For those who own a cake shop that does specialty cakes, do you also sell retail stuff to walk-ins?
There is a good chance in the future I may have my own bakery and I often wondered about this. Can you survive just doing cakes? Or do you need to sell cupcakes/small cakes/pastries also? I'm so curious to hear everyone's opinions. Very good topic to bring up adven68, thank you.
If it were me, I definitely would, in addition to buying a good espresso machine and doing a proper barristas course to make excellent coffee.
My friend and I owned a bakery and in addition to doing custom cakes we also had a case that we kept stocked with gourmet cookies, bar cookies and a couple of small decorated cakes. We also had a gourmet cake on top of the counter that we sold by the slice and took orders for as well. One of our big draws though was the made fresh daily homemade cinnamon rolls. We sold out every morning. It was alot of work (the hardest I've every done in my life) but I really think it was the "extra" stuff that pulled us through. We also sold gourmet cookie trays. Cookies bring a high profit and they're quick to do. If I had it to do again though, I think I would probably try and cut back a little on what we offered. Unless you can afford to hire help right away, it's really hard work. We spent an average of 18 hours a day in the bakery and also worked full time somewhere else.
omg...ljberry....that's a lot of hours.
I was thinking that besides the cakes, I would do seasonal stuff....maybe gingerbread houses, valentine cakes, easter egg cakes, etc....
I think I would put a couple in the window and take orders for them.
but I wonder if I'll have time to do daily, non-pre-ordered stuff.
You will have time to do non pre- ordered stuff. It can be done, we did it, but it will be alot easier on you if you don't work anywhere else. Do you have a shop yet or thinking about it? We did seasonal stuff too and it went over very well. We sold seasonal decorated stuff, goumet cakes and even pies at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Cookie trays are great! They're quick, easy and inexpensive to make.
I think it would be a good idea to take pre-orders on the seasonal items!
i have a storefront. i just do cake orders....i'm kinda old, and am not looking to take over the world anymore....i like my life away from the bakery.
we used to have other stuff when we first opened, but you only have so many hours in a day...you gotta go with what has the biggest profit margin.
No retail here! We have a storefront, but the door is locked the vast majority of the time. We do mostly wedding cakes (on target for around 375 weddings in 2009) but we mix in a few party cakes per month...moreso in the summer when weddings slow down in AZ.
Once we are able to do a little expansion (once one of our neighbors moves or we move) we will definitely do some retails biz. We get lots of calls for same day pickup cakes and I hate turning all that biz down, but at least for the immediate future we will stay custom order.
Best of luck!
We just opened in Feb and we currently only have time for custom orders. We have only had a handful of people ask for ready-to-go items. As we grow (and get more popular), we will probably have a few ready to take cakes, but we won't offer pastries etc.
P.S.- we have had enough each month to pay all of our bills (including ourselves) and still have money in the bank, so it can be done.