Hi everyone! This is my first time posting - I have been a 'lurker' for awhile. I love this site and hope someone can help me. I am looking to start a cupcakery/bakery in my home town. I was wondering if anyone could supply me with a list of equipment and brands that they feel are the best. I bake at home right now and have outgrown my kitchen ( yeah) I live in MI and we have the CFL but my prices are in line with storefront prices. I raised them as I felt I got better at this- thinking it would help slow down business...but it's not...(yeah again) So, I have the storefront picked out, the architect working on plans and have been searching for ovens and such and am lost! I once read convection is not good for baking ( cakes and such) but that is all I seem to find.
Thanks SO much!
I love using my convection oven. I think it's a must when baking in quantity.
Where do you live in Michigan?
Congratulations and good luck!
Crushed - I am in SW Michigan
Brooke420 - thank you
The best "equipment" you can have is money... everything completely debt free, including buildout, before opening. I am opening a store now and this is the best advice I can give.
As far as the rest, we can suggest, but your HD will be very specific about what you will need to be up to code.
Next, business plan. I had mine written, but decided to wait awhile to open. Then an opportunity happened and I was glad to have that huge volume of work already done. It allowed me to move more quickly with the project. And without that plan in place, I may not have had this opportunity. Other businesses werevying for the space, but my plan and vision got me the spot.
So Plan and save. After you get the specs from the HD, talk to a plumber about general costs to bring a building to code. Double your total cost and time for the buildout because that is the real number.
SCP1127 - thanks so much! My hubby is in Finance at a Fortune 500 company - so WHEW he does all that for me! have you started to purchase ovens and such? I see Hobart is a big seller...any thoughts on that brand? We live in a small town so our storefront is awesome and our landlord is giving me 2 months free rent while we get it up and running. I also have a relative in construction...it is just all falling into place!
I live in W. Michigan by the Lakeshore. When you are up and running, I hope you'll let us know where your shop is. I'd love to stop by and see how everything turns out!
Sometimes your cupcakes could bake lopsided like this with the convection oven.
vpJane, thanks for the link. You are exactly right about lopsided cupcakes. But Ms Kumquat apparently didn't think her cupcakes had a problem. She seemed quite proud. It all depends upon our personal standards.
Wow those cupcakes were so lopsided...I feel like she wanted them like that b/c she was so happy about them ?? Not me...never...I knew that could happen in a residential convection but not in a commercial...oh decisions, decisions!
May I say I hate the looks of her cupcakes? Terribly ugly! I have the same oven as her, and mine are quite lovely I turn my oven down and make the fan run in the low position. I also don't crowd, and it works nicely. I haven't checked the tempurture, but in home it is 330°, in bakery it is 275°, but I KNOW it runs hot, I just compensate for it.
I chose high end residential ovens specifically built for baking. Mine are KA's. I wanted to avoid the issues of the commercial ovens and maintain control of the process.
I also have three complete stations, each with a KA mixer and all necessary equipment. I have several microwaves too. In this setup, multiple bakers can still produce small batch artisan products. The stations are 72 x 30 stainless steel tables with a shelf underneath.
I own a commercial kitchen that is 20 miles from my retail store. I own the kitchen and chose not to "rent" kitchen space when I already had it free and clear. The storefront is retail only.
I may end up purchasing a larger mixer, but I have researched and found that a Hobart is not necessary unless there is fondant involved. Many of the other brands are fine for frostings.
Kumquat Cupcakery is actually pretty successful in New York City. Some people who have tasted her cupcakes say that they taste like muffins and have cracks under the frosting, but that the frosting is good. So no matter the lopsided shape, they have been mentioned on Martha Stewart, The New York Times, etc. They're cute when decorated because they're minis.
My cupcakes have cracks under the icing too. Because I squeeze in filling until they crack! That's how I know when to stop
When we purchased our bakery, it had an older convection oven, which did blow our cupcakes to one side. After researching, I found that it could caused by one of our heating elements not working on one side. The oven was very old, so rather than have someone look at it, we purchased a double stack Bakers Pride. It has definitely been worth it. No issues with the blown tops. Cupcakes turn out great.