Disappointed in the company “The Sunday Sweet”

Well I had sincerely hoped I would never have to write a post like this in my baking career, but I guess you don’t always get what you hope for.  For the last four years of our bakery we have opened the doors to probably a hundred or more interns.  I truly believe that being in the bakery environment is the best possible learning tool anyone who wants to do this as a career can have. To these interns I have opened my business and my heart.  I almost always have had positive experiences and it is so rewarding to see interns grow in their knowledge and skill.  I have hired on many of my past interns and seen others go to great jobs in the baking field.

People have often asked me if I am scared that people who intern for me would steal my ideas, recipes, etc and for the most part I try to believe the best in people and hope that no one would ever want to blatantly copy or steal ideas of products of ours that we have worked hard to develop.  Now many of our cakes and desserts have been copied and my style as well, but I always try to look at imitation as the best form of flattery and not get annoyed by it…however last night finally tipped me over the edge I guess.  I saw these photos below and lets just say they are NOT my work!

Can you spot our Mini Lemon Raspberry Cupcake, S’mores Tart, Mason Jar Desserts, Cheesecakes w/Raspberries, Mini Key Lime Pies, Candy Bar Cupcakes, S’mores Cupcakes (design down to the chocolate chip on top), Pumpkin Caramel Cheesecake, Mini Pies, Pumpkin Cupcake w/Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting,  Chocolate Peppermint Cupcake, and the list could go on and on…

I was utterly shocked as I went through The Sunday Sweet’s website, facebook, and blog and saw photo after photo of desserts that look like exact imitations of ours.  I then looked at the description of the desserts and many of them were identical to the description/ingredients of ours.  To say I was taken aback is an understatement and then I looked at the “About” page and realized this is a new start up company from a PAST INTERN of mine.  Everything from the cake stands, design techniques, and flavor combos are blatantly stolen ideas from Dana’s interning days at our bakery.  I always love inspiring people, but clearly she didn’t want to put her own spin on things, she just wanted to steal my business style.

My hope for you, Dana, is that you take responsibility for your actions and grow from this.  If baking is your true passion then do it with all of your heart and come up with ideas of your own that you can be proud of.  I have worked for 7 years to get my bakery to where it is and it is very disheartening to see a company like yours come in and just try to imitate everything I have worked for.  I don’t mean this post to be mean or spiteful, but I just had to speak my heart and I hope that you and your company choose to take a different path from here on out.



32 Responses to “Disappointed in the company “The Sunday Sweet””

  1. Melissa says:

    Two words… Cease & Desist

    You are doing a great service allowing interns to learn and grow within a successful and creative environment… It’s unfortunate when you have to start thinking about things like Non-Compete Agreements and NDAs to protect a business you’ve built from scratch:(

  2. Megan says:

    I am so sorry to hear that. Your work is beautiful. I spend a lot of time admiring it. I said admiring not stealing. Keep up the gorgeous work.

    All the best from the Windy City, Megan

  3. Nicole says:

    Melody… Im soo so sorry this has happened to you! You are an amazing woman who has a great heart and has been blessed with a career that is stunning! You have always been helpful to me when I have asked questions about certain techniques and you have given your advice with a grateful heart. I hope this is the last time this happens to you…

  4. Grace says:

    Oh man, Dana got told! That’s plagiarisms at it’s finest. Gosh, you’d think she’d be smart enough to change up the recipes and NAMES of the desserts.

    She deserves to be put on BLAST for being that ignorant.

    Will never shop there- stealing is not something I support!

  5. SO. SAD. Have you ever considered having your interns/employees sign a document about using your ideas/recipes currently and in the future? Just a thought…

  6. Becky says:

    The other ladies are right. NDA’S and Non-Competes are the only way to protect you and your business. It is unfortunate that well intenioned people with obvious talent are taken advantage of. So sorry that you had to experience this.

  7. Cynthia Jones says:

    This is just so wrong. Signing a document about using your ideas/recipes could be a good idea … Sending you bunches of love ♥

  8. pam says:

    Wow really shocked at the obvious similarities. To say you are inspiring is an understatement. But to take your ideas to build their own business is very very sad & shameful. Right down to the same initials SS?! Out of curiousity, have you attempted to contact her directly? It would be decent of her to respond publicly… but seeing as her business style is less than honorable I doubt it.
    Thank you for sharing your passion for pastry with us on your blog. I have loved following you for years.

  9. I agree with Carrie. Interns and all employees should be required to sign a document that you have drawn up by a lawyer that will put them on notice that they cannot take anything from the premises including recipes, supplies, photos, etc. and that you will take appropriate legal action if they steal or copy your work, especially your recipes. Unfortunately, style cannot really be protected, but having them sign a legal document will certainly make most people think twice about stealing from you or copying what you do. I would also put a non-compete clause in so they are not able to go to your local competition either. The thing I never get is how people live with themselves, knowing full well what they have done. I think your work and desserts are stellar and have admired you for quite some time, Melody.

  10. Heather A. says:

    I agree with the earlier commenters about the NDA. Other than that, I think you just have to keep forging ahead. Someone who copies to the extent this person has does not trust herself or her own ideas. She will never be able to offer up a new creation, so she will ultimately fail because people will not want the same dessert over and over. Think about it, how often have you sold the exact same cake? Probably not very often. I wish you the best, I love your blog and look forward to your posts arriving in my email just to see your design sensibility which can never truly be copied.

  11. Debora Harvey says:

    WOW!!! But She will never be you!!! She can try but she will NEVER!!! You are the most genuine, generous, talented and sweet person out there. For those that don’t know you in person they don’t have an idea what a special person you are. We all love your work and we are always going to. I know when it comes from you, you put your heart into it and that is what makes the difference. Don’t waste your time with people like her, unfortunately there are some like her. Shame on her for taking credit for your talent.

  12. Cathy says:

    Maybe you should consider a Non-compete contract when hiring to protect your ideas/products…that is WAY beyond flattery, that is just outright stealing your 7 years of development!

  13. jan says:

    wow… so nervy. I’ve always believed in karma.

  14. Melody, I wholeheartedly agree with Carrie and Cynthia. This business is a highly competitive one. All of your interns and employees should sign hiring agreements and a non-compete clause. It’s just good business. As for your own creativity, your style is your own…which is why we all follow your Blog. Your creativity is fabulous, which is one of the reasons for your success. As for your “rogue” intern, what goes around, comes around. Imitation may be the best form of flattery…..except when you attach a business license to it, publicly advertise it and then shamelessly try to call it your own. She will fail. In the meantime, the rest of us will remain devoted fans of YOUR work. :)

  15. lyndsay says:

    hi melody… arghhh this is really so upsetting – really sorry you have to deal with this. it’s not only sad and so, so lame, but stressful, too.

    just know that it’s your amazingness and loveliness and heart that is behind your bakery, and this person knows that deep down she has done a very shameful thing and can never emulate that heart and soul that’s behind your work.

    sending support and well wishes!

  16. Hanna says:

    This is utterly frustrating but maybe just look at the bright side that your intern look up to you so much…she end up copying your style.

    I am one of your biggest fan from the philippines! I adore you and you bakey so much…. Pretty little cakes… You will be bless more.

  17. Elaine says:

    This is so sad … although we feel the sadness is greater than anger in your speech. As a beginner I am often inspired by the ideas of the greatest, as you :) But I’m honored to quote the authors originals and if my work can look like your one day but with my own achievements, you have all the credit because it is thanks to all of you who share your tip or trick that we operate. I hope that this situation will not happen again and that you will continue sharing your knowledge. Friendly. Elaine

  18. Astrid says:

    I feel your pain! I enjoy reading your blog and seeing how you have successfully grown your business. Perhaps you may want to remove the link to her web site. Already there’s no such thing as bad publicity, but links are especially beneficial to any web site. Don’t even mention the name of her business, or this will feed search engines. You can post a screen capture of the header of her web site, and people who are interested can search for it, but at least search engines won’t find it. And perhaps post photos of the less successful cakes, to show the difference in quality with yours!

  19. Nancy W says:

    This person is totally rude and has no ethics. Having been an intern my boss asked that I not use her recipies for future business unless asked. Why would I want to???
    The object of being an intern is to learn not to steal. This girl is a total moron!! Definitely won’t ever shop at her place!

  20. Wanda says:

    I bake as a hobby, mostly for stress relief from my day job. I admire your work greatly. You have beautiful ideas and execute them flawlessly. Recently my niece came to me and asked that I make her wedding cake for her. Not to save money but because I have baked special cakes for her since she was a child and it was important to her. I was hesitant because this was such an important occasion but I said yes. The picture she brought to me from the interned was of your “falling rose cake”. I made the cake but told anyone and everyone that it was your design and I only hoped that I did you justice. My niece was very happy and I was overly stessed and thankful that it lasted through the evening. I posted the picture on facebook and again noted that it was your design. I thank you for posting your beautiful creations and never would I take credit for someone else’s design. I’m afraid I’m like you and expect everyone to have the same integrity that I do–shame on the intern.

  21. Shirley says:

    I wish I had some words that would shame all of those who try to take shortcuts in their professional life. They will realize at some point that while their initial “take off” was wildly successful, their careers/companies will suddenly stagnate and probably die because they never put in the blood, sweat, and tears that’s required to be successful long-term. We’ve never met and I’ve never been to your shop, but you and your work have been a tremendous inspiration to me, because YOU shine through in everything you create. That’s one thing Dana will never have.

  22. Jana says:

    Melody, I am really sorry to hear this.
    But I guess you never are really protected from the stealing – not just your recipes but any other things/ stuff in our lives.
    Your style is unique! You do not have to worry! You will be the one and only! Let them copy you, they want be the same, as faboulos as you!

    Take care of people in your life who love you and care for you and let the others believe, they have stolen something from you. You will be the winner!

    I follow your blog from the early beginnings, I loved and love your style, your care for baking and the positive view on life! Keep going Melody!

    Many greetings from Rhodes island, Greece!

  23. Jana says:

    the part in my message has a big mistake….
    let them copy you, they WON’T be the same…

    sorry for my grammar

  24. Very well said…. especially the last paragraphs. I am currently going thru something similar with someone in my very small community. I post a recipe/new cupcake on my blog and a week later they are selling it – exactly how I posted it on my blog – in their shop. We are the only cupcake bakers in town. Coincidence? Probably not. It’d just be nice if they would have put their own spin on it… or at least given credit to the idea – or even just called and said, Wow, Betsy… what a great idea! Would you mind if I made and sold these in my shop? It’s disheartening and very upsetting that my hard work is just taken advantage of. Did anything ever come of you writing this blog post?

  25. Jenn says:

    I’m so sorry to that this happened to you. I’ve always admired your work and actually just made some pumpkin minis with cinnamon cream cheese frosting cupcakes the other day as a result of swooning over your Halloween post from 2 years ago. My BF and I have a tumblr that we update, but we try to give credit where credit is due. Hoping that the issue gets resolved, sending you lots of support, and good vibes!

  26. Stephanie says:

    Melody…what a talented, sweet, kind, generous person you are. Some of my favorite moments are logging on to your blog to see the latest and greatest. This post just stunned me today. I am shocked that someone could outright steal your work and create a business, engage in photo shoots, blog about it, and sell exact replicas of your creations. When I went to her website, it felt like I was looking at your site. Everything was the same. I hope she does the right thing and removes these things from her website. How sad that some of your best work is up as the main picture on her site. No shame at all. She could have at least dropped a different fruit on her Cheesecakes…at least something to change it up a bit. Guess she is not that creative after all. I noticed when people post something on her FB wall, she deletes it within the hour. Looks like she is trying to hide the obvious. I look forward to watching you thrive in your business. I know that your extreme popularity and huge fan base will surpass anything that a copier is capable of. Good things really do happen to good people like you. Keep up the great work and always know that you have so many fans like myself always watching.

  27. Elza says:

    Dear Melody;
    For the past 2 years I have been following your work throught internet and fell in love with your way of baking and styling.
    At one point of my life I decided to leave my country and carreer to cook for an entire yeaar.
    Part of that inspiration came from your website and seing the love you have about this work. There’s no one in the world that can show that through their work as you do.
    In the other hand, I was a lawyer before and believe you shoulf protect your creations.

    With a lot of love from a brazilian fan!

  28. angelica says:

    Melody, I loved your cake and dessert display you did for Blake’s wedding for us in BelAir, I often talk about you and show couples the pictures.
    It’s so weird what we something have to encounter in this business of weddings and catering and I am really sorry that you got mugged!

    All my love,

  29. Hi Melody,

    I just had a chance to come by after awhile, and to read on this. I’m so terribly sorry to read about this. Although I don’t own a business, but having somebody replicate the exact of your blood and sweat is just mind boggling. However, I do know that including myself, that we source for inspiration from one another, but I do not believe in replicating the exact and always put my own spin to it. Afterall we all have our own personality, tastes and ideas and adding a little bit of us is what matters.


    p/s: still a huge fan!

    xoxo, Jo

  30. You need a non-compete agreement with each employee and intern who comes into your shop. If your designs are that unique, and your recipes that sacred, there is no reason not to. Any major company requires this of their employees, and SURPRISE Mel! YOU are a major company! You dominate the dessert industry in Southern California, and are well known around the world in the wedding industry at a MINIMUM. I have been following your work for YEARS, since very near your beginning, before you ever had a shop, and before you ever owned your own domain. When this was just a sleepy little blogspot address. Your business has grown, and you need to too. Get a lawyer, write up a non-compete.

    I would gather to guess that Dana probably doesn’t even think she did anything wrong. She learned the techniques and recipes and moved out on her own. We have to educate people in order to teach them.

  31. Asma says:

    So sorry this has happened to you, it must feel like a total stab in the back. Its bad enough when people badly imitate you, but Dana is clearly marketing a classy kind of business off your back.

    I hope you find some resolution.

  32. Dannielle says:

    Hi Melody,

    This is so disheartening to see… You went to high school with a few of my friends and they always rant and rave about your work. I get excited to see you succeed when I see you in the press or wherever… You have become an inspiration in many forms as I start my own little dessert business. You have inspired many ideas, but to see that someone has forged your work to this degree is quite shameful on their part. You have a great perspective and I respect you for that! But what a shame to Dana.

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