For Those With Storefronts - How Much Startup?

Business By danaintx Updated 17 Jul 2009 , 5:11am by poohthebear

danaintx Posted 10 Jul 2009 , 9:35pm
post #1 of 22

I am wondering if some of you who area seasoned bakery owners would share how much you spent getting started? I am working on figures and trying to be realistic, but I am sure there are unexpecteds I am not factoring in!

21 replies
starcitycakes Posted 10 Jul 2009 , 9:45pm
post #2 of 22

BUMP^^
I've been wondering the same. However I'm having to build my own place. Anyone out there that has done that? I think it would be cheaper for me to build my own place rather than rent from somewhere in town.

Brownie1954 Posted 10 Jul 2009 , 9:47pm
post #3 of 22

We took out a loan for $25,000.00 and I would have to look at our books to know how much of our own money we put in, besides this amount.

notjustcake Posted 10 Jul 2009 , 9:49pm
post #4 of 22

starcitycakes, I don't have much experience but I would think is like home ownership why pay rent when it is better to buy, I do know a home is an investment not sure what owning your own place means I did not know you could do that, do you mean building a kitchen in your house?

Start up money for a bakery though I would want to know too for the future since I am subleasing now but plan on 5 years into it get my own storefront bakery by leasing.

hope we get indydedi and Leahs in here soon...

starcitycakes Posted 10 Jul 2009 , 9:53pm
post #5 of 22

no not in my home. My state won't allow it. I'll have to put up a building of some sorts. Start from the ground up. icon_smile.gif

tracycakes Posted 11 Jul 2009 , 2:48am
post #6 of 22

We just recently started going pricing out a startup. We found the perfect place and it had been a deli so it had the greasetrap and plumbing and the layout was perfect. All of the equipment was gone so we were starting from scratch on oven, freezer, refrigerator, vent, storage, mops, tables, advertising, website, licenses, sign,you name it. It was also going to have a storefront so we had deli cases, tables and chairs, etc. We were looking at around $44,000. That was all new equipment and we were going to starting cutting there, looking for used equipment where possible, etc. Just my Indydebi has stated, it took around $700 in just soap to open the door and even the sign would be $3000 and we needed 2.

We decided it was too much to take on a full startup without having someone to help if I got sick or my family was sick. So, I'm getting legal and talked to someone about renting her kitchen and will stay with my full-time and continue to do this on weekends. It killed me to decide not to do this right now but we are going to wait several months to a year.

I hope this helps. For the past month - 6 weeks, my free time (and some work time icon_redface.gif ) has been living this startup so it's hard to let go of but it's best for us at this moment. Good Luck to you.

danaintx Posted 11 Jul 2009 , 3:02pm
post #7 of 22

Thanks to all who have responded so far, the figures I am getting are in the ballpark of what we have been thinking, in the range of $25k to $50k - a lot of investment in these times. I am looking for every way to cut that, we have some great used equipment dealers in the area so that helps.

indydebi Posted 12 Jul 2009 , 8:57pm
post #8 of 22

tracyscakes numbers are what I would call realistic, but it also depends on how large or small you're going to be, and how much build out you're going to have to have.

I spent $48K on equipment and $28K on build out. As a caterer, I have more equipment than you'll need, of course (like an $800 deep fryer and a $1000 veggie prep sink).

But it's the little things that get missed that ticked me off. The $1000 grease trap that wasn't in the specs (plus the $350 to install it). The fire extinguishers and the semi-annual contract to service them. The soaps, like tracy mentioned. You all are probably tired of hearing me complain about paying fifty bucks for a commercial mop bucket (man, that just ticked me off!).

Monthly dumpster bills and a bathroom water heater that needed replaced 2 months after moving in at a cost of about $500 ..... followed shortly thereafter by the air conditioner that needed repaired for $1200. Getting the blueprints for the build out signed of by the architect (required before the state will sign off on the permits) took 3 weeks and $600.

BUying multiple pans and tips and more cooling racks. Finding space for the bakers racks (to hold the 18x26 baking sheets). The monthly towel service expense because you quickly realize that taking the towels home to launder them is just NOT working.

I used a kitchen designing company who didn't charge me for the designing at all because I bought all of my equipment from her. She actually saved me a fortune with her expertise, buying power and recommendations.

CakeForte Posted 12 Jul 2009 , 11:57pm
post #9 of 22

@Debi - In hindsight, do you think it was better to work with a kitchen designer? I'm toying with that idea right now. I've tried working w/ two contractors and they dragged their a$$es just to get me some basic info so I cut them loose. Thankfully no money was lost, just time.

indydebi Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 12:25am
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeForte

@Debi - In hindsight, do you think it was better to work with a kitchen designer? I'm toying with that idea right now. I've tried working w/ two contractors and they dragged their a$$es just to get me some basic info so I cut them loose. Thankfully no money was lost, just time.



Ab-so-freakin'-lutely! I tried drawing up my own plans. I tried shopping for equipment on my own. I tried talking to a restaurant owner who was trying to start a kitchen design business who kept trying to turn me into a restaurant. I finally decided I had no idea what the hell I was doing or how to get permits, or how to hire a contractor.

So we had a close friend who was a V.P. at an architect firm who specialized in commercial buildings (schools, churches, etc). He gave us the name of a designing firm he worked with. She was 10 minutes from my house and shop and saved us thousands of dollars.

Yes, I'm not kidding. She saved us THOUSANDS of dollars.

And look ... she was a commercial firm who specialized in working with restaurants and other commercial businesses. This is not the guy in the kitchen dept at Lowe's.

snarkybaker Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 7:08pm
post #11 of 22

How much it will cost is an unknowable question until you know exactly what you are going to make in this " bakery". Are you making donuts ? Add a fryer and a vent hood ( spelled Ka-Ching by contractors) to the bare bones price. What about coffee or espresso. Espresso has a ton of profit in it, but a good commercial machine will run you 8 to 10 thousand dollars and needs to be directly plumbed so installation is on top of that.
Local zoning will also dictate a lot of your costs, since some places won't require a vent hood with an electric oven.

You can spend $40,000 or you can spend $400,000 + to open a bakery. If you want to save money, look for a location that was previously in use as a food service establishment. It'll cut your costs in half. You can buy used equipment to save some upfront money, but realize that means you will most likely be replacing it sooner than if you bought new, so you are really just deferring the other part of the cost.

We spent $250,000 in build out and another $150,000 on equipment. Add small goods ( pans spatulas plates etc) and we have well over $500,000 invested. Take that number with a grain of salt, because we did everything the dumbest way possible.

littlecake Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 8:23pm
post #12 of 22

i did it for 28K 8 years ago....so it would be more now.....there was a poster on here awhile back who got up and going on 5K...but she didn't use com. equipment.

my place was formerly a hair salon, so we used the exsisting plumbing...didn't use a planner, we just modeled it after the bakery we had been working at before we opened up.

IsaSW Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 2:59pm
post #13 of 22

littlecake,

I am thinking on investing to see the business grow, but my question is, will I see my money back? how soon.
You said you invested 28K 8 years ago. Have you paid it back in full, or do you still owe money.
Can you see your salary being over 35K per year. I am a little scared of leaving my full time job for a dream.
Thanks for your info.
Carolina

summernoelle Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 3:18pm
post #14 of 22

One thing I know the HD will make you have is a vent hood, which can cost around $12,000. The best thing to do would be to find a place where one is already installed (where another business went out of business), so that some of the permanent equipment will still be in here.

danaintx Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 3:37pm
post #15 of 22

Thanks all...so much of this as already been helpful in figuring up how much startup money will be needed. Our broker has been targeting former restaurant spaces in hopes that this will help bring down some of the finish out costs.

danaintx Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 3:40pm
post #16 of 22

Thanks all...so much of this as already been helpful in figuring up how much startup money will be needed. Our broker has been targeting former restaurant spaces in hopes that this will help bring down some of the finish out costs.

FromScratch Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 4:04pm
post #17 of 22

The vent hood is a maybe... I don't need one to have a commercial space even with a gas convection oven, so talk with your HD to find out the exact specs. I am in the beginning planning phases of converting my garage to a commercial kitchen and I was happy to find out that I wouldn't need the vent hood. a BIG *phew*.

indydebi Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 7:57pm
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by summernoelle

One thing I know the HD will make you have is a vent hood, which can cost around $12,000. The best thing to do would be to find a place where one is already installed (where another business went out of business), so that some of the permanent equipment will still be in here.




This is a good thing to check into because depending on what kind of oven you have or what kind of foods you make (i.e. anything cooked in grease), you may or may not need one.

My kitchen designer said rule-of-thumb is about $1000 a linear foot .... and I needed 8 ft worth. icon_eek.gif It's the most expensive piece of equipment in the kitchen. icon_eek.gif

So yeah ... if you need one and if you can find a place that already has one installed, that will save you BIG bucks.

lichakk Posted 16 Jul 2009 , 9:41pm
post #19 of 22

today is my first time to even look at this website and I am already hooked.
We are remodeling a 95 year old building for a small shop and large caering/meeting space on the first floor
in a Missouri town. Get ready for crazy---we really believe this is a God thing. We have a young woman partnering
with us that had a successful cake/catering business here. the cake decorator flaked out on us so we are taking classes
to get up to speed before we open at the end of the month. this is a real leap of faith!
anyway, we have spent over $100,000 on the remodel of only 2 floors so far! at this point, even the mafia would not give us a loan-- BUT!!! I am more convinced of our pending succes everyday. I have over 25 years in the hospitality business with award winning restaurants. you gotta jump sometime, yeah?

danaintx Posted 16 Jul 2009 , 9:50pm
post #20 of 22

Lichakk -

Good luck to you, you can do it! Sometimes those leaps of faith are the ones that change our lives!

One thing I am considering is, since I am going to do only cupcakes and some bars/cookies is leasing the kitchen out a times for a decorator needing a place to be legal. Some one did that for me a few years ago when I was still doing wedding cakes and I'd love to offer that same help to someone else. I am getting all the information on legal requirements to do that now, such as being named on insurance policy, etc.

Unlimited Posted 17 Jul 2009 , 4:25am
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by lichakk

today is my first time to even look at this website and I am already hooked.
We are remodeling a 95 year old building for a small shop and large caering/meeting space on the first floor
in a Missouri town. Get ready for crazy---we really believe this is a God thing. We have a young woman partnering
with us that had a successful cake/catering business here. the cake decorator flaked out on us so we are taking classes
to get up to speed before we open at the end of the month. this is a real leap of faith!
anyway, we have spent over $100,000 on the remodel of only 2 floors so far! at this point, even the mafia would not give us a loan-- BUT!!! I am more convinced of our pending succes everyday. I have over 25 years in the hospitality business with award winning restaurants. you gotta jump sometime, yeah?




Welcome! And much success with your grand opening! Curious... what kind of classes are you taking to "get up to speed" before the end of the month? Sorry your cake decorator flaked out... I hope you aren't learning to decorate cakes during your opening processhopefully the woman you are partnering with has experience with the cake decorating side of the business if that's not what your shop/catering specialized in. (forgive me if I'm misunderstanding, but I'm guessing that you now have no cake decorator if the one you planned to hire isn't going to work out.)

Let us know how you're progressing, and if we can offer "caking" advice. Do you have much competition in your area? What type of restaurants did you run? (I'm sure you'll do great with your new adventureyou've got the years of experience behind you and the award-winning part sweetens your success!) Yes, a leap of faith! Good luck and prosperous leaping!

poohthebear Posted 17 Jul 2009 , 5:11am
post #22 of 22

Hey I am interested to in see how long it's taken to see a return on your investments. And did you all start off paying yourself saleries or did you just put the money back in the biz?

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