Saturday, May 21, 2011

Hot Pink Cake Stand, Wilmington, NC

As the Cake Critic, I try to really be open about all of the cakes (and other desserts) that I try.  I take small bites and really, very carefully debate on the number of stars a place deserves, and I really don't give one stars very much as you can see.

But...Hot Pink Cake Stand deserves a one star, and for many reasons, not just for their artificially flavored cakes.

1.  Disorganization
2.  Rudeness
3.  Artificial tasting ingredients
4.  Bad attitudes
5.  Carelessness
Rarely do I have an experience that is so bad that I feel like I have to warn other people.  Unfortunately for this bakery, this time was one of those instances.

I made an appointment via email about 2 weeks in advance for a cake tasting.  I have several articles in the making in regards to weddings/cakes/receptions and thought I would include this bakery from a Wilmington perspective. After driving two hours I realized I would not make it downtown in time so I called the bakery to let them know I would be a few minutes late.  They did not have me down for an appointment.  I was placed on "hold" while they figured things out.  They told me to come anyway.  We walked into the store and was greeted by busy staff.  I told the young woman who I was and she looked at me as if saying, "and???"  She did not know about the appointment OR who I was even after the phone call.  Another woman walked over (the owner) and told me that she thought it was for last weekend, even though she is the one who made the appointment and confirmed it via email.  Then she went on to tell me that she had been waiting for me the weekend prior and (drum roll) that I never showed up--she said that I was a no-show for my appointment.  When it comes to work, I do not forget appointments--I can guarantee that.  I was told to go sit down.  They brought out a plate full of mini cupcakes with 3 forks and napkins.  I was never given any water which I had asked for.  (Water helps clear the palette.)  The girl put the plate in front of me quickly told me what each cake was, then walked away.  No chance to interview her, no chance to interview anyone, no chance to even ask questions about the cakes in front of me.  Not a single person introduced herself.
The cupcakes were all substandard, seemingly baked with many artificial ingredients.  The white cake was basically flavorless and the icing greatly overpowering.  I tried tiny bites of each cupcake.  The first determination I made was that the chocolate they use is not high quality--at all.  In fact, it tasted like Hershey's chocolate, which is basically not even chocolate.  The chocolate icing was sickeningly sweet.  Out of 7 or 8 flavors, only one was remotely "ok."  Most icings tasted like Crisco shortening with sugar mixed in.  Not good.  Cheap candy, cheap tasting cupcakes.


Between my mother, daughter and myself, we could not finish a small plate of mini cupcakes, and unfortunately, my mom bought extras for later--before we tried the free samples.

If things were not already bad enough, the snippy girl at the counter (the one with the major horse-ass attitude) asked me who I was when I walked out the door.  I need to add that they also did not make the birthday cake I asked them to specially make for my daughter's birthday, which was today.  They told me that since I didn't "call it in and place a deposit" that they didn't think I was serious.

Huh?  We are talking about a $30 cake here, not a wedding cake.  A THIRTY DOLLAR CAKE.  How much "deposit" does one need on a thirty dollar cake?   It astounds me.  ASTOUNDS ME.They did not offer any cake whatsoever in replacement for the cake they failed to bake for me.  No apologies.  In fact, I guarantee they did not want to take any second out of their day to be nice to me, and I did nothing to deserve this treatment at all.

THUMBS DOWN all the way on this one.  If you are in Wilmington and want good cupcakes, go to Coastal Cupcakes instead.  They are really good and use REAL quality ingredients.  (I will be doing a feature on them for publication so please watch for it.)

So if you are planning on an event, keep in mind these people do not use the best of ingredients and their customer service does not deserve not even one star.  There are better places to get a cake.  Coastal Cupcakes is a good choice.  Try there first.

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