Good morning everyone! I'm hoping to get a few opinions, so please respond if it applies to you!! I'm opening a shop on Jan 1st (probably crazy with the economy issues but....YAY!!!!!). It has a refrigerated glass case up front and I would like to offer the walk- by traffic cookies and possibly other goodies like individual slices of cheesecake etc. However, I'm not much into making these sort of things. Does anybody offer these at their shops and do you make them from scratch or do you use a food service company or purchase the frozen cookie pucks at Sams Club?? I hope this doesn't sound strange to offer goods that I haven't made myself!! I would really like to focus on cakes! Thanks everyone.
Don't feel guilty about not making them yourself. I would say there are more out there that don't bake everything thierselves than do.
This is what I used to do before I moved down here. I made the goodies for the front case of a eatery. I did everything fresh and from scratch; cherry cheesecake, chocolate fudge cake, 7 layer bars, chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies, lemon bars were always in the case. Then, I would add things seasonally, pumpkin bars, apple pie, pumpkin rolls, chocolate yule rolls, banana bread, key lime pie, chocolate peanut butter crunch bars, german chocolate cake, carrot cake, mini pies, brownies etc. Not only did the customers LOVE having fresh items to choose from, they would order whole items to take home or for parties.
Now that I've left, I hear the case is filled with things from Sams Club and GFS, and SweetStreet.com. Higher prices and much lower quality. Customers are bummed out too.
Really Mike??!! I'm so happy to hear that! Can you tell me what most people have in their cases and where they purchase these items? Also, how long they will last in a ref. case? I know... so many questions.
Maybe you could hire a part time person to help you out. Then you could focus on cakes.
Dang it, computer ate my other reply.
That said, I highly suggest that the quality of the things in your case be up to par with the quality of the items you sell, as it will directly reflect on YOU. People will assume that you made everything in that case. If anything sucks, they will think you did it and be less likely to order a cake.
I highly suggest you at least make cupcake, so that prospective cake clients can at least use that as a tasting basis for your cake, flavours and icings.
I can still go out to dinner and peg a mass manufactured cake a place claims was made by them. HAHAHAAAA, who are they kidding?
OH and until you get the amounts to keep in the case right for the amount of sales you have, I suggest you quarter or third your cakes and only put that out. Keeping the rest in the freezer. I can't tell you how many times I've seen MOLDY cakes (not mine) in a case. BLECH>
Thanks everyone!! Caryl, great ideas. Any wonderful recipes you can pass my way? Off to my son's holiday program. Keep the responses coming everyone! I NEED YOU GUYS!!
I don't have my own shop, so I don't know how helpful I am. But, if I were in your shoes I would make batches of easy bakery items. Bars are always easy and you can make them in large batches. Maybe do cookie dough in batches and freeze so you just have to bake. Cupcakes are really trendy right now and can be quick if they aren't fancy. I know a lot of people here freeze their cakes and even recommend it for moistness. (I've never tried it) So maybe make cakes ahead and have them in the freezer ready for busy times.
I have read in bakery magazines that fancy pastries are out and homey bakery goods that remind people of mom are in. This is good, because most of these are easy and quick to do.
I have two cases, a refrigerated case and a non.
I live overseas (ex-pat), and have profiled my place as an American bakery. I sell so many goodies that it covers my overhead and then some. Stuff that's easy to make and can be made in bulk, and can be frozen. I sell tons of brownies... easy to make and I can make lots in advance and freeze them. When I leave at night I pull the next day's supply from the freezer and they thaw overnight in the fridge.
Cupcakes. Geez, I sell tons of these. Cupcakes are relatively unknown in the country where I live, and I'm the only place in town that has them, so I've cornered the market there. I sell non-fancy ones OTC. A swirl of frosting and some sprinkles.
Cheesecake. Real USA cheesecake. I have the best cheesecake in the whole danged country (and all the neighboring countries at that). Cheesecake keeps for several days in the case, too.
There is some stuff I order from another bakery (the stuff that's indigenous to the country where I live). From the start I really didn't want to sell this kind of stuff, but people were asking and it's easy profit for me. All I do is put the things on trays and put them in the cases. Big time-saver. And now before Xmas there are so many traditional goodies that folks want I sell out almost every day. I see more than a 60% profit on these items. I searched long and hard before I found a place that I thought had high enough quality at a reasonable price.
One is often judged by the company one keeps. I would definately stay away from mass-produced stuff.
I was helping someone from here out a little bit, and she uses Dawn products for some stuff. I did not see everything she got from them, but she got some cookies, sweet rolls etc. Some of it she would vamp a little, ie, putting cinnimon sugar on outside, etc. She did alot of business to companies and such. I am sure you could pm her and ask her about it, it is tdybear1978. She has been very helpful to me and her business is doing very well.
Sorry, I need to bump this because I REALLY need more ideas and great recipes. I realize there is a recipe section but I would like to hear from the bakery owners about their "tried and true" recipes. I've decided to offer pastries, cheesecake and cookies (all from scratch) but would like to get an idea of what you use in your bakeries. Chutzpah, I PMd you after I got your post but haven't heard back. It's probably a problem they're having with CC's notifications...?Anyway, thanks for your input. I would love to "pick your brain" some more for some great recipes, especially your fabulous sounding cheesecake!! TIA everybody.
I have found that I can have homemade, box mix items, and food service type items all in the case at the same time - some things I can make better from scratch (cheesecake etc) but other things like my cupcakes are almost always from a box. I did go to my food service supplier's annual food show and taste tested stuff until I was sick (literally!).
I only found two items that I was willing to serve my customers - but having those two items handy in the freezer really helped me out in my busy summer time when I just didn't have time to bake!
It's a lot of trial and error. Somedays I have my shelves full of cookies and no one comes in for cookies for days....and then as soon as I don't have cookies available that's all people want!
As far as recipes .... I'll give you my secret for outstanding cheesecake - buy the Juniors Cheesecake Cookbook, I've had excellent results with all of the ones that I've made! I make a couple of diff. flavors and pre-cut slices and keep in the freezer for up to 2 weeks with no problems. I only take out what I need for the fridg. so it doesn't go bad as quickly.
Good luck with your new store!!!
I live overseas (ex-pat)
C'mon Chutz, where are you? I've been trying to guess. Are you coy on purpose? I'm guessing Belgium or some other small European country? Am I warm?