I recently needed to order a King Cake [aka Mardi Gras cake] for an event I was hosting. After calling around to several bakers in town, I found that Jean-Jacques seemed to be the only baker capable/willing to bake a King Cake out of season. I was originally told by the first person I spoke with over the phone at Jean-Jacques that, although they weren’t sure about the price, they knew it wasn’t over $20. Furthermore, they agreed to grant my request to have the plastic baby figurine inserted into the cake as is done traditionally in Louisiana where King Cakes are served year round. They explained that although, they had previous trouble with this in year’s past as someone, unknowingly, had bitten into the plastic figurine and threatened them in a litigious manner, they would go ahead and place the plastic figure inside because I was making a specific request for a special order cake. The following day I called back to get a definite price and Laura quoted a price of $18.45 for the cake. The day after that, I placed the order for the cake and was told, the cake would actually cost $20.95. When my boyfriend went to pick up the cake, he waited for 5-6 minutes and watched the store clerk eat her lunch before finally going behind the counter to serve him. He was charged $22 and was told they would not place the plastic figure inside the cake, afterall. So much for the original charge of $18.45, with plastic figurine inside the cake like I was originally told, a nominal difference I know, but the principle remains the same.
When I served the cake at my event, it looked outstanding. However, upon taking my first bite, I realized something was very wrong with this cake. It was so dry and brittle, crumbling as we ate it, and tasting like a pretzel or expired dough...BTW this is NOT how a King Cake is intended to taste. As a host, I was actually embarrassed...no one said a word as we all bit into this cake that tasted and felt like stale crackers. Just awkward silence. Later I decided to phone Jean-Jacques to let them know something must have gone wrong in the baking process as there was no way this cake was intended to taste and feel this way. I was also agitated by this point that the product was not delivered as promised and the cost continually inflated every time I spoke with the staff. When I phoned Jean-Jacques, I spoke with a nice girl over the phone who was very apologetic and immediately offered a refund. She then forwarded the call to Liliana who didn’t seem to understand the problem with the cake tasting and feeling the way it did. However, she promised to talk with the bakers and call me back either later that day or the following morning. A week later, after receiving no response from Jean-Jacques I decided to follow-up myself. Again, I was greeted by a nice girl on the phone and then passed onto a manager named Emma. Emma actually laughed in a mocking manner over the phone when I explained that I used to live in Louisiana, and that the King Cakes taste nothing like what I had gotten from Jean Jacques. She said, “Well, this is done in the French style and this is how we intend for them to taste and feel.” Apparently, “French” style equals revolting. She also revoked any previously offered refund and told me to have a nice day before hanging up.
Clearly there is some major miscommunication going on behind the scenes at Jean-Jacques and customer service is no where near the top of their priority list, neither is the quality of their baked goods. So if you want to be lied to about the price, promised things they actually can’t or won’t deliver on, and end up taking home a product you are embarrassed to serve, go directly to Jean-Jacques...I assure you they will come through for you.