This Bakery Owner Put a Customer on Blast — And It Completely Backfired

published Apr 19, 2023
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Half eaten funfetti birthday cake covered in sprinkles
Credit: Taylor Kampa/Taylor Kampa / Stocksy United

Becoming a professional in any field requires hard work, failure, and years of your life dedicated to the cause. Traditionally, to be a professional would require a background of schooling, training, and work experience to back up the title and legitimize the future business. The thing is, though, that in today’s reality someone could dedicate their entire life to learning a craft, selling a product, and even make a decent living off of it without ever having any proper training. And while that is amazing, under the lens of social media and in the forum of public opinion, those who are self-made professionals are never going to be safe from criticism and ridicule.

Such was the case in a recent TikTok video by Kylie Allen that depicted an unfavorable customer experience. The video, which has garnered over 4.2 million views since its release, went viral when her attempt to call out an unsatisfied customer backfired and ended up having the lens turned back onto her. 

In the video, Allen, who started out as an at-home chef and now has her own brick-and-mortar bakery, describes a customer experience in which the customer was not happy with the results of the six-layer rainbow sprinkle cake they ordered for a birthday. As the video plays, Allen can be seen preparing a similar rainbow cake while describing the experience, and there are some pretty alarming red flags noticeable throughout that don’t take a professional to spot. 

Between using her bare hands to apply sprinkles, the uneven consistency of the icing, and the lackluster font of the Happy Birthday lettering, some TikTokers had a lot to say about Allen charging $80 for something that they consider to be unprofessional. 

As the video’s popularity grew and viewers began to give Allen a reaction she was not anticipating, the content creator turned the comments off on the video. And as a result, TikTok creators began making stitched responses to her original video.

“If you’re going to cry about someone being unsatisfied with your baked product, maybe don’t bake it like a 2-year-old and charge them $80,” one person responded. “If you have to turn the comments off on your TikTok, you’re in the wrong,” said another. One commenter even reminded us that “Buddy from Cake Boss makes this exact cake for $40, not $80 … ”

And while I am inclined to side with the commenters on this one, I can also understand the concept of setting your rates and not undervaluing your hard work. I think where things get lost for some people is in today’s social media climate. It’s easy to gas yourself up in the little bubble that you create online, and that’s where the importance of being self-aware and doing your research comes into play. Setting your prices at a fair point, taking into consideration what the professionals that came before you charge, and understanding that you are still on your journey to success are all keys to becoming a professional yourself. 

If I could give any advice to up-and-coming chefs, I would say that if you are going to put yourself and your work out there, do it humbly and take the criticism as constructively as possible. Online, everyone has a voice — whether they deserve one or not — and while we all have the right to work on our craft and continue to put ourselves out there, someone else has just as much of a right to give us their opinion. Take the criticism with a grain of salt and use it to better your craft and I guarantee there will be exponential results.