I am currently trying to conduct some market research in order to get an idea of what is needed to open a small cake shop. I would like to focus on being able to serve walk-in customers in a cafe setting, but mostly bake for weddings and other special events. What is the most important thing to consider when it comes to producing the best cakes that I can? What equipment is essential to start out with? What brands of equipment have lasted you the longest?
Thank you so much in advance for you help. Are there any other factors that I need to take into consideration when I am building my kitchen that you can think of?
Hi SWalker, that's quite a broad question. But the big thing for me with wedding cake decorating would be to have lots of work space and storage space (stacks of different size cake drums, cake dummies, ingredients take up much more space than you'd imagine.) Also, if you have three or four wedding cake orders for the one weekend, you need quite a bit of work space/counter top space.
As for equipment, I'd stick with Kenwood for your mixer and Invicta for your cake tins (don't warp over time.) My Kenwood is 20 years old and has produced hundreds of wedding cakes without a single glitch, which is quite a record.
As for the coffee shop, I don't have much experience here but I would be inclined to serve half savoury/half sweets. You don't want to be just relying on the afternoon tea & cake crowd or the elevenses crowd. Lunch (gourmet sandwiches/soups/quiches/lasagnes) is a big earner too. But maybe you were planning on having it this way anyway? Either way, this is a super exciting venture for you, so have fun with it and best of luck!
Thanks CakeGeek. I'm in the very preliminary stages of getting set up and developing my business plan so I can reach out and get some investors. I agree with you though about the coffee sides of things. I was planning on selling mostly sweets, but would get a more steady flow of customers if I dipped into savory and was thinking about also doing some quiche as more of a savory option.
I've heard good things about the Kenwood mixers and have also heard that Hobart is good also. I was really wondering about ovens (forgive me as I as used to my home range). I hear that Deluxe convection is the way to go from what I've read, but I really don't know what to look for in an oven with all the features that everyone has.