Hello guys! I have watching these forums for a while and this is my first post!! Now that you know that...
I am opening a bakery and am stressed about equipment (I am self taught and never worked in a bakery before). I honestly wish someone could just tell me what to do but I know this is a learning exerience for me and I will be better off in the long run. I NEED to know what is best to start out with when it comes to: ovens, fridges, mixer, is it worth purchasing a fondant sheeter? Do I need a refrigerated display or can I get away with a counter?
I have a large volume of cakes that I produce currently and being that I can't legally sell items from my home (and no one makes cakes like mine in the surrounding cities) I am opening a bakery. But researchig all the equipment brands and sizes has left me indimidated and tired.
I will be selling many cupcakes cookies and desserts in addition to my custom cakes.
Is new equipment better then used? What about warranties?
If anyone has anything they can offer me I would LOVE it! Tell me what you use and what you love. Or maybe what you wish you did different. Thanks bunches in advance!
first i want to say congrats and good luck.
Next let me say that we have had a shop open for 1 yr this month only working part time (we all 3 have full time jobs) so we are only open 2 hrs a day 5 days a week and we have not taken out a loan yet by doing the things listed below. BTW our prices only start at 1.50 for birthday cakes and 2.50 for wedding bc or fondant which is common in our area.
my advise is to buy the least amount of equipment as possible to start (new or used). and then slowly buy what you need as you need it. Yes it would be nice to have all that new specialty equipment but do you really need it right now
yes you want to have the double door stainless fridge/freezer that you could easily hide in but will the regular household fridge/freezer work for now?
Yes that nice fondant sheeter would be nice but can't you roll out your fondant for now?
Yes that refridgerated display case would be pretty but can you get away without it right now? Either using non refridgerated or none at all
Instead use the money on things you will need like cake boards, boxes, office supplies, business cards, ads or marketing, BILLS AND RENT a lot of things you can get significatley (sp) cheaper if you buy in bulk.
As far as for brands and such I can't really help with that, we did what I've suggested above and things kinda fell in our laps ex. some one gave us a cash register, the shop we moved in had a couple of things we needed (stove, 3 hole sink) and we got it cheap from the previous owner, a family member is selling up a double door stainless fridge freezer from a business he is quitting and he is letting up pay 50 a month till paid off, a shop 3 hrs away was going out of business and because she was nice and answered any business questions for us as we were starting up we had become friends and she told us she was selling her equip and we got good deals on that, Our blodgett ovens we got for pennys on the dollar on ebay on our 1st search. So basically we never really went looking for anything it all kinda found us.
I do not actually own a bakery, but my parents own a restaurant and we are currently remodeling a facility across the street from the restaurant exclusively for a catering/pastry business. We/they have done all the things that froglover has mentioned above. Check in your Sunday paper for auctions. We have purchased a lot of really nice equipment at auctions from closed restaurants, convenience stores, etc. Even if the business is not the same as yours they may use some of the same equipment you will need. These listings often have a rundown of the big ticket items that will be sold. Look on craigslist too. It's a mess usually, but if you check on a regular basis you can occaisionally find a diamond in the rough. The only new piece of equipment in the restaurant is a small deep fryer (they have three total) and that's only because it was a really great deal!
Thanks guys! I really appreciate your help in all this chaos. Luckily there is a cafe that closed and they are selling everythig on craigslist and I was thinking about taking advantage. Being that I have never been there before, I appreciate you sharing your experiences!
btw dont forget about you local banks that may have equipment from business that have defaulted on loans. They sell cheap and check with the realtor that may be reselling or leasing a business they could just sell the equipment seperate. Oh yeah and check the local rest. equipment store many of the sell used stuff and ask what they have available not all of it will be on the floor, our local one was selling everyting out of a closed bakery but the equipment was still in the bakery building.
Thanks froglover! I apreciate those extra details!