Your Ultimate Storefront.

Business By Pyro Updated 16 Jun 2013 , 4:44pm by Annabakescakes

Pyro Posted 2 Jun 2013 , 11:51pm
post #1 of 38

I've been trying to figure out what I would want, if money was no issue and I then I wondered... What's your ultimate storefront ?



Location: Inside a mall / standalone building / street corner / foot traffic only street / warehouse ?


Kitchen: With windows that look at the front of the house so clients can see what's cooking / windows to the outside so bystanders can look in and marvel at your skills / no windows, because my techniques and recipes are top secret !  ?


Would you let people in, have a huge line on the sidewalk waiting to be served cake boss style or have appointments and pickups only, charm city cakes style ?


You would sell: Only wedding cakes / any specialty cakes / cakes and pastries / cakes, pastries, cookies and chocolate / cakes, pastries, cookies, chocolate, merchandise with our logo and even bakeware ! ?




So what's your ultimate storefront ?

37 replies
kikiandkyle Posted 3 Jun 2013 , 1:55am
post #2 of 38

AIf I wasn't concerned with safety/security, I'd like to have my own cake studio, just a little standalone building where I would make wedding cakes and high end celebration cakes, appointment only. But I could never work alone like that, I'm too paranoid!

A more realistic option would be to have a strip mall store, to afford the rent I'd have to be doing the volume to require staff so I wouldn't be alone! I'd have walk in traffic selling small cakes and pastries, and some pre-decorated celebration cakes, and a small seating area. I'd take consultations in the office area of the store, which would also have a small seating area.

Annabakescakes Posted 3 Jun 2013 , 3:42am
post #3 of 38

AI want to comment when I have time! This will be a fun thread!!

IAmPamCakes Posted 3 Jun 2013 , 3:54am
post #4 of 38

AOh man. Good question. My dream bakery... I have a lot of small goals to reach my ultimate goal of a full service bakery. No windows for people to watch me - I've worked in a place like that, and honestly, it sucked for me to be stared at while I was trying to concentrate. Cakes, pastries - savory & sweet, cookies, tarts/pies, whatever I can produce really. Profit centers like coffee & retail. It has crossed my mind to sell cake supplies because my town has nothing available like that. I could go on all day. From every small goal that helps me climb my ladder to success, I have detailed ideas for everything.... How much time do you have? :-D

Pyro Posted 4 Jun 2013 , 4:09am
post #5 of 38

I'm bumping myself, because I can't believe no one else on CC then the 3 who replied have an idea of where they would like to work if they could make it happen by snapping their fingers.


And because I forgot to write my own icon_biggrin.gif




Standalone building on a street corner, high traffic area.


HUGE windows what look in the front, none that look in the back.


Specialty cakes and pastries, I wouldn't say no to weddings but they aren't my focus. Already doing menus and  recipes development.

vgcea Posted 4 Jun 2013 , 6:56am
post #6 of 38
scrumdiddlycakes Posted 4 Jun 2013 , 7:29am
post #7 of 38

Google 'Cafe Gerbeaud', and that's it. Old fashioned, over the top, luxury. It was like walking into a


I've always believed that really good food is the best therapy. It's like going to a spa, great service, great atmosphere, relaxed but not casual or frumpy, little bits of perfect on a plate with a cup of espresso.


I wouldn't even touch tiered cakes anymore, as much as I like them, I love plating and finicky little pastries and desserts.

tracyaem Posted 4 Jun 2013 , 12:09pm
post #8 of 38

Love this thread :) I dream about my imaginary storefront all the time...


There's an upscale shopping center near me and I'd love to open a cake studio there. Appointment only, custom cakes & cupcakes (no display case). I would love to have 1 or 2 round tables fully decked out (china, glassware, etc) for when people come for tastings. Coffee/tea service provided. All baking/decorating done in the back - maybe a few dummies on ornate stands around the shop for inspiration. Very plush, comfortable atmosphere - I like the poster who made the spa analogy. I want it to be an experience, not an errand :)

ericapraga Posted 4 Jun 2013 , 1:17pm
post #9 of 38

I live in a little up and coming neighborhood that has a great man street that is always filled with people walking up and down, plus it has great store fronts with awesome windows and architecture. There is one particular front that has this wonderful curved glass front with a fantastic carved old wooden door, and the inside is all pressed tin and beadboard. I would paint the bead board white, the top of the wall a kind of soft blue-green and leave the punched tin bright silver. I would find some antique or reproduction sideboards to store stuff/ display. Golden hardwood floors.


So that shop, combined with and old bakery/soda shop feel-lots of chrome and glass (a cleaning nightmare, but still!). Lots of pretty carnival and milk glass cake stands with clear covers. My staff would wear funny baking related t-shirts in all kinds of colors. (something like "I AM the muffin man!", "You deserve a cookie!" and "A muffin is a cupcake eaten before 9am"


I would sell everything from cookies, to cakes, cupcakes, pies, tarts, whole or by the slice. With a great coffee/ espresso machine and really good tea and a few little tables.


I would have 1/2 sized windows so that the folks could see part of what I was doing, or maybe a finishing table for the fancy stuff, but mostly everything would be in back. Like in Disney World- everything is behind the scenes-you just get the magic!


Sadly, there is already a fancy cake and a cupcake boutique on that street, so I will have to go the next little main street over. The store fronts are not as cute (but could be!!!!) but the rent is half and there is no competetion. Plus, it has more families that would be more likely to get larger orders, than just relying on foot traffic, which is an issue for the fancy cake lady on my main street. (her shop is tiny and she doesn't really have room for anything else-nobody really knows she is there)


I am planning on opening a shop next spring, so I have thought about this ALOT

AnnieCahill Posted 4 Jun 2013 , 1:28pm
post #10 of 38

Laduree shops are beautiful. 


This is fun.  Heath and Jackie, can you make a "Sims" game built into the website, where we can design our own shops?  Am I 10?  Yes, yes I am.

NJsugarmama Posted 4 Jun 2013 , 1:36pm
post #11 of 38

AI had my dream location.,.then I had kids and had to let it go. It was a converted bed and breakfast that sat 22, a registered historical landmark. Circa 1910. French doors opening up to the kitchen. A great wrap around porch for people to sit. The kitchen wasn't large, but it was homey with great equipment. The location was a antique hot spot. Surrounded by 20 or so shops.


Not all is lost. My father-in-law moved upstairs, so it's still in our possession. It just can't be used as a store-front when someone is living there.

This is going to be a great thread!

AnnieCahill Posted 4 Jun 2013 , 1:49pm
post #12 of 38

It's not too late to trade the kids in for the shop.  I'm just sayin...

Stitches Posted 4 Jun 2013 , 2:37pm
post #13 of 38

My dream store front is all about price and location. I dream of a great location with lots of foot traffic and a drive thru window in a premium location for $500. a month. I don't day dream about it's looks, I figure I can make anything work if the price is right.

Sparklekat6 Posted 4 Jun 2013 , 3:17pm
post #14 of 38
Originally Posted by ericapraga 


So that shop, combined with and old bakery/soda shop feel-lots of chrome and glass (a cleaning nightmare, but still!). Lots of pretty carnival and milk glass cake stands with clear covers. My staff would wear funny baking related t-shirts in all kinds of colors. (something like "I AM the muffin man!", "You deserve a cookie!" and "A muffin is a cupcake eaten before 9am"




  Haha and one that says:  I made you a cookie, but I eated it! ;)


LizzieAylett Posted 4 Jun 2013 , 5:25pm
post #15 of 38

OK, entering the world of complete fantasy now, but I'd love to own/run a cake and coffee shop. 


My ideal location would be near the Children's Hospital in town, and it would be a chill place with great cakes.  Lots of sofas and magazines, but also tables and chairs to eat at.  I'd have a children's corner for siblings or patients out on day pass, with toys and colouring and room for wheel-chairs.  I'd have murals on the walls and lots of little lights all over the ceiling.


The baking would be tasty, but not overly fancy (with some special things mixed in, just in case!).  I would offer a discount to families with children in the hospital, and a free cookie to take back for them, if wanted.


My kitchen would be in the back, and big enough that once I'd done all the baking for the day, then I could work on speciality cakes too.


Not much chance of it ever happening, but I'd love it if it did.

Sweet_Cakes Posted 4 Jun 2013 , 5:29pm
post #16 of 38
Originally Posted by AnnieCahill 

Laduree shops are beautiful. 


This is fun.  Heath and Jackie, can you make a "Sims" game built into the website, where we can design our own shops?  Am I 10?  Yes, yes I am.

I would play!

Sweet_Cakes Posted 4 Jun 2013 , 5:30pm
post #17 of 38
Originally Posted by Sparklekat6 

  Haha and one that says:  I made you a cookie, but I eated it! ;)



sweettales Posted 4 Jun 2013 , 7:54pm
post #18 of 38

Wow, this is so awesome, we gils always have awesome ideas. I had a dream in mind a few years ago and made it a reality. I took an old nasty garage and made it into a cake studio.

My studio is open by appointment only and I grow organic peaches, apples and rasberry's in the back of it in order to use in my buttercreams. The shop has a focus on sugar flowes and I hope to teach students from a local college in order to get some free help, I wish it looked like a Laduree store, but for the time being is just a nice and super clean area, but I do love the supersize mable island. I feel like a child in Narnia when I work there, my husband often calls me wondering if I am coming home at some point.

We just finish the place not to long ago and will love some feedback from you ladies, if you have time please check out my facebook page under Sweet Tales Cake Boutique there is pictures of the construction, maybe someday I can make it look like a Laduree store.

Mangobutter Posted 5 Jun 2013 , 12:49pm
post #19 of 38

AJust peeked at sweet tales cake boutique and it is such a cool space, your cakes are top notch really beautiful!!

de_montsoreau Posted 5 Jun 2013 , 3:04pm
post #20 of 38

I just moved into my dream storefront 2 monts ago icon_biggrin.gif

I had a smaller shop down the street and then my new place became available.

It is right in the middle of a high traffic pedestrian zoe, in the heart of town. I actually rent a whole house but of course it is sandwiched between others.

It was built in 1870 and has veeeery high ceilings and lots of exposed beams. Historical front with fluted columns. 2 floors offer 32 seats plus the shop area directly in front of the 14 foot tall windows all across the front. I sourced lots of old furniture (some of it heirlooms from my gram's house) and painted them all white and turqouise as these are my logo colours and I have lots of comfy sofas.

There is also a prep and storage area. I have a separate production facility which is an outbuilding on the grounds of our house outside of the city.

The move was alot of hard work as the house was a clothes-shop before and had to be brought up to code but I have not regreted a single moment :-)


Of course there are things which could be optimized but I am happy with my Café as it is!


Good luck to all who want to make their dreams reality!!

lorieleann Posted 5 Jun 2013 , 3:04pm
post #21 of 38

i would love a combination of the inside of A Wish and a Whisk in an awesome historical building. I love how she has the inside planned out with an open work studio with natural light (skylights).  i wouldn't want a daily bakery component, just custom cakes made in an amazing studio! 


(photos of the buildout are on their facebook page)

Mangobutter Posted 5 Jun 2013 , 5:18pm
post #22 of 38

AWow, a wish and a whisk is just so stunning!!

TheSugarLab Posted 5 Jun 2013 , 5:27pm
post #23 of 38

A Wish and A Whisk is amazing!!! My dream storefront would combine that space with a retail space. Basically take Georgetown Cupcakes and combine it with a cake studio. I actually looked at a space that was large enough to do that but it was too big of a jump from my current space of 500 square feet with no retail space. So for the mean time, we are opening the wall between our kitchen and the space next door so we can have a small retail space for cupcakes and cookies, but still have space for custom cake decorating, an office and tasting space. It's in environmental heath's hands right now so we'll see what they say. Then we have to get the city to approve it. But back to my dream space... it would have a section for cookie decorating, sugar flower work, room for a large fondant sheeter, and plenty of room for mixing. Hopefully I can get close to that within a few years when our lease ends on our current spaces. I love this thread!! 

Mangobutter Posted 5 Jun 2013 , 6:50pm
post #24 of 38

AYour cakes are so beautiful sugar lab!

I love georgetowns design and space, although I like sprinkles and craves also. Georgetown's just looks comfy and streamlined. I should add I am from the uk and have no interest in baking as a business, I just love looking at pictures and tasting them!! :-)

Unlimited Posted 5 Jun 2013 , 7:44pm
post #25 of 38

Years ago, I was the decorator behind the Plexiglass window. I was sort of quiet and shy, but it's less intimidating if you tell yourself that they don't know you and they don't know if you're quiet or shy, so you can pretend to be whatever/whomever you want. Most likely, they don't know how to do what you are doing, so it's your opportunity to showcase your skills. People love to watch, learn, and possibly dream about being able to do what you can do. I'd take advantage of their interest/curiosity and definitely have a window for their entertainment!

Annabakescakes Posted 6 Jun 2013 , 6:15am
post #26 of 38

AI have a commercial kitchen at home, and I want to keep it, (and it is paid for, so I don't see why not) but I would love a retail space with some gorgeous dummies to advertise my cakes, and sell coffee and cupcakes out of. I would have a few generic type cakes in a case and some ready made flowers and plaques ready for those people who seem to forget when their kids birthday is. I would also have an area for consultations and I would sell cake supplies as well.

Evoir Posted 6 Jun 2013 , 7:17am
post #27 of 38

AI work from an approved home-based kitchen. And I have a whole decorating workshop as well. And this suits our family at present as I get to be around the home more for the kids etc. I chose this rather than a storefront years ago, for health and lifestyle reasons (I have a chronic auto-immune illness).

BUT...I still have a very big part of me inside that would LOVE a storefront! I have built a cafe from the ground up before and loved that whole process. I'd now want to build a custom cakery from a gorgeous shop front with a full gleaming SS kitchen, a training area for teaching and a consultation area. I adore French patisseries and styling, so I'd definitely outfit my front end of shop with elements of chic French design. Polished dark timber, and glass at the front with my seasonal decorated cake dummies in the window. I don't know if its the same everywhere, but window dressing and window shopping were once fun activities here, and I'd be creating gorge displays all year round! I'd also have an onsite espresso machine. For my caffeine addiction, and consultations/classes ;-) And maybe a small dark room at the very back for taking a nap. My city has loads of available slightly run-down historic buildings. One of those would be awesome to do up.

Recently a large green grocers closed down in my local shopping strip. The site was converted to two smaller shops, one of which now is an organic-focus cafe. Next door sits vacant, mocking me. Sadly, this is a dream I will probably never realise...but I do so enjoy imagining what I'd be doing with that space!

Pyro Posted 6 Jun 2013 , 9:08am
post #28 of 38

Wow there's some REALLY fancy bakeries " café " that got posted in here ! Scary. I'd be afraid to even step in there. And for a wish and a whisk, it's cute but French doors in the kitchen ? Only in California!  We get snow here, you would freeze all day long in winter near those and it would be hell to try to get any kind of climate control.


I noticed a lot of you are interested in having seating and coffee. I personally rather have people get in get out.

IAmPamCakes Posted 6 Jun 2013 , 9:19pm
post #29 of 38

AI agree with the 'get in/get out' idea. I'm not a waitress, and hate cleaning up after people. But, if someone can sit for a few minutes to enjoy their $5 cup of coffee (that cost me $1 to make), they might see something else to buy from the case or retail shelves. Coffee is a huge profit center for a business. I personally hate coffee. It's gross. But I understand it's draw and money making abilities for my business.

Stitches Posted 7 Jun 2013 , 4:12am
post #30 of 38

I once worked at a tiny cupcake shop that didn't have any tables. Customers complained endlessly. They've just driven 30 minutes with their kids to get a cupcake and now they have no place to sit eat it (and unhappy kids). But from the businesses perspective adding just one table meant they'd have to offer both men's and women's public bathrooms. Which they didn't have room for and worse since there weren't other stores with public bathrooms it would have drawn non-shoppers to their bathrooms creating mess and no profits.


I still haven't decided if I'd want to have tables in my dream shop.... maybe if my dream employees wouldn't complain about cleaning those bathrooms..........

Quote by @%username% on %date%