pejmo3 Posted 15 Jul 2005 , 11:48am
post #1 of

Hello Ladies, I have a major question and all your feedback would help me out greatly. Okay here it goes. I am going to open my own bakery where there are none except wal-mart and the grocery store. My question is what would you want to see in this bakery? How should I show what I would need to get everything set up for opening day: I need ideas from the ground up. I am a factory worker that lost their job due to plant closure and now I want to start my own bakery. I have been doing it out of my home for the past year. I want a store where people of all ages want to come in and feel at home. HELP icon_eek.gif

30 replies
niki_10 Posted 15 Jul 2005 , 2:02pm
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Gosh, I'm truly sorry you lost your job! It is wonderful that you're going to be starting a bakery. How great!

I either shop at the ones I know are good, and have been in business for 20 years, or I look for the modern, trendy places. However I do notice a trend with restaurants. Many have that fresh and trendy look but the food is awful. I want both. I'd rather go to a dive with good food, then a cute place with mediocre food.

If I were planning a party or a wedding the look of the website would play an important roll too. A modern, functional website influences my decsions in companies. Cakecentral, for example has a great website.
Here is another that works well. I'd want to order from them.
http://www.thecakestore.com/

That's all I can think of. Good luck!

Misdawn Posted 15 Jul 2005 , 2:05pm
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I agree with Nikki_10. I wouldn't care what the place looked like if the foord was good and the price was right.

briansbaker Posted 15 Jul 2005 , 2:28pm
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WOW How wonderful!! thumbs_up.gif Good Luck and here are my thoughts.
We have alot of little cake shops here. One thing I don't like at the ones here are that they are way to small. They are so small that you can't even get comfortable in there. If you are a bride you want comfort and quality. We all know about Bridezillas! lol
Now there is a jewelry shop around here that has a comfortable setting. I know your not selling jewelry, but the set up is good. I think it would work great for a cake shop. When you walk in there is plenty of room to browse. The displays are set up as you walk in like an upside down " U ". (hope I explained that right) It has a big space in the center to stand around. Maybe adding a small round table or two (white wicker would look comfy) with books of cakes or some sort of literature (coloring pages for kids, print out cake coloring pages )so that the customer can sit if they like, or sit their children down so that they can browse. A place to sit if waiting to place to an order. Setting glass cake holders around with some samples would be great too. I would think white linen with some pastel colors. Where it would feel soft and beautiful. Having dummy cakes displaying in the front window with white linen draping behind it with some white lights. Just a thought! icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

bjfranco Posted 15 Jul 2005 , 2:40pm
post #5 of

I am sorry to hear about your job and very jealous that you are getting to open your own bakery! That is awesome!

I like to see a place with personality and clutter free. I do not like it when I go in a store front and can see pans and tools and supplies. There is a bakery in Harvey, Creative Cakes, that was very simple in the store front and then they had a big picture window into the kitchen part and I thought that was so neat and kids and parents alike would stand and watch them decorate cakes while waiting to order. (Note - I said waiting to order. The place was always packed) After moving away, I went back about a year later and they had a board over the window........ didn't like that at all - what are they hiding; however, they are still packed.

I like to see something that reflects the owners interest, ideas, way of thinking and attention to detail.

Oh, And the big thing I like to see is a smiling face when I walk in. Bakery's should be fun and light. People are coming there to purchase something to celebrate a happy time and I think the mood of the person behind the counter should reflect that too. I don't want to see a stressed out baker/designer because I want to think that they love their job and put as much love and energy into a cake as I woud.

Oh and a place to view pictures of cakes that is out of the way and a nice book too. I hate it when customers are reaching around you or you have to move because they need to get where you are or the book is falling apart and pictures are missing and it seems that the busier a place gets the more they tend to look past the small details.

And of course, FREE SAMPLES!!!! hahahah There is a bakery here that has a big glass jar (always free of smudges, I will add) that has fresh baked cookies in it. Yummmmmmmmy

I already have my bakery planned out when I open one. icon_smile.gif

That's my 2 cents. icon_biggrin.gif

Wish you all the best!!!!!!!!!!!

bj icon_wink.gif

stephanie214 Posted 15 Jul 2005 , 4:05pm
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I agree with everyone's suggestions. The important thing that I look for is cleanliness. If it is dirty and dingy looking, than I know that the people cooking, etc. is dirty also and that turns me off.

If you are going to have employees, please have them in clean aprons. I've been in some cake bakeries and their aprons look like they haven't been changed in weeks lol.

I love to see plants hanging, but out of the way.

Sorry to hear about your job but as the saying goes, "Everything happens for a purpose". Your purpose is a new business to call your own!!!!

Good luck and remember, if you put God first, then that old Satan can't come in and interfer because believe me, you will have some very jealous-minded people that will try to bring you down. Keep your head up and try to ignore the ignorant ones.

niki_10 Posted 15 Jul 2005 , 5:46pm
post #7 of

The table is a good idea. I happen to live within walking distance of one of the top ten bakeries in the US (not good! icon_biggrin.gif ) and although it's not the trendiest of places, it does have that U set up, with a table. They also serve fresh gourmet coffee from one of the local roasters. You get a big cup too, so I go there a lot!

traci Posted 15 Jul 2005 , 6:01pm
post #8 of

I think that is really neat that you are opening a bakery! Customers always like to see a book of cakes to choose from. I also like to see decorated cakes displayed somehow...like in a clear refrigerator...I forget what they are called. I think all the ideas so far are really good! Good luck and keep us posted when you open up! icon_smile.gif
traci

abbey Posted 15 Jul 2005 , 6:35pm
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Good Luck in your new venture! To me a sparkling clean bakery with yummy food is what I would look for. I like the idea of a comortable table with books to look through. I also think a scrapbook with photos of cakes you've done and thank you notes you have received would be a neat touch as well. I think great smelling coffee to go along with those delicious treats you'll be creating would be an added selling point as well.

pejmo3 Posted 15 Jul 2005 , 9:24pm

I want to thank all of ya'll for the wonderful ideas. I noticed alot of ya'll said a table to set and look at cakes, I think that is a wonderful idea. I also want something for the kids, I love kids and know that if moms bring their kids in they would like to know that the kids are very welcome. I am going to go with the hummingbirds, sence my name is The hummingbird Bakery, and also I love hummingbirds. Please keep the ideas coming I am writing them all down and going to include them in my business plan (which I am dreading) I am so excited about this.

bjfranco Posted 15 Jul 2005 , 9:28pm

"The Hummingbird Bakery" I would definitely stop in. icon_smile.gif

Best of Luck thumbs_up.gif

bj icon_wink.gif

eve Posted 15 Jul 2005 , 10:06pm

I would expect a clean place.. Neat and clean is important to me.
It's ok not to look like a bakery in Hollywood, as long as taste is great, price is reasonable and place is clean and tidy...

sheilaattaway Posted 15 Jul 2005 , 10:18pm

Before I was interestd in cakes, like most people, I didnt know you could get specialty cakes in a bakery. I always baught my cakes at walmart. Now I visit the bakerys in my area and they make great cakes at a comparable price. Most people out thier dont know that they can buy something other than a sheet cake. Display your works of art were people can see them. When i started makeing cakes the people around me were amazed, Walmart bakery? whats that?

My favorite bakery is a very trindy small little nuc, Cakes in the windows, and a glass case of things that make your mouth water. They have a small space out side that people can sit at and eat a pastry and drink a cup of java. It has been open only about 6 months and everytime i go in is so full, But when I have a craving i gotta have it.

Lori11941 Posted 15 Jul 2005 , 10:37pm

First off, congratulations! At the time, I'm sure losing your job felt like the end of the world. It's funny how these things sometimes turn out to be a blessing, isn't it?

You've got a lot of great ideas from the other ladies. I love the idea of an area to browse a scrapbook of your work, the coffee and a kid area. Are you going to offer treats on the spot as well as custom orders? Maybe you'd like to set up a few cafe tables inside or outside so that people can get a pastry or a cookie to go with that coffee. Another idea I had since you like kids and want people to feel comfortable bringing them to your shop is maybe having a decorate a cookie day, perhaps tied into your grand opening. That way people will come in with their kids, get a sample of your goods, and hopefully walk away with a box of goodies too.

Good luck with your new venture. I love the name, btw. thumbs_up.gif

Lori

briansbaker Posted 15 Jul 2005 , 10:55pm

I walked into a swimming pool shop the other day and they had a little spot for kids. It had a plastic (looked like wooden picked fence) set in a corner and it was big enough for a plastic pinic bench just for kids. It was filled with crayons, coloring pages and plastic toys. On the outside of the fence it had plastic but sturdy benches around it. I sat down there and let Brian color while hubby browsed. It was cute! I love it! lord knows it would have been hard to keep him away from the spa's filled with water, had that little play area not been there.

Cake_Princess Posted 15 Jul 2005 , 11:11pm

It would be great if you could some how ask The people in your area what they would like to have in a bakery. After all that's where your business will Come from. What works in one area might not necessarily work in another area.

However, here are a few of my suggestions:
1. If possible have a place that's clutter free and tidy looking. As A few members mentioned. There is nothing worse the a place that's cramped. It may be clean but the clutter detracts from the cleaniness and just makes it look dirty. Also, Clutter is a distraction from your work.

2. An area where folks can view your portfolio out of the traffic flow.

3. You mentioned the name that you are going to use. I would say to have a colourful decor. But not so colourful that it's in competition with you work. Maybe some murals on the walls. Hmmm on the topic of colors. Make sure you choose wisely also. Some cultures Are very superstitious about colors. Case in point, there was a vegas casino that was not attracting a certain group of high rollers. Further research showed it was because of the colour scheme. It was inauspicious. They changed the colour scheme and that problem was rectified. I guess the moral is, colour is important.

4. Not sure what area you live in but there was A bakery where I used To live that had an area for kids. They would charge a small fee and you Could leave The kids in that play area. Had arts and crafts etc... Things to keep the kids occupied while the adults did their taste testing. I thought that was a really Cool idea. Only draw back is you need the space for this.

I wish you would have posted more on what your plans are, by this I mean. When I Think of a bakery I think of a place where I just go in to get a cake or bread. But are you Thinking more along the lines of a dessert place offering cakes and cookies And coffee etc?

OK.... I am not sure if you are aware of this but you mentioned the name you wanted to use. NEVER EVER announce the name of a future business unless you have gone through the proper channels. Having it registered or trademaked etc. A good friend of mine who is a chef found This out The hard way. He told another friend of his and that person went and registered the name giving him full rights to the name. My Friend could no longer use that name.

I wish you all the best of luck and I am sorry about you losing your job.


Princess

mjarvis78 Posted 15 Jul 2005 , 11:51pm

A cool idea would be to have a small coffee bar and an area for kids. A corner with a train table and some books and table for moms to sit at.

You could almost guarantee (sp) that moms would come in, buy a coffee, a pastry or a slice of cake, and something for their kiddos to eat.

mjarvis78 Posted 15 Jul 2005 , 11:58pm

Here is a bakery that I used to work at. It's probably a little bigger than what you are looking for, but it might give you some ideas.

http://www.eddiesbakerycafe.com/about.htm

pejmo3 Posted 16 Jul 2005 , 12:39pm

Okay ladies ya'll are wonderful and the ideas keep getting better and better, my mind is just whirling with ideas ya'll have inspired. One of you ladies mention asking the people around my area and I also thought of that idea. Let me give ya'll some info on the area I live. Its a little rural town in the middle of GA. It's a very religous town alot of older people that love to go out in the mornings and hang out at the Mcdonalds and chat and gossip, Mostly men hehe. As for the name I have had all the legal stuff done. I want to serve mainly cakes, cookies, brownies and a few sweet breads. I am also going to offer cake decorating classes. I love the decorate a cookie Idea for the kids. I really don't want to have alot of tables for people to sit and eat right now, maybe when I get bigger and better at this business stuff, too much other things go into that. But one day I would love to have a cafe'. But to start off its just going to be me. And also too thanks for the confidence ya'll are great.

Bubbles Posted 16 Jul 2005 , 1:49pm

Pejmo3 - I am so excited for you. I have always thought I would love to open a bakery / cafe. I also live in GA, and I was wondering what town you live in. You can just PM if you want. All the ideas that you have already gotten sound great. Overall, I think the place should represent who you are. Your style. I love the idea about the scrapbook of your photos, and definatly a nice quiet nook area for people to look at the book without having a crowd around them. Good luck and again - congratulations.

antonia74 Posted 16 Jul 2005 , 2:19pm

Here's my 2 cents... (sorry if I've repeated others!)


- a good, clean concise website with flavours, sizes and prices

- minimal decor in the bakery, paint the area a fresh pale pastel (yellow is good, pink is too girly...remember grooms are going to have to be in here too!) Clean, clean, clean!

- I think having a seating area like an old-fashioned soda shop would be adorable...swivel stools and a counter where you stand up behind it to consult with them, my dream! It would make them feel as though they are about to get a treat!

- private one-on-one consultations where you can taste samples and don't feel rushed

- the ability to rent stands, equipment etc.

- a list of reputable florists in the area and photos

- I personally hate the dusty styrofoam fake cakes, but people are visual and like seeing these on display to get an idea of what you can do...but for God's sake keep them clean and cobweb free...yuk!

- a solid standard price list, easy to read

- price lists, business cards and possibly a brochure that people can take away easily

ntertayneme Posted 16 Jul 2005 , 3:12pm

I think an area for kids would be great .. it would keep them occupied while the Mom's can browse and look for what they want .. I think doing different, unusual cakes would be an asset to a bakery, instead of just normal sheet cakes with the decorating kits that you normally see... maybe some tiered cakes for birthdays, anniversaries, etc... a lot of bakeries tend to do just sheet cakes and I feel to stay competitive, do the different cakes... also, I think having an small area with a few tables and chairs with some coffee would bring repeaters to your business.. by repeaters, I mean maybe some retirees just looking for a quiet place to have coffee and a cookie or some type of kolache for breakfast .. there is a bakery up the road from where I work and she has frequent, repeat visitors like that all the time in her business.. it appears her shop is staying busy too ..

I think books to look at of your work is a "must" ... in nice covers, in a nice book cover ... keep it looking nice too .. if it gets worn, replace it .. nothing as aggravating as going into a shop and pages falling out all over the place ...

that's just a few suggestions that I have icon_biggrin.gif I think you'll do great and I wish you all the best in your endeavor .. I wish I'd be closer to you... I'd love to just go help you out to get your business going icon_smile.gif

pejmo3 Posted 17 Jul 2005 , 12:22pm

ntertayneme, I wish you were closer also, I could use all the help I could get and thanks for the ideas, Bubbles I live in middle GA about an hour south of macon, and what about this heat and hummidity?. I would love to have a website but as of right now I am just gathering information to get my business started, I would love to have it going before the Holidays show up but I don't know we will see.

Bubbles Posted 17 Jul 2005 , 2:44pm

Pejmo - Not only the heat and hummidity, what about this rain. OMG - I can't seem to go out anymore with out looking like a drowned rat. I actually live in Canton, and I have no idea how far that is from Middle, GA. Good luck. I hope you are able to get it up and running for the holidays.

flayvurdfun Posted 17 Jul 2005 , 3:37pm

cheese danish and cherry cheese danish! Cheesecakes....

jscakes Posted 17 Jul 2005 , 8:24pm

Nothing in the world smells better than freshly baked goods that you can smell while walking or even driving and the aroma seeps into!!!
When you walk in and the place is clean, neat and tidy and the workers look clean, neat and tidy then you will shop there. Nothing worse than seeing ugly dirty aprons, messy or greasy hair, dirty fingernails and flies.....ewwww! That's just on the outside appearance, you gotta wonder what's going on behind the scenes....nope.
I may sound snobbish with this, but if it appears as stated above I kindly browse and leave.

Cady Posted 18 Jul 2005 , 2:38am

I know when I go to a specialty shop i like the idea that i can look at things on a computer screen instead of in a book. My suggestion is instead of having a book of your cakes and baked goodies, put them on a computer and then people can browse by holiday, birthday, cookies,ect. I always have my two boys when i do anything and they sit still alot longer if we are looking on a computer at something then they do if i am fliping through pages in a book.

Best of Luck thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

thecakeboutique Posted 18 Jul 2005 , 11:37am

I am getting ready to also open shop in about 5 months so I loved reading this thread. Along the kid line, I was going to add birthday parties and field trips. Our school is huge on field trips and if you charge a few bucks a kid and allow them to decorate their own cake you may not make a ton on the "event" but you have 30 prospective new customers.
Thats my two cents icon_biggrin.gif . I still have so many unanswered questions myself, I feel like im going to need counter and baking help but not quite sure how to pay for that yet! Let me know how it all works out!

adven68 Posted 18 Jul 2005 , 12:37pm

Hi there and best of luck...I'm sure you'll do great!!!

As far as pleasing the kids...my 3 year old always wants to go to the "cookie store" when we are in a certain neighborhood. It is a regular bakery but they also sell decorated cookies for the kids. She LOVES that stuff and she chooses one for her brother as well and it's just the biggest treat for them. They are cost efficient....they decorate the counters beautifully and if you wrap them they can stay out for a couple of days....

Also...invest in a gumball machine.....but keep it outside if possible

I live in NY and I have also noticed that a lot of bakeries have a whimsical look to them.....pretty pastel colors mixed with fancy chandeliers and signs and menus lettered with curly fonts (Curlz)....just a thought but if someone walks by and says....Oh..look how cute....chances are they will come in!!

Good luck!

MariaLovesCakes Posted 18 Jul 2005 , 2:40pm

That is clean. That is smells good. That everything looks and tastes fresh or at least not a week old icon_lol.gif

Especially the sweet smell of baked goods like they just came out of the oven, some nice background music, nice soft colors.... etc..

It may sound silly, but might want to do a ergonomics study on what works best for bakery environment to attrack people, keep them comfortable and keep them coming back.

Ergonomics is the study of how the environment affects the moods of people and their senses, comfort, etc..

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