Would You Share Your Numbers?

Business By jjandhope Updated 14 Sep 2008 , 5:37am by jjandhope

jjandhope Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 4:42pm
post #1 of 32

I thought it might be great for me and others who are starting up bakeries, if we had some idea what other people are working with as far as cash flow. For instance, I have read here on CC that many people say all the money goes back into the bakery for a while. I have noticed that some people have been willing to share their pricing strategies on other threads, so I thought there might be some willing to share their monthly expenses here as well, in the name of helping out some newbies. If you don't care to respond, that's ok...

Here are some things I would like to know:


What is your rent payment and size of location?
What are you utility bills?
How much goes out for help? (how many staff, how many hours they work)
How much gross revenue you are able to bring in.
This one may be hard to estimate since everybody makes different things, (cookies, cake, etc) but how much product do you make? (just estimate the best you can)

While these questions may be too probing for some, I feel confident that there are some out there who are willing to share. Thanks so much either way. I'm sure this will be a lot of help to a lot of people. feel free to add any other information you like.

31 replies
tdybear1978 Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 5:05pm
post #2 of 32

Wheww, OKAY I will give this a stab and be as precise as I can icon_smile.gif
rent = $1000 per month
size = 1,200 sq feet (and I soooo need bigger now)
utilities (phone/internet/elec/gas/water = approx. $500
I probably bring in about $2,500 a month in supplies and inventory
I am baking approximately (on average, some weeks are much busier then others) 8-10 doz. cookies per week; about 15 sheet cakes per week; and I usually have at least 2 wedding per weekend
Staff - I only have one part-time girl and she gets about $600 per month some months more according to how busy we are. I have just recently started paying myself a small (very small haha) salary as I am now able to afford it.

I am actually celebrating my 2 year anniversary TODAY and looking at my books and comparing to last year - I have already beat my last year numbers by almost $10,000. Which is so exciting for me since we have not even gotten into the holiday season yet.

My main thing around here are cakes and I make even more so profit on wedding cakes and this year we kicked butt in wedding cakes icon_smile.gif

hope this helps in some way

jjandhope Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 5:37pm
post #3 of 32

That was so helpful...thank you so much. It sounds like you are doing great!! thumbs_up.gif Do you do a lot of walk in businees, or is it mostly special order? Do you have an eat-in area? I was wondering also about your cookies...are most of your sales individual or dozens?

jjandhope Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 5:47pm
post #4 of 32

Here is what I am looking at doing.

Cookies, cupcakes, fudge, truffles, and specialy seasonal items. I hope to sell al lot of specialty cute items and gifts from Halloween through Valentine's Day. Of course, pies and cakes. I do not do wedding cakes as of yet, so if I have them, it will be dependant on the staff I can find.

In addition, I will have a seating area and a coffee bar. I hope to attract a crowd of cinnamon roll and muffin eaters. I would also like to cater platters of those same items for business breakfasts,a nd I would like to cater weddings with sweets and all kinds of finger foods.

Eventually, I hope to expand to lunches, offering soups, salads, sandwiches, etc. If you have ever been to a Celbrity bakery, that is kind of what I am going for, but in a more personal, less "chain" kind of atmosphere. I have never been to a Corner bakery, but something like that may be what I'm after, with a less extensive menu, of course.

The place I am looking at is 1200 square feet plus a courtyard that I can use for dining. It is offered at the very low price of $600.00 per month.
I don't know how much staff I need at first. the only sequipment I have bought so far is a 10 rack Blodgett convection oven.

tdybear1978 Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 7:38pm
post #5 of 32

well, I was by myself for about the first year and a half. It was hard but I was able to pull it off. That is an awesome price on the rent

we don't do a whole lot of walk-ins mainly by order only. I do try to always have some cookies and cupcakes in the case for any walk ins that we might have. But again I urge people to give me a call and place an order. I do not have an area for dining. And most of the cookies get purchased by the dozen except for the occasional walk-in that will just buy a few.

I remember that when starting this whole thing - my biggest expense was all the equipment. I would kill for a bigger oven right now - I only have a 3rack full size oven and I really need to get something bigger. but all the other stuff was so expensive too. I really lucked out with auctions and used equipment. It has been my experience though that if getting a used piece try try try to get a warranty of some kind. I really did not have a problem with this if I was getting it from a rest. supply store

jjandhope Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 12:41pm
post #6 of 32

Well, I do hope to have walk in traffic...
Don't know how well that will go, though, becaue I want to be open pretty limited hours. What hours are you open tdybear? I still have kids in school, and I want to be able to take them to school and pick them up myself and be free after school. I feel like with rent that cheap, I may be able to make ends meet while keeping my life as well.

I got pretty lucky with my oven. Now the lady I got it from is saying she has more equipment she wants to sell, so I may be able to get started pretty cheap.

moxey2000 Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 1:09pm
post #7 of 32

jjandhope: your idea sounds a lot like mine, starting with just cookies, cupcakes, brownies, cakes, and pies. My shop will have lots of walk-in business though and the courtyard will be perfect for extra seating. I want to have ice cream as well, just the hand-dipped kind (not homemade) and milk shakes. Then eventually get into sub sandwiches and maybe a pizza oven. There is no place like that at all where I live and I think I'd do very well. My kids are old enough to help out and to come there and do their homework after school. They're as excited about it as I am! I work full-time and sometimes crazy hours, but I think with the kids and my Mom's help, and maybe a part-time person, I can do it. Plus my shop will be only 2 miles from my house, so zero commute.

Thanks for asking your original questions, the answers you're getting are very helpful to many of us just starting out thumbs_up.gif .

tdybear1978 Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 1:16pm
post #8 of 32

I am open:
Monday 9:30-3
Tues - Fri 9:30-6
Sat 9-3
Closed Sunday

On Weekdays I close from 3-4 for deliveries (I actually go pick my son up from school haha). I bring him back to the shop with me and he finishes all of his homework by the time I close

littlecake Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 1:19pm
post #9 of 32

i hate walk in traffic, so all my biz is orders....walk ins take so much time, with not much $$$$$.

take 10 minutes to decide what cookie they want for 1.50....ugh....and the chatty ones always come in when you're under the gun.....plus i hate the waste of what i was giving away the end of the week....i guess it works well for bigger places with lots of employees.

jjandhope Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 2:30pm
post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdybear1978

I am open:
Monday 9:30-3
Tues - Fri 9:30-6
Sat 9-3
Closed Sunday

On Weekdays I close from 3-4 for deliveries (I actually go pick my son up from school haha). I bring him back to the shop with me and he finishes all of his homework by the time I close




Those hours sound really good for me. I wonder if they would work here. I live in a town of about 100,000. And you?

tdybear1978 Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 5:59pm
post #11 of 32

well, the city that I am in has approx. 60,000 but I am right on the outskirts of bigger city that has about 500,000. Granted I may not see a lot of those people but the hours have worked great for me

jjandhope Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 7:33pm
post #12 of 32

that is so encouraging. I am feeling so squeamish about actually doing it. But if you can make it work with those hours maybe I can too.

andysprite Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 7:46pm
post #13 of 32

Thanks for starting this thread jjandhope! I've had the exact same questions.

I'd like to know how much the actual startup cost is. Now don't laugh at me, but we have about $10,000 cash that we'd like to use to build a "bakery". We own five acres on a busy highway, so there would be no debt going in. My husband is a builder and floor covering installer so he can do almost all the work himself. We got permission this morning to tap into our current septic system so that will save us several thousand dollars.
I don't want a bakery that people can walk into. I just want a kitchen so that I can legally sell cakes and other baked goods. I'd like to get in with some local restaurants to make their desserts, etc.
I plan to buy used or scratch & dent appliances, sinks, etc. to save some cash.
Is this possible to do on $10,000?
Is this possible on a $10,000 budget?

jjandhope Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 9:43pm
post #14 of 32

First of all the disclaimer: You cant count on what I say because Ive never done it. Having said that, I think if you are very frugal you could do it for that much. Shop ebay and be willing to go pick things up...they are cheaper that way.

Make a list of all the things you need, then go look on ebay for them and list the price they are going for used. Be sure to note their ebay store if they have one. Check other suppliers for what you cnat find on ebay. List absolutely everything you have to have and find out the cost (down to aprons and spatulas). Some things you could transfer from your current kitchen.

Have your husband price out the entire build also down to the nails. Add it all up. If it is less than 10,000, ou can do it. If not, go back and see where you are dreaming too big or wanting the top of the line that you could cut back. This is what we are doing right now. I hope you do it and that t is a dream come true and a blessing for your family!

jjandhope Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 9:59pm
post #15 of 32

There is something I meant to add, but forgot:
I'm assuming you have checked with code i your area, but just in case, here is something to consider: Even if you are outside the city limits, it is likely that your kitchen would have to be up to code to sell in the nearby city. At least that's how it is in my city. It has to be a commercial kitchen, and any thing sold in the city has to meet the same requirements whether it is made in the city or not. icon_razz.gif

Suebee Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 10:04pm
post #16 of 32

Thanks for starting this thread and thanks to all that give this this thread. We would love to have a shop some day. We are just starting and have increase from last year just by word of mouth. Working from home is very nice, but we want more and need to be in the public eye. tdybear1978 what city do you live in? Just curious as to the price your rent is. Did you just rent a shell type building or did it have something in it?

toodlesjupiter Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 10:06pm
post #17 of 32

tdybear-
How many hours are you there for the baking? In other words, are you there super early or super late beyond your regular store hours for baking/decorating/completing orders? Just curious.TIA!

tdybear1978 Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 10:51pm
post #18 of 32

I don't get here early - I take my son to school at 9 and then come in. I am usually here after hours doing things. The earlier in the week, the earlier I get home. Usually I am home by 9 on Thursdays and then I am usually up all night on Fridays doing Sat. orders. I start all my weekend baking on Tues. and Wed. and then I am not baking at all on Thurs. and Fri. and trying to just dec.

About the start up cost - I started this with $16,000. Now I did not build (would love to some day) but that took care of all of my equipment, fixtures, had to do some construction on my space, inventory, insurance and 1st and last month rent. I really hit used equipment and went to lots of auctions. If you want it bad enough you can accomplish more then you ever thought you could icon_smile.gif

jjandhope Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 11:21pm
post #19 of 32

tdybear, thanks so much for telling us newbies that it can be done! I started another thread "Bakery owners please give your advice" and was pretty discouraged after reading their replies (although I know they were just honestly telling it from their point of view and were trying to be helpful). I appreciate all their input, but I also love the optimism you bring to the table, saying that we can have our dream! I believe so too, and actually have quite a bit of fun attempting the impossible!

tdybear1978 Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 11:56pm
post #20 of 32

I will not say that it was easy - because it was one of the hardest things that I have ever done. But this was something that I wanted so bad and really did not have much $$ and everyone said that it was impossible to do anything with $16,000. I just sat down wrote down every single thing that I could think of that I would need and then started pricing everything, new and used. Then kept an eye on the classifieds in my area for any bakery equipment and watched out for auctions. I started accumilating things and just keeping them in my garage. I actually got my case and front counter at an auction for something like $25.00, I could not believe it. Just be smart about everything and keep your eyes open. I had to accept very fast that I was not going to have new, beautiful equipment and that was OKAY because in the end I would have my store. It can be done, I am one who was told it could not be and I made it happen despite what they said to me.

snarkybaker Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 12:18am
post #21 of 32

Initial cash outlay - $574,000
Monthly ave. Sales- $61,000
Rent - $3400
Utilities- $1400
Supplies- $ 3400
Insurance- ( including workmans comp) $ 700
Payroll - $18,000
Mortgage- $2700

jjandhope Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 2:53am
post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by txkat

Initial cash outlay - $574,000
Monthly ave. Sales- $61,000
Rent - $3400
Utilities- $1400
Supplies- $ 3400
Insurance- ( including workmans comp) $ 700
Payroll - $18,000
Mortgage- $2700




Thanks txkat, that was very helpful. I'll plug your numbers into my own excel file and see what comes out. Do you have both rent and a mortage? Is the mortgage a monthly payment as well?

snarkybaker Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 3:10am
post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjandhope

Quote:
Originally Posted by txkat

Initial cash outlay - $574,000
Monthly ave. Sales- $61,000
Rent - $3400
Utilities- $1400
Supplies- $ 3400
Insurance- ( including workmans comp) $ 700
Payroll - $18,000
Mortgage- $2700



Thanks txkat, that was very helpful. I'll plug your numbers into my own excel file and see what comes out. Do you have both rent and a mortage? Is the mortgage a monthly payment as well?




I have both a mortgage and rent because we don't own our building, but financed our buildoutwith a mortgage secured by our house.

cylstrial Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 2:18pm
post #24 of 32

This has just been a great thread! I know there are so many other people out there who have had the exact same questions.. so this is so helpful! And INSPIRING!! I know we're all grateful to those who have shared.

cylstrial Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 2:18pm
post #25 of 32

This has just been a great thread! I know there are so many other people out there who have had the exact same questions.. so this is so helpful! And INSPIRING!! I know we're all grateful to those who have shared.

toodlesjupiter Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 2:54pm
post #26 of 32

Wow! Thank you guys so much for the info. Right now this is still a pipe dream for me, but someday....
Anyway, I just keep all this information locked away for when it becomes a possibility. So thanks to those who are willing to share and give advice!

jjandhope Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 3:02pm
post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdybear1978

Wheww, OKAY I will give this a stab and be as precise as I can icon_smile.gif
rent = $1000 per month
size = 1,200 sq feet (and I soooo need bigger now)
utilities (phone/internet/elec/gas/water = approx. $500
I probably bring in about $2,500 a month in supplies and inventory
I am baking approximately (on average, some weeks are much busier then others) 8-10 doz. cookies per week; about 15 sheet cakes per week; and I usually have at least 2 wedding per weekend
Staff - I only have one part-time girl and she gets about $600 per month some months more according to how busy we are. I have just recently started paying myself a small (very small haha) salary as I am now able to afford it.

I am actually celebrating my 2 year anniversary TODAY and looking at my books and comparing to last year - I have already beat my last year numbers by almost $10,000. Which is so exciting for me since we have not even gotten into the holiday season yet.

My main thing around here are cakes and I make even more so profit on wedding cakes and this year we kicked butt in wedding cakes icon_smile.gif

hope this helps in some way




tdybear, I had a question about this, if you don't mind. The 2500 you mentioned...is that your expenses for supplies, etc? Or is it your monthly income. We'd love to know how much money you are able to bring in if you dont mind sharing. Thanks. Your model sounds a lot like what mine will be as far as numbers, so I really appreciate you sharing.

tdybear1978 Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 6:30pm
post #28 of 32

the $2,500 are my expenses for inventory and stuff. My income fluctuates depending on what is going on in that month (holidays, weddings, etc.) on average I have been bringing in about $5,000 - $7,000 per month. But like the month of August I brought in over $10,000 (lots of weddings)

jjandhope Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 6:56pm
post #29 of 32

I'm working up a price list for the bakery which I donthave yet!! icon_biggrin.gif
ANyway, would any of you like to comment on what I have so far?

Cookies 1.50 or 12/dozen
Cupcakes 2.00 or 20/dozen
Big Brownies or Bars 2.50 or 25/dozen
Big Muffin 2.50 or 25/dozen
Cinnamon roll 2.50 or 25/dozen
Loaf Bread 6.00
Pie 16.00
Bundt cake 20.00
Sheet cake 25.00
Layer cake 30.00
Cheesecake 30.00

Dipped fudge .75 piece
Turtles 1.50
Petit fours, cake truffles (cakeballs), 1.00
Cone or cupcake cake truffles 2.00
Caramel apples 2.00 (October only)
Popcorn balls 2.00 (October only)

tdybear1978 Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 7:54pm
post #30 of 32

I really think it depends on what things can sell for in your area. Some of your items are much more then mine and some of them are about the same. In my area I have to be real careful as there is a large grocery store across the street from me and Wal-mart super center about 2 miles away.

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