My spouse and I owned a successful full service bakery in Cincinnati, Ohio fifteen years ago. We mass-produced cookies, cupcakes, coffee cakes, Danish pastry, donuts and even fresh-baked breads. It was among the last of the dying breed of old world style bakeries. And that is a shame. But now, bakeries specialize in only a few items and some, only cakes. Now my question to you is this: Are in-home-cake bakeries as good as commercial cake shops? Well let me give you some quick reasons why:
1) Cleanliness. Let me just say cleanliness depends on the person baking the cakes, not the location of the bakery. A meticulously clean person will be so whether at a commercial site or their home. I, for example am obsessively compulsive about the cleanliness of my work area and the cakes I produce. But that's how I am whether I produced cakes from a shop or from my home.
2) Quality. Anyone in business outside of their home has overhead costs for building space and commercial equipment. So naturally, they try to save on costs of goods and ingredients. Home bakers have an advantage of not having this extra expense. In addition, they often limit their number of cakes so they can focus on quality. As for me, I am fanatical about good taste and the best of the best ingredients. I know this sounds like a commercial, but its true. At our shop our passion is to make our brides and her guests fall in love with our cake!
3) Focus. In home bakers can focus on the business of cake baking and designing. They have none of the trappings that come with running a commercial shop. These things are not a distraction for the home baker. They usually limit the number of cakes they do in a given week in order to perfect each one and they tend to handcraft their cakes and forgo shortcuts that lend to mass production.
So if your in the market for a wedding cake, think twice before you shy away from a baker who works out of their home. Don't hesitate to interview them at their home. Sample their product and get a feel for their working environment. Believe me when I say, an in home bakery can compete with any commercial shop or grocery store producing wedding cakes, and I'm pretty sure we'd win by a long distance!