Sweet_Cakes Posted 12 Aug 2013 , 5:39pm
post #1 of

So last night, I was watching Food Court Wars on Food Network. Those that know me, know that I'm in an extended research phase before starting my business. (I'm waiting to do anything major until I move to North Carolina in three weeks.) There is a gorgeous HUGE mall in Greensboro NC where I'm moving to. I haven't really looked too deep into it, but what is everyone's opinion on having a storefront in a mall? I'm going back in forth with myself on whether or not I want a full service bakery with pastries and sweets or just a cake studio. In my head I normally just say either a Cake Boss bakery or a Ace of Cakes bakery...just my way of looking at it. What does everyone  think about selling your baked goods in the mall?

18 replies
jason_kraft Posted 12 Aug 2013 , 5:45pm
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AIt really depends on the demographics of the people in the area and those that visit the mall, what products you will be providing, and which other tenants are at the mall. A custom cake studio probably wouldn't be a good fit for a mall, but if you focus on breakfast pastries or cupcakes it might work if the mall rent doesn't price your product out of the mainstream.

If you want to focus on cake decorating you will probably be disappointed by the demands of running a storefront in a mall.

ellavanilla Posted 12 Aug 2013 , 5:56pm
post #3 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 



If you want to focus on cake decorating you will probably be disappointed by the demands of running a storefront in a mall.

 

It can be very very demanding. The mall is going to have requirements about how many hours you have to be open probably requiring that you hire staff. You won't be able to shut the doors and pop out for an hour to go to the dentist, for example. There will also be requirements about how your storefront looks. How often your windows are changed and so on. I would only consider it if the price was exceptional, the kitchen was in place and large enough to really make into a studio, with just a small area for retail.

 

Jen

Sweet_Cakes Posted 13 Aug 2013 , 3:21pm
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Thanks for the replys...definitely something that I will explore, but if there are demands that I cannot meet, I will not kill myself to meet them.

BrandisBaked Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 1:45pm
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AI wouldn't want to sell custom cakes from a mall. Imagine trying to carry a 3 tier cake down an escalator and through the parking lot.

jason_kraft Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 2:30pm
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A

Original message sent by BrandisBaked

I wouldn't want to sell custom cakes from a mall. Imagine trying to carry a 3 tier cake down an escalator and through the parking lot.

Mall stores typically have back doors for easy delivery access, that's why you don't see people delivering boxes of merchandise to stores through the mall itself.

slun4ogledka Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 3:00pm
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No , people don't go to the mall to buy cakes! Your rent will be high sky too . 

kikiandkyle Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 3:16pm
post #8 of

AIt's not the place to sell custom cakes exclusively but I personally get sick of only ever being able to get Dairy Queen, Mrs Fields or Auntie Annes at the mall. If you're in the position to open a full on enterprise with staff etc then a cupcake café where you can also take custom cake orders would probably be a welcome addition to most malls. The problem is how expensive it is to get going because it requires you to start big.

embersmom Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 3:29pm
post #9 of

I'd be very, very careful for all the reasons others have already described.

 

A few years ago somebody opened up a small storefront bakery in one of our local malls.  I don't know if they did custom cakes, but they offered "coffee and" items like pastries and cupcakes.  They shut down within maybe 6-8 months after opening because they couldn't bring in enough customers.  Of course, this might have been because they were located within a corridor that had a few shuttered businesses.

BrandisBaked Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 3:35pm

A

Original message sent by jason_kraft

Mall stores typically have back doors for easy delivery access, that's why you don't see people delivering boxes of merchandise to stores through the mall itself.

Can't recall a time when I purchase something in a large box and they let me out through their back door. Also, not all stores have doors that lead directly to the parking lot. :-/

jason_kraft Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 3:36pm

AStorefront bakeries can be successful in malls, but they are typically franchises. For example, Andersen Bakery has several mall locations throughout the SF Bay Area.

http://usa.andersenbakery.com/store/page6.html

jason_kraft Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 3:40pm

A

Original message sent by BrandisBaked

Can't recall a time when I purchase something in a large box and they let me out through their back door. Also, not all stores have doors that lead directly to the parking lot. :-/

If you are selling multi-tier custom cakes from a mall location, delivery would probably be required (in which case you could use the back door to carry the cake out, unless the kitchen was at another location). Customers purchasing large and bulky items that would be awkward to carry through the mall can be granted permission to use the back door and park in a delivery area, which all stores should have access to via a separate hallway if not directly.

BrandisBaked Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 3:58pm

AI was making a generalization that cakes are not something I would want to carry through the mall. I wasn't really talking only about 3 tier cakes. *sigh*

jason_kraft Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 4:14pm

A

Original message sent by BrandisBaked

I was making a generalization that cakes are not something I would want to carry through the mall. I wasn't really talking only about 3 tier cakes. *sigh*

Generally mall bakeries are located near an entrance (both for convenience and to attract passersby to the smell of fresh baked goods) so carrying a boxed cake out of a mall bakery wouldn't be too different from carrying a boxed cake out of a standalone retail bakery.

scwright Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 4:29pm

I remember one of the business on the WE channel amazing cakes show had a storefront in the mall and they seemed to do very well. Although I remember it being in a location that was accessible as soon as you entered the mall so it wasn't like you were carrying it throughout the mall. Although I don't see what the big fuss is about, people carry all sorts of things through the mall that require them to be delicate, your going straight to your car so what difference does it make and Jason is right most stores have backdoor acess for large items that can't be carried out so I would imagine if you did have storefront and was doing big cakes and such you would have access to a separate entrance to deliver cakes (ex. you don't get a TV or refridgerator etc. at the checkout counter you go to the back entrance). It's a nice idea provided you have the money to get it going and location is key to making your business work many good business have failed due to being in a bad location, it's very important no matter how good your product is.

lunawhisper0013 Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 5:05pm

AAs someone else said, it depends a lot on the demographics. I would definitely go with cupcakes/ single serve pastries for the day to day sales but, the way I see it, if they can spend $300 on a pair of stilettos at Dillards and such, they can afford a custom cake too. Definately research the clientele and the average income in the area. Good luck.

Sweet_Cakes Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 5:50pm

You guys have given me so much to think about! Thanks!

Olenmetra Posted 20 Aug 2013 , 9:56am

AI live in Greensboro and you are referring to Four Seasons Mall. They already have a cupcake kiosk. EVERY NOW AND THEN I see someone buying a cupcake. The rent is VERY HIGH here. I recall asking for a kiosk price for jewelry (several years ago) and it was almost (or right above) $1,000. And now most of the stores there are catering to the younger urban audience (except jcpenny, Dillard's and belk). So they will not appreciate your decorating ability.

howsweet Posted 20 Aug 2013 , 4:23pm

I'm not sure it's so awful to carry cake through the mall, and it's certainly no certainly big deal to roll one through the back door halls on a cart. If you're doing it all the time,  it should be on a cart.  You could even have a little horn or bell- some way to let people know - hey make way ,awesome cake is coming through. My daughter had to go through Neiman's to deliver a cake for me once and she said so many people stopped her wanting to know where to get cake like that. We joked that we should just do an occasional advertising run through  high end department stores and give out cards.

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