JennT Posted 3 Feb 2006 , 6:47am
post #1 of

As most of you are aware, my DH & I are buying a local bakery that had to close last year due to health problems of the owner. Well, all is going well - I'm meeting with her tomorrow to draw up an offer-to-purchase and give her some earnest money to allow us some time to finalize the financing, etc. Former owner is happy with that & actually told me she is willing to work with/for me for a while on a part-time basis in order to help me get things off the ground, so to speak. I've got my business plan almost done & we're going to go to the bank and are almost 100% sure that we'll be financed with little, if any, problems or issues. I'm trudging through all of the normal stuff that one does when buying a business & while it's hard, I'm trying not to get overwhelmed...lol.

Here's my dilemma: The former owner told me that the name of the business goes along with the sale. If I want to keep it, I can. If not, fine. The bakery is really needed in our little downtown area, and has been greatly missed since the closing. There's a loyal following that would return to it, but maybe not if the name changed...thought it was there for only 2 1/2 yrs, it was very established. The name alone will bring people through the doors.

But I have to decide now because even if I do keep the name she had, the graphics need re-working and I need to get a sign made (she had a small plastic type sign with the name printed on it), plus shirts and ball caps for myself & any employees I'll have, which means I need to get to work on designing it all now, not later. Also, as many of you know, since you helped me with my biz name, SugarBelle's, I worked hard on coming up with that & the graphics/design of it, etc. I don't really just want to abandon it, because it's very, very catchy & has gotten great responses from people (actually puts smiles on faces & elicits giggles icon_lol.gif ) and brought me orders. Since the business I'm buying is an all-around bakery, I considered having it 'feature' Cakes by SugarBelle's, and I'm ok with that...plus it's what everyone around me is telling me I need to do. I just don't know how to go about it without the business seeming like it has an identity crisis or something...lol. icon_rolleyes.gif The original name of the bakery is: Buzy Beez Bakery...she used the z's as a reference to the buzzing of bees. It's really a great name & already very well known in my commuinty. So, of course, the colors are black, yellow & white. SugarBelle's colors are aqua & brown. How in the world can I make these 2 names work together, both design and business wise??? Another problem is that I'm wanting to style the bakery in a hip/retro way that seems to be very appealing these days. How do I do that while combining both Buzy Beez & SugarBelle's? I'm stumped & could really use other people's insight icon_redface.gificon_cry.gif

39 replies
snicker Posted 3 Feb 2006 , 6:56am
post #2 of

JennT, this is really a tuffy. I totally get your idea with the retro thing. Buzy Bees and SugarBelles conjur up TOTALLY different ideas in my head. I may have to think on this way for awhile!! My first thought is something corney like SugarBeez, but like I just said it is kind of corney. But, hey? How about instead of black, yellow and white do pale yellow and brown?? I can see a retro theme in those colors.

alracntna Posted 3 Feb 2006 , 6:56am
post #3 of

how about "Sugarbelle's Buzy Beez" and then kind of mix up the colors to blend with each other. I wish i could be more help.

tastycakes Posted 3 Feb 2006 , 6:59am
post #4 of

OOOH, Sugarbeez sounds retro and sassy at the same time. Very cute.

beany Posted 3 Feb 2006 , 8:09am
post #5 of

I think that Sugarbeez is a good name.

But if you buy the bakery then it will be YOUR bakery, and it should reflect YOU. You can reinterpret the traditions of the old bakery and put your own distinctive signature on the new one.

IMHO, I think you should make it original.
Make it individual.
Make it uniquely yours.




EDITED
to add that maybe you could have some mini cakes or cupcakes topped with sugar bees that you can sell as a tribute to the previous owners? They'd be super cute!

Sparklycake Posted 3 Feb 2006 , 9:59am
post #6 of

Sugarbelle, I don't know what your logo's look like but just thinking about the things you've told us today..

Sugarbelles
Retro & Hip
Buzy Beez

How about doing your decor, hats and t-shirts in white with aqua and brown swirls and have Sugarbelle who to me sounds to me like some sort of cooking fairy waving her wand and bee's flying about it, maybe a beehive beside her.

And call the shop

SUGARBELLE'S BUZY BEEZ BAKERY

You could have Sugarbelle on the left of the sign waving her wand and some bee's dotted here and there over the name flying a trail to the Beehive on the right of the sign.

I can see what I mean in my head, don't know if i've written it out correctly.

Tuggy Posted 3 Feb 2006 , 10:35am
post #7 of

Both variations, SUGARBELLE'S BUZY BEEZ BAKERY & Sugarbelle's Buzy Beez, came up in my mind too, while reading your "dilemma". And the combination of a light yellow with chocolate brown for the colors would work very beautifull. To mix up the two names brings up the following in my mind: bees and sugar are go together very well and bees, stands for me, for hard working. So what´s wrong with a "hard" and "buzy" working Sugarbell icon_wink.gif Maybe you can just add little bees to your logo?

Good luck with your dicision, I think it´s one of the most imported things to get the name right. But I now you will do the right thing, as everything else is working so good for you.

Lazy_Susan Posted 3 Feb 2006 , 10:39am
post #8 of

I got a good one for ya!!! Picture this:

Sugarbelle's Buzy Beez

Ok here is Sugarbelle with a retro look...
I wish I were at home instead of at work so I could draw it and scan it but here goes trying to paint you a mental image.

You know how back in the 50's the ladies wore their hair in a beehive??? And they wore those wing looking black rimmed eye glasses with rhinestones???

Well there's your Sugarbelle with a beehive hairdo with bees flying around it (3 or 4) wearing those funky eye glasses! She would look a bit like "Flo" from that old TV show called "Alice" (if you know what I mean. grrrrr I wish I could draw it out! It would be just perfect. Both names coming together as one with a retro feel to it!!!!

Lazy_Susan icon_wink.gif

Doug Posted 3 Feb 2006 , 12:24pm
post #9 of

re color scheme:

all those colors are so retro...esp. the aqua!!!! (from he whose mom painted aqua every appliance down to the mixer that was already aqua)

for bakery:

brown: wood trim and wood of chairs.

white: the baisc background of everything (the canvas on which to paint), including t-shirt, caps

black: tiles mixed w/ white tiles on floor, accent trim

countertop: retro formica boomerang pattern in aqua of course

http://www.formica.com/publish/site/na/us/en/index/laminate/colors_collections/classics.detail.6959.0001.html

edited to add: http://www.barsandbooths.com/bandblaminates.htm

and taking a hint from the HGTV show: Designer Finals -- is there a local college that has an interior design and graphic design program? maybe could get students to compete with designs for your business as part of the required classwork.

Jenn123 Posted 3 Feb 2006 , 12:27pm

By using her name, you get her cards, stickers, signs, advertising stuff, reputation, etc. You might get old customers back because of the name. However, if you treat it as the same business, you will also get old customers that may have been unhappy. They may expect you to compensate or apologize for past things you had no control over. This might not be an issue... just something to think about.

Also, if you are not buying her name and intend to change it, the price of the business could be different. Are you buying a working business with name or just buying equipment and supplies? This could make a difference and might be a negotiation point.

You might want to think about adding a non-competition clause in your contract. I know her health is bad...but you never know.

Good Luck! I know you are excited!

Cake_Geek Posted 3 Feb 2006 , 12:35pm

I don't have any advice for you but I have to say I like the ideas of the previous posters in the name and the concept. Mixing the old and the new will help you get both the old happy customers and hopefully make some new happy customers (because they will realize from the name that the bakery changed hands).

MrsMissey Posted 3 Feb 2006 , 2:23pm

IHMO..I would make it a fresh start and just go with your new name and your own colors. If she (the seller) said she would work part time for you...then there is a good chance her old customers will come there to buy anyway!

Have fun with it, whatever you decide!!

kellygray79 Posted 3 Feb 2006 , 2:36pm

I thought the idea Lazy Susan had was on the money! It incorporates the old name and shows you appreciate tradition and value and appreciate the business that the former baker established. It also shows that you are there to bring something new, not only will you the recreate the value and quality of work of the former bakery but also add a fun touch to things! Maybe do some things that the former bakery didn't. Such a retro image and totally fun! I am sure whatever you decide to go with it will be great and all work out for the best! If you do decide to keep the bees what about making them aqua and brown striped instead of yellow and black? Have fun - sounds like a playground for creative minds!

ge978 Posted 3 Feb 2006 , 2:41pm

Hi Jenn,
I just wanted to say congratulations on your new business venture, its very scary & exciting at the same time. I wish you alot of good luck.

About taking over the name, it all depends on how you view buying the business. If you keep the existing name, it seems like the same bakery just different owner. People might expect you to keep everything the same & the identity of your business might get lost. You don't want to live in the shadow of the former business. You want to establish a name for yourself.

If the bakery is missed, I think people will be happy to have it open again & I believe your beautiful cakes will keep them coming back.

Maybe have a grand opening with your name formerly Buzy Beez Bakery - Maybe make the transition a little smoother.

If you want decide to keep Buzy Beez name, you could always have the bees be aqua & brown ...sorry Jenn, morning is not my best idea time - I need more caffiene in my system before I start giving advice icon_lol.gif

ge978 Posted 3 Feb 2006 , 2:42pm

Kellygray: Great minds really do think alike! icon_biggrin.gif
By the way, I love the name Sugarbelle's Buzy Beez - it makes it sound like there is alot of hard work going on icon_biggrin.gif

I found this cake & thought it was appropriate for this subject
LL

bubblezmom Posted 3 Feb 2006 , 3:24pm

I like the name Sugarbeez. icon_smile.gif What do you mean by all around bakery? Are you going to sell donuts, cookies, and the like?

Lazy_Susan Posted 3 Feb 2006 , 4:27pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazy_Susan

I got a good one for ya!!! Picture this:

Sugarbelle's Buzy Beez

Ok here is Sugarbelle with a retro look...
I wish I were at home instead of at work so I could draw it and scan it but here goes trying to paint you a mental image.

You know how back in the 50's the ladies wore their hair in a beehive??? And they wore those wing looking black rimmed eye glasses with rhinestones???

Well there's your Sugarbelle with a beehive hairdo with bees flying around it (3 or 4) wearing those funky eye glasses! She would look a bit like "Flo" from that old TV show called "Alice" (if you know what I mean. grrrrr I wish I could draw it out! It would be just perfect. Both names coming together as one with a retro feel to it!!!!

Lazy_Susan icon_wink.gif




OK I am home now. Here is a pic of Sugarbelle's Buzy Beez that I had in my head.

Lazy_Susan
LL

Jenn123 Posted 3 Feb 2006 , 4:36pm

Cute LAZY SUSAN! I love your sketch. I would make the bees bigger and more animated, more cutsie and less like "bugs."

tatetart Posted 3 Feb 2006 , 4:42pm

Congrats on your business venture!
But, I agree with Mrs. Missey.
Taking on a former business owner's name is like wearing hand-me-downs.
If the fit and quality is great, then you have a win-win situation.
Alternatively, it their style and quality is different, then you will have
a harder time establishing your own imprint.
It is up to you, but this is your baby and your passion; so why not choose
a name that is uniquely yours?
icon_biggrin.gif

Lazy_Susan Posted 3 Feb 2006 , 5:01pm

OK How about something like this?
You can't see it very well but the bees have happy little faces.
Lazy_Susan icon_wink.gif
LL

bubblezmom Posted 3 Feb 2006 , 5:56pm

I'd emphasize the bees more and the woman less. Sugarbeez sounds young. I'd go with a more tinkerbell type character. A little pixie type character that can fly around with the bees.

Since the bakery location is already well known and there are no other bakeries in town....why not hold off on the exact logos you want to use? Start simple and get a feel for running your business and customer expectations. You don't have to decide everything right now. icon_smile.gif

Had to edit as I thought Jenn posted the drawing (reading is fundamental!).

cookielady1 Posted 3 Feb 2006 , 10:42pm

I like Sugarbelle's Buzy Bee's, but I also like "Sugarbelle's Bakery formerly (Buzy Bee Bakery)". This way old customer's know that some things may stay the same and some things will be even better! Any time something new opens in a place that used to be popular, generally the new place is popular, too. People come in if for no other reason, to see what has changed, what has not, etc. That's your opportunity to make long term customers out of the old place's customers...

kellygray79 Posted 3 Feb 2006 , 10:44pm

ge978-wouldn't the aqua and brown bees be cute! It would also imply variety and something out of the ordinary.
I love the image of the woman w/the beehive and retro glasses - very fun! I know when I think of retro and good baking I think of good home baking from Grandma - everything is better with Grandma! What if you put the Sugarbelle character in a bumblebee tutu outfit!!! LOL
Sounds very fun! Should be a fun decision to make - you will have to keep us posted!

BalloonWhisk Posted 3 Feb 2006 , 11:05pm

If you're the only game in town people will come by at least once regardless of what you call youself.

Buzy Bee says country kitsch to me, not in a good way. I'd be very surprised to find upscale boutique baked goods there.

Tilisha Posted 3 Feb 2006 , 11:09pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsMissey

IHMO..I would make it a fresh start and just go with your new name and your own colors. If she (the seller) said she would work part time for you...then there is a good chance her old customers will come there to buy anyway!

Have fun with it, whatever you decide!!




I really think you should go with SugarBelle only...you have worked so hard with it and incorporating the bee thing takes away from the southern lady I see pictured all the time...If your a good baker the clients will come to you just like they did to her. If your the only shop really in town and they want custom cakes go with your own.

I like SugarBelle only and that's my final answer. LOL

Tilisha

beany Posted 4 Feb 2006 , 1:23am

Lazy_susan, I love that sketch of yours! I think that idea would work really well.......

sofiasmami Posted 4 Feb 2006 , 3:13am

I would love to see the logo for your original design ... Your products are going to be uniquely yours keeping the same exact name as the old owner will create expectations that you will do things as she used to... it's all about setting expectations

JennT Posted 4 Feb 2006 , 7:37pm

I just have to say that I don't know what I would do without all of you who are so willing to offer your advice, viewpoints & opinions on this little 'dilemma' of mine...lol icon_lol.gificon_smile.gif I really appreciate all of the input, and it's helped me to see things in all different lights. I've made a decision, for now...I'll make my final decision about it once the deal is finalized & keys are in my hand...lol. But this is what I've come up with after talking with DH, other 'advisors', and reading what all of you have put out there:

I will not be keeping the name Buzy Beez Bakery...it does sound kind of 'country kitsch', as someone here pointed out...and it is actually decorated that way...nothing wrong with that but it's just not my style, or the style I envision for the bakery. While I plan on changing the name of the shop, I do want to pay homage to the former name & owner, if for no other reason than for the familiarity it will offer those loyal customers who loved the Buzy Bee...it will sort of give me an 'in' with those people who don't take well to change. These are the ways I've come up with to do that, I may not do all of them, though: On my logo - have a brown/aqua striped 'queen bee' hovering over the cake with a little wand...maybe glam her up a little bit (like a true southern belle) with a tiny beehive hairdo or something. In the bakery: have a few of the brown/aqua striped bees painted here and there on the upper portion of the walls...sort of as if the 'buzy beez' are still hovering around, making sure everyone's working hard. Bakery item to offer in 'homage' of the former shop: a chocolate & vanilla butter marble cupcake, iced with a big swirl & a little marzipan or fondant formed bee on top & call it, of course, 'The Buzy Bee Cupcake'. And I could drop the cupcake anytime...once I'm really established, or if it doesn't sell well...or keep it if people take to it.

I figure these are little ways of acknowledging to the community the familiarity of the Buzy Beez Bakery, while still marking my own style with the shop, making it clear that it's not exactly the same as the old one. Below is the graphic I first came up with (with the help of many CC members)...second is the same logo, but 'retro-ized'...lol. Tell me what ya'll think & if anyone can help me with a little fairylike, queen bee SugarBelle, that would be AWESOME! (BTW - LazySusan - That is such a great drawing you came up with!!! How sweet of you!)
LL
LL

JennT Posted 4 Feb 2006 , 7:41pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by bubblezmom

I like the name Sugarbeez. icon_smile.gif What do you mean by all around bakery? Are you going to sell donuts, cookies, and the like?




No donuts, but cookies, muffins, brownies, croissants, turnovers, 2 different kinds of breads, pies, cooler cakes, etc. This was the only place in town that sold this type of things, other than the grocery stores...so it's a given that I need to do the same. Otherwise, if it was solely a cake shop, I don't think it would be as successful.

JennT Posted 4 Feb 2006 , 7:49pm

I forgot to add that I will be carrying quite a few of her tried & true items that customers loved. And we will feature that in all of our print & radio ads, so that will hopefully still bring in those former customers. Plus, she was the only person around who did low-fat and Splenda versions of a couple of items, and I plan on continuing it because it brought her a fair chunk of business.

Also, attached is a pic I found that sort of represents what I was trying to describe as a fairylike, queen bee SugarBelle....sort of. Need to figure out how to make her brown & aqua with a little beehive hairdo...lol.
LL

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