Thinking Of Opening My Own Cupcake Shop?(Long)

Business By tenleysmommy Updated 29 Jun 2008 , 9:40pm by snarkybaker

tenleysmommy Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 2:25pm
post #1 of 26

I have been intertaining this idea for awhile,but here recently it is all I think about,I know i'm crazy icon_lol.gif .Well the only other bakery,not including grocery stores,only does buttercream cakes and sell only a few items in the store front.So it wont be much competion.I was thinking of being more of a cupcake/cookie/candy shop and maybe only doing a few cutom cake orders?Maybe doing fondant cakes since the other shop doesnt do them?I make all differnt types of cupcakes and everyone loves them and I have been making lots of cakes for practice and I believe I am getting better icon_biggrin.gif Anyone have any advice or opinions on this?I was hoping to maybe do this whithin a year or am I just nuts?
Thanks,Stephanie

25 replies
indydebi Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 2:32pm
post #2 of 26

Start a business plan. Research your competition to figure out how you're going to combat them. What are the numbers? How many cupcakes a day would you need to sell to pay the rent?

The biz plan is the first step to answer all of your questions.

tenleysmommy Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 2:35pm
post #3 of 26

My mom found a place for lease 1050 a month for 1300 square feet.So I guess maybe I will start from there.Thanks Debi!

costumeczar Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 3:09pm
post #4 of 26

With that kind of business you'll need a good location that has a lot of foot traffic. That's an impulse buy, so don't put yourself in a shop that's off the beaten path.

tenleysmommy Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 3:16pm
post #5 of 26

The shop is in between two popular local resturants that do not serve dessert.There is not alot of foot traffic but it is off a very busy road and it would be easy accsess.

indydebi Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 8:17pm
post #6 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by tenleysmommy

The shop is in between two popular local resturants that do not serve dessert.There is not alot of foot traffic but it is off a very busy road and it would be easy accsess.




That sounds like a very big "plus" for you!!

Monkess Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 8:39pm
post #7 of 26

Sounds like alot of space. If you are careful in your layout you can do with about half, that way the monthly rent is not a big stress factor.Good luck!

indydebi Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 8:52pm
post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkess

Sounds like alot of space. If you are careful in your layout you can do with about half, that way the monthly rent is not a big stress factor.Good luck!




Good point. My entire space is 1150 sq. ft and I require a lot more equipment than you do since I cater. It's split about 60-40 (kitchen/front retail) and I have a really big kitchen. Pics on are on my Flickr site.

tenleysmommy Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 9:20pm
post #9 of 26

Wow thats a lot of space,Holy moly I was thinking it was too small icon_redface.gif
Good to know,I wonder if they will let me put a wall up and cut it in half?

gia2088 Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 9:30pm
post #10 of 26

I was thinking of opening a cupcake shop also. But, I don't have the money at the moment. I work at a restaurant and I'm going to rent out the kitchen when it's not in use. I'm in the process of getting legal now. My grandmother lives in Covington.

indydebi Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 9:36pm
post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by tenleysmommy

Wow thats a lot of space,Holy moly I was thinking it was too small icon_redface.gif
Good to know,I wonder if they will let me put a wall up and cut it in half?




Here's pics of the front of my shop: http://forum.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=5986855#5986855

chassidyg Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 9:46pm
post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by gia2088

I was thinking of opening a cupcake shop also. But, I don't have the money at the moment. I work at a restaurant and I'm going to rent out the kitchen when it's not in use. I'm in the process of getting legal now. My grandmother lives in Covington.




Where are you at? I'm planning on opening one in the Ft Lauderdale area next spring

chassidyg Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 9:46pm
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by gia2088

I was thinking of opening a cupcake shop also. But, I don't have the money at the moment. I work at a restaurant and I'm going to rent out the kitchen when it's not in use. I'm in the process of getting legal now. My grandmother lives in Covington.




Where are you at? I'm planning on opening one in the Ft Lauderdale area next spring

tenleysmommy Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 10:30pm
post #14 of 26

Wow Debi love the domes icon_biggrin.gif I have been saving some money and hope to be able to get a small business loan.My life long friend is going in with me on this too,but she knows nothing about baking or decorating.She just signed up for wilton 1,but she has the most amazing imagination and she can draw like nobodys business so I hope that will help icon_biggrin.gif

Monkess Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 11:07pm
post #15 of 26

When you lease the premises, you will naturally have a tenancy agreement, wherein it should clearly state that you can do any leasehold improvements without the landlords permission, as long as you are not changing anything in the main structure. A wall should not be a big deal at all since it is just dry wall. I have 1500sq.ft and we have a HUGE kitchen which is luxurious compared to some others I have seen. Having said that unless you are immensely busy one can not justify the expense.

indydebi Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 11:54pm
post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by tenleysmommy

Wow thats a lot of space,Holy moly I was thinking it was too small icon_redface.gif
Good to know,I wonder if they will let me put a wall up and cut it in half?




Do you mean put up a wall to divide the space you are renting (so you have a kitchen AND an office or retail space)? Or do you mean divide the space so you are only renting 600 sq feet?

If you mean wall it off so you are renting a smaller space, most comm'l spaces will divide the space into the size you want to rent .... *IF* the remaining space is big enough to be able to rent out for another use to someone else. But if they think they wont' be able to rent out the space you're NOT going to use, they may say "Sorry ... it's the whole 1300 or nothing."

Ask 'em ..... you'll be no worse off than you are now.

melodyscakes Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 1:43am
post #17 of 26

also, do the math and figure out how many cupcakes you have to sell to cover the rent. then the electricity, mine is about $400.00 per month, then business insurance $58.00 per month, gas/water per month, business lisence $100.00 per year, health dept. inspection $400.00 per year, phone bill $100.00 per month, avdertising depends on you, but that is where most my money goes. phone book listing at least $50.00 per month.

add all that up and see how many cupcakes/cookies/candy you have to sell to cover expenses first....do not expect profit for the first year.

I'd do all the above plus wedding cakes...thats where the big money is, and thats what pays my bills, the cookies birthday cakes are piddly extras.

hope this helps!


melody

melodyscakes Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 1:46am
post #18 of 26

just letting you know to think about it,
when I moved into my bakery, I just thought of the rent and covering the rent....didn't think to add all the other monthly bills. I do make money...but not near as much as I had first thought I would after I pay everything.
Employees take a big chunk of my profits too, but I need them!

indydebi Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 1:55am
post #19 of 26

Expenses you tend to overlook: Dumpster bill; fire extinguisher cost and maintenance; accountant fees for doing payroll (it's not really that much); quarterly grease trap cleaning; semi-annual hood inspection; repair on the air conditioning unit on my roof ($2200 .... the good news was that they DIDN'T say "compressor" or "$10,000"!!!); water softener (that I don't have yet); cable bill (for tv and internet access).

Then be ready for all of the sales guys to come in and try to convince you that THEIR advertising is THE best. icon_cry.gif

tenleysmommy Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 4:46am
post #20 of 26

Wow guys,thank you thank you for all your advice.It has got my wheels a turnin'.Yes Debi I think I am gonna ask if I can just rent half the space,the worst they can say is no icon_biggrin.gif .I do plan on making custom cakes as well,thats why I have been practicing(just bought 20lbs of satin ice for a great deal icon_razz.gif ).I should probably update my photos icon_rolleyes.gif I think that offering fondant cakes will be a big plus for me as no one else will do this.
I never thought of those other things Debi mentioned icon_redface.gif ,and I know I won't be making a big profit,but I can handle that as long as I am doing what I love.I'd rather be poor and happy than rich and miserable(well at least some days icon_lol.gif )Thanks again guys if you can think of any other advice please fill me in
Stephanie

bonniebakes Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 4:24pm
post #21 of 26

I can't offer eany help on the business expenses front, but I'm very excited for you!

Since your space is big and you are in between two restaurant that don't have dessert, you might want to have some small tables so that people can eat there...

indydebi Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 4:31pm
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by bonniebakes

Since your space is big and you are in between two restaurant that don't have dessert, you might want to have some small tables so that people can eat there...




Good idea, but check into what the add'l requirements might be. For example, since I'm not an "eat-in" establishment, I am not required to have a restroom open-to-the-public, which would also have to be handicap accessible. If you're small enough (and depending on your state laws), you might be able to get by with one restroom, but if you're over a certain seating capacity, you may be required to install TWO handicap accessible public restrooms. These are not cheap.

There are also different health dept guidelines you have to follow when it's an eat-in verses just a pick-up-and-go place.

Just check to see what the rules are before you commit.

tenleysmommy Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 4:48pm
post #23 of 26

Debi,I looked at all your pics and you have a great thing going!I guess I should call the Health Department and find out some of this.I know the restaurants next door only have one bathroom and they are both eat in,for at least 30 people.

snarkybaker Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 6:18pm
post #24 of 26

Well, if it were me, I would seriously think about developing a business model that had other revenue steams than cupcakes to go. What happens if the "cupcake craze" dies two years before your lease is up ? One of the reasons we did decide to go to the expense of having an "eat-in" area is that someone who comes in and buys a cupcake spends $2.75. Someone who comes in, orders a cupcake, sees we have coffee and orders a latte spends $6.50. Someone who comes in sees we have frozen martinis and calls their girlfriends for cupcakes and martinis spends $24-$40. Its a lot easier to pay the rent $20 at a time than $3.

Making a living $2.00-$3.00 at a time is a REALLY TOUGH way to make a living.

tenleysmommy Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 9:32pm
post #25 of 26

Txkat is going to be eat in and we do plan on having coffee and other treats.Not sure about the martinis though,we kinda want to make very kid friendly,as we have children and everyone we know does.But I love the idea Martinis and cupcakes,you can call me anytime icon_lol.gif

snarkybaker Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 9:40pm
post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by tenleysmommy

Txkat is going to be eat in and we do plan on having coffee and other treats.Not sure about the martinis though,we kinda want to make very kid friendly,as we have children and everyone we know does.But I love the idea Martinis and cupcakes,you can call me anytime icon_lol.gif




We do cupcakes and martinis and are packed with kids on the weekend. Mom and Dad love it because the can come, have a glass of wine or a margarita, and the kids can have a cupcake or gelato. It makes it less " sacrifice you day for the kiddies" and more " everybody can have fun."

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