including identifying your bakery’s target net operating profit.

3:00pm Sue Tinnish: “Guerrilla Marketing for the Small Bakery Owner”

Join Sue Tinnish, PhD, assistant professor at Kendall College’s School of Hospitality Management and also a small business owner, for this session. Sue’s blend of business knowledge, strategy and marketing will ensure that you enjoy a practical session

How to promote your business when you don’t have the time, money or knowledge to do it like the “big guys.” For businesses, like bakeries, struggling to survive in these difficult economic times, one method of building your business is guerrilla marketing. Guerrilla marketing involves using low-cost advertising, promotion and public relations techniques. Guerrilla marketing also means relying on inventive and unconventional strategies and tactics – things that you, as a bakery owner can do for yourself.

4:00pm Renée Rouwhorst: “Qualifying the Sale: Those Crazy As Seen on TV Cakes”

Renée is the co-owner of Ryke’s Bakery in Muskegon, MI. She brings an unusual blend of experience – business, education and theater – to every session she presents. Her impact on training participants is noticeable and lasting. Renée’s energetic and enthusiastic presentations immediately engage audiences at all levels.

Do you have customers that come in with elaborate ideas for a cake or a picture from the internet that they "just have to have"? As a good sales person, you spend lots of time researching, sketching and figuring out how to build the cake and then hear, "That's more than I wanted to spend" or "That's really not what I had in mind.” In this session, you will learn how to qualify the sale and really understand your customers’ wants and needs so that you can quickly and efficiently make the sale.