I Signed The Lease On Friday! (Long - Sorry!)

Business By ThatsHowTcakesRolls Updated 28 May 2008 , 3:37am by ThatsHowTcakesRolls

ThatsHowTcakesRolls Posted 25 May 2008 , 10:38pm
post #1 of 52

Ok - It's my turn! lol I have been drooling at the lucky folks who have been able to open their first store front and have followed the stories as they unfold religiously. I couldn't wait for my turn but to be honest - it's all happening so quickly and unexpectedly that I don't think it has sank in yet!

I've been working from my home for the last 4 years and have slowly built up my business with it increasing each year. I started looking at locations last year but quickly realized that I couldn't yet afford $1200-$1600 a month so I gave up. Well, I did a quick search a couple of weeks ago and found an old, historic store front. It's a downtown location with TONS of walking traffic as it's near a major college and across the street from the court house. I thought it was too good to be true - they are only charging $600 and I'm locked into that rate for 3 years!

The name of my business is Fancy Cake Shop so I always envisioned an old Victorian style building and this is exactly what it is. There is such a long story behind this that I could never even go into but that situation tells me that God dropped this in my lap. I am not going to be responsible for any Electrical/Plumbing costs or build out. This building is the oldest store front in the city and with a major Historical restoration of all the downtown businesses the owners are really on top of making code and getting me going. I am taking control of the building 6/15 and will be open the first week of July. The outside of the building will be re-painted and given a nice face-lift too!

This is where I could use your advice - Because this is all happening so fast I'm feeling unprepared. I'm trying to decide what to add to my menu since there will be a lot of walk-in traffic. Any suggestions from you fellow shop owners that have walk-in traffic. The idea is to have pastries, muffins, cupcakes, decorated cookies, mini-desserts, etc. Any ideas for me? I've posted a picture of the store front but right now, you'd have to have vision for the inside...lol There is a computer lab in there right now so all you see are computers....lol Thanks for reading everyone - I'm just so excited AND overwhelmed!!


51 replies
kbrown99 Posted 25 May 2008 , 10:50pm
post #2 of 52

I don't have any advice, but I just wanted to say congratulations. Good Luck!

johnson6ofus Posted 25 May 2008 , 10:52pm
post #3 of 52

YEAH! Congrats! When you say college, and foot traffic I personally would love to add ONE savory dish-- kolaches? Still a "bakery" item, but a great snack day and night. I just thing it could be a good addition... icon_smile.gif

grama_j Posted 25 May 2008 , 10:52pm
post #4 of 52

Oh WOW !! You are right..... You are BLESSED! You could not have asked for a more perfect place......... Is there a kitchen in there, or do you have to put it in ? Do you have any equipment yet? I'm excited for you !

Granpam Posted 25 May 2008 , 10:52pm
post #5 of 52

CONGRATULATIONS! I love the store front. I have no advice for product but wish you the best of luck.

prettycakes Posted 25 May 2008 , 10:55pm
post #6 of 52

That is a dream come true!!! I am so green with envy right now, the building is a beautiful place to have a fancy cake shop. As for walk-in traffic I suggest banana nut bread and blueberry muffins for sure. They are a big hit in my household and I can't make enough to freeze any for future hurried breakfasts.

AnythingSugar Posted 25 May 2008 , 10:55pm
post #7 of 52

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I love the building. I am not in business so I can't help much with that. I will say that our local bakery offers sandwiches at lunch (11-2) only. They have a booming business with that along with baked goods. The sandwiches are very basic like ham and cheese, turkey and cheese and that sort of thing. I guess that would depend on the proximity of any competition for lunch.

I wish you the greatest success!!!! Again, congratulations and good luck!

ThatsHowTcakesRolls Posted 25 May 2008 , 10:57pm
post #8 of 52

Thanks! I do have to purchase equipment myself. I am going to buy a Hobart Mixer, Commercial Oven & Dishwasher. 3-compartment sink & hand sink and some stainless steel tables. I have mostly everything else. I do want to get some display cases as well obviously but they are building the counter for me. I am doing this as cheaply as possible as I have never borrowed money to start my business so I am getting a small loan to buy the equipment used and the rest will be either cash on hand or credit cards.

Because I've been doing this so long already I have all of the supplies that I need I'll just have to increase the boxes & boards count and things like that. I hope I'm not low-balling but from what I've been able to price so far - I should only need about $10-$15,000 for this. Of course, I've seen IndyDebi say it many times - the costs you don't think about really add up so we'll see what it really takes...lol

I'm just too excited to worry about that now though!!! lol If God gave me a shop - he's going to make sure I can pull off the opening!


scgriffiths Posted 25 May 2008 , 10:59pm
post #9 of 52

It looks and sounds like a place with lots of potential! Congratulations!!!

poshcakedesigns Posted 25 May 2008 , 11:01pm
post #10 of 52

All I can say is God sure does answer prayer. Congrats and keep us posted on your success.

BrandisBaked Posted 25 May 2008 , 11:04pm
post #11 of 52

Just one question... how the heck are you going to open in only 2-3 weeks?!?

I have heard of it taking much longer than that. I plan on opening shop next year, and figured on AT LEAST a couple of months. If you can tell me how you're doing it any quicker, I'd LOVE to know! icon_smile.gif

mkolmar Posted 25 May 2008 , 11:05pm
post #12 of 52

Congrats!! I'm so glad everything is going great for you. Your work is fabulous!!! By the way --I totally love that building.

ThatsHowTcakesRolls Posted 25 May 2008 , 11:11pm
post #13 of 52

I agree that it is a hefty goal - The main thing is that because it's a major historical restoration project - they have contractors on site and can get the build-out, wiring & plumbing done in a few days. Also, I will be painting as soon as they replace the flooring which will actually happen before 6/15. I will be getting the floor plans finalized this week and getting approval from the Health Department and will schedule my inspection about 7 days before we open.

I think that if I had to do the construction myself or if I had to hire my own crew it would take longer. They crew is already on retainer because (in the same building) the space next to mine and the apartments on the 2 floors above the shop are under construction currently and because I only need them to put in a counter for me it will be easy. They will be taking the specs & floor plans once approved and wiring it for me so that I can have the equipment delivered the last week of June.

It is going to be a lot of work and there is just me and my husband to do this but with the owner's help and their enthusiasm - this will happen. Worst case scenario is that I have to postpone the opening until 7/14.


DebBTX Posted 25 May 2008 , 11:23pm
post #14 of 52

Congratulations on your new location. The historic building is absolutely beautiful! I just love old historic places. They have such potential and character. Be sure and take pictures of the process and completion. It is always fun to see someone's answered prayers in action. What a blessing! Keep us posted. icon_biggrin.gif - Debbie B.

cakesondemand Posted 25 May 2008 , 11:43pm
post #15 of 52

Same thing happened to me you will be up and done but just remember God is with you on this. I signed my lease last June and opened July 3rd I made $20, 000 just in my first 4 months this year. It just fell into place. Good luck and I will be praying for you it will all work out. BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME!!!!! CONGRATULATIONS

ThatsHowTcakesRolls Posted 25 May 2008 , 11:49pm
post #16 of 52

WOW cakesondemand - what was your secret? I have to ask...what did you sell to bring in that kind of money - that's wonderful for you. I can only hope to do that well! You're an inspiration to me truly!

Do you have walk-in traffic? I think I'm most concerned with the levels I'll need in the beginning and worrying about either making too much or worse, not enough! Thanks for all the luck everyone!

btw AnythingSugar - I did consider this and did think I would do this - the only thing holding me back is that there are so many restaurants around already I feel like it wouldn't make much difference - Maybe I'll have to reconsider though....hmmmm


marthajo1 Posted 25 May 2008 , 11:49pm
post #17 of 52

OH beautiful!! I lOVE the shop! It is going to be sooo cute!! Definitely jump on the cupcake bandwagon for take and goes!! I would also talk with your nearby college about getting permission to use their mascot... That would be cool to offer decorated cookies of the mascot or school colors.... or logo!

ThatsHowTcakesRolls Posted 25 May 2008 , 11:51pm
post #18 of 52

That's a wonderful suggestion marthjo - I didn't even think of that - Thanks! I will do that!

lulus Posted 26 May 2008 , 12:00am
post #19 of 52

I LOVE your building, and a big congratulations to you! I am in the process of opening a bakery and cafe as well. I signed the lease on Friday, and hope to be open the first week of July.
The only advice I can offer is check your local craigslist.com listings under the business section for used restaurant equipment. I scored on a barely used, double deck Hobart convection oven that retails for $9000 for only $2400.
I'm sure that the hard and frustrating days are ahead of us, but for right now I'm riding a high that I can't get down from! I'm sure it's the same for you. May God bless our ventures, and good luck to you!

Cakebelle Posted 26 May 2008 , 12:11am
post #20 of 52

OH WOW! That building is beautiful!!! icon_eek.gificon_surprised.gif
I too love old buildings, they just don't make 'em like that anymore!
Congratulations to you! I'm so excited for you!
You chose a very catchy name too!

God truly is looking down on us all, all we have do is to just believe!

And congratulations and good luck to lulus too!

Keep us posted! thumbs_up.gif

cakesondemand Posted 26 May 2008 , 12:52am
post #21 of 52

I only make cakes and decorated cookies. Location is the biggest part I am so visable that it seems everyone drives by and notices. Always someone coming in and checking us out. I am only open Wed to Fri 10am to 4pm rest of the time I'm by appt. I have over 100 wedding cakes booked and have had to hire staff. We haven't even been paid for most of our wedding cakes yet July and Aug. Everything I make is by pre orders nothing to sell to walk ins.

indydebi Posted 26 May 2008 , 1:26am
post #22 of 52

what a fabulous building!! I am so envious as I LOVE victorian architecture!!

Target dates are called target dates because they keep moving! icon_lol.gif My "10-12 days" build out was well into it's 8th week before we were finished! And I teased my contractor mercilessly about it! (Being fair ... some of this was holiday time and my town was HORRIBLE about getting permits and paperwork done for my contractor!)

Monkess Posted 26 May 2008 , 1:18pm
post #23 of 52

Congratulations! This is a very exciteing (and stressful) time in your life. I opened my store in 2005 and still get fatigued remembering all the work we had to do! icon_surprised.gif The first 6 months are tough, simply because people dont know you exist and traffic is slow....try to get the word around locally and on the internet, a website really helps. I would not be discouraged by the restuarants as they arent the best place to stop for a snack, so stocking up on teatime favorites is a niche market you can explore. You could do speciality "high tea" items like scones, tarts, cookies...around here people love buying these things for brunches at home. you dont want to make too many pasrties and the like which dont have too long a shelf life, a pastry case is handy and you local restaurant equipment company should have a second hand one for less. And ofcourse pretty dummies in the window always helps! good luck, I wish you prosperity and happiness icon_smile.gif

Babycakes35 Posted 26 May 2008 , 1:49pm
post #24 of 52

Congratulations! I absolutely love the building, I think your shop will be perfect there. I wish you all the best! Good Luck!!

jadak Posted 26 May 2008 , 1:50pm
post #25 of 52

Congratulations! That is one beautiful old building and will be just perfect for you I'm sure.

As far as walk by traffic goes, I think the things mentioned sound great. I also think it might be great to offer varieties of coffee/tea/hot chocolate and maybe even soft serve ice cream. These are just things I sometimes find myself getting after a meal when I walk by a cute place like yours will be.

Good luck with everything. icon_biggrin.gif

Monkess Posted 26 May 2008 , 1:54pm
post #26 of 52

Jadak- I totally forgot to mention this, but you are right, I can not emphaise the value of good tea and coffee. In the summer Ice cream is a great addition, though the soft serve machines are expensive, even second hand. Maybe you can do brownie sundaes and the like, thereby you get away with stocking ice cream tubs inside.

marthajo1 Posted 26 May 2008 , 2:56pm
post #27 of 52

If you don't have some place offering high tea nearby you should totally look into doing something like that! I wish we had someplace that did!

Solecito Posted 26 May 2008 , 5:19pm
post #28 of 52

Congratulations!!!! I really wish you the best. Every time I read one of this post makes me feel I can do it too. I have 1 comment for you. You said you'd be painting after the floor is ready, in my experience is better to paint before the floor that way any paint accidents will be easier to fix.

yelle66 Posted 26 May 2008 , 5:40pm
post #29 of 52

That is really exciting for you! I can't wait to do that someday. I'm sure you are very overwhelmed, but what a great opportunity and I LOVE the building! I am currently in the process of opening my home shop and just doing that is nerve-wracking for me!

Good luck!


Scox Posted 26 May 2008 , 5:49pm
post #30 of 52

The store & your menu look great! Will you also be selling beverages like coffee or hot chocolate?

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