Questions for you Family Owned business people

Business By craftybanana Updated 11 Jan 2014 , 12:05am by craftybanana

craftybanana Posted 8 Jan 2014 , 5:05pm
post #1 of 15

Hi all! I was wondering how you owners, bakers, and cookie makers handle having young ones at home and doing your business. I'll start with the reason I'm asking, aka back story:


Back story: I just found out that here in Florida we have a Cottage Food Law! I am loving that since I really love to bake and making cookies from scratch is what I've always loved doing. I am currently perfecting my cookie recipes (and now branching out into cinnamon rolls) so I can hopefully sell at a farmers market next year. I say next year because right now I'm pregnant (whee!) with my first.


So my question is this: How did you handle both having kid(s) and a baking business at the same time? Did you wait until they were older? I just don't want to be the mom who's nursing at the farmer's booth while selling baked goods, probably won't reflect well on my customer service skills, ha ha.


So in the mean time, I'm learning how to make cinnamon rolls and making gobs of cookies for um, you know... practice :grin:

14 replies
jason_kraft Posted 8 Jan 2014 , 6:02pm
post #2 of 15

AMy wife and I ran a specialty bakery out of a commercial kitchen in CA, we shut it down for several months when my wife was about 6 months pregnant, then reopened it with an employee of ours doing most of the production. We looked at the demands of the business and the demands of a new baby and concluded that we would not be able to give enough attention on our own for both to be successful.

howsweet Posted 8 Jan 2014 , 6:18pm
post #3 of 15

AI can't even imagine running a business and having young children. A business is like having 4 very needy children, all 9 months apart under the age of 5 you can't leave alone for a second.

A very supportive spouse with lots of free time would be required.

craftybanana Posted 8 Jan 2014 , 6:53pm
post #4 of 15

Sounds like I should just stick with family and friends for the next 5 years or so. Maybe by then it can be the day our little one has his "Daddy's day out". I know running a business can suck the life out of you, wasn't sure if a small farmer's market would do the same thing. Our farmer's markets over here are quite small, not large like my favorite one. When I say small, I mean like 5 vendors, not like Pike's Market in Seattle (which I adore by the way).


Thanks for the quick responses, I'll keep on dreaming for now. :smile:

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 8 Jan 2014 , 7:20pm
post #5 of 15

AI'm actually all but closing up my business atm, we just unexpectedly brought a new baby home, and there's no way I could keep up with my schedule and spend time with him. (he was adopted, just to clarify the unexpected part, I wasn't 9 months pregnant and had no idea :p)

I would definitely wait, at the very least until baby isn't breastfeeding. I wouldn't want to deal with needing to drop everything in the kitchen every 2 hours to go feed a little one. Wouldn't want to have to leave baby to go spend hours on baking either.

cakealicious7 Posted 8 Jan 2014 , 7:37pm
post #6 of 15

AOmg congratulations scrumdiddlycakes!! Such a beautiful thing to hear!! And congratulations OP, I wish you both well for the future and good luck!! Xx

-K8memphis Posted 8 Jan 2014 , 8:06pm
post #7 of 15

too awesome--so happy for you, scrumdiddly!!!




and op --i've had my own cake business before during and after my kids--wasn't smart enough to do otherwise and somehow we all survived --


i mean if you got a sitter and wen to the farmer's market without the little munchkin--i'm thinking a saturday fm? maybe that would work--custom cakes would bite but random baking--maybe so--


best baking to you

craftybanana Posted 8 Jan 2014 , 10:04pm
post #8 of 15

Wowswers and congrats Scrummdidlycakes! I love that you adopted (I was adopted too). I think it'll be possible if I don't do special orders (outside of the market), keep the variations to a minimum, and wait until he's old enough. My husband works a full time job, so I would have to work around him. And I would have someone watch him, we have family that live in town.


Once I get my recipes worked out, I'll have to work on doing a trial run for time/effort/pricing like Jason has told so many other posters (I love reading his posts, very educational!). If I think I can make a reasonable profit, then I'll go for it, if not, I'll reevaluate my standing on the idea. I just wish I could make cannolis to sell as well, but under the food cottage law I can't....and you can't get one around here that doesn't have some sort of icing for the filling, yuck-o! Oh, well, I'm glad I can make them for me at least, ha ha.

DeliciousDesserts Posted 8 Jan 2014 , 11:37pm
post #9 of 15

I left a job working for a bakery to have a baby.


During the IVF process and while pregnant, people continued to call me about cakes.  I did a few here and there.


Once the baby was born, I devoted myself completely to him.  I did small things like baked cookies or a very small cake while he napped.


For Jacob's first birthday,  created a massive 3 tier with all the Dr. Seuss characters.  I made everything during nap time.  At that time, he took 2 45 minute naps a day.  The reaction to that cake was overwhelming.  It was my first cake ever to make it to the top list on Cake Central.  


Word quickly spread, and friends began recommending me for wedding cakes.  A business was born.  That first year, I made 8 wedding cakes.  It was difficult to juggle baby & bakery.  I was careful not to take on more than I could handle.  


Jacob will soon be 3.  My business has really really grown.  I'm lucky to have a very supportive husband who has a very flexible schedule.  We take turns with the baby.  It takes a great deal of commitment to making it all work.


My best advice is to take things slow, always allow yourself twice as long as you think it will take just in case there is some "emergency", and learn to truly manage your time.  If you are the least bit unorganized, wait!

costumeczar Posted 9 Jan 2014 , 12:35am
post #10 of 15

I started my business when my son was 4 and my daughter was 1. My husband was totally responsible for them on the weekends when I had to deliver etc. I seem to remember doing a lot of work during naptime, but those days are so foggy from time and lack of sleep I can't remember. It gets easier when they're older, but then harder too because they need a different kind of attention. My daughter always needs rides here and there and it always seems to be when I need to work, so it throws the workflow off.

jenmat Posted 9 Jan 2014 , 12:59am
post #11 of 15

I have a 6 year old (almost 7) and a blessing on the way. (after years of failed clomid and IVF we finally got it done the old fashioned way!)


My business took off when my daughter was  a little under 2. My hubby works second shift so he had her in the mornings until she began school. Now I get all day to work until 3:35 when the bus pulls up. 

Now that I'm 30 weeks, I've pretty much stopped taking orders until this new little one is born- which could be in a couple of weeks with my history. We have gone from 65-70 weddings this year to about 30 for next year. I'm not taking any orders until May 1 and I'm due in March. Hopefully that will be enough to at least get a good milk supply established and a routine sort of set. 


It's a wild ride, but it can be done. A supportive spouse is the big key factor for me. 

-K8memphis Posted 9 Jan 2014 , 3:49pm
post #13 of 15

yes what fcakes said--like if you had a rough week w/the kidlette or whatever may come up--and you didn't get everything done--but you still have some of your products for the saturday sale--no harm no foul--much better leeway than with custom orders--


time is a whole different world after a munchkin--you have 'a new normal' as the saying goes but you're too tired and busy to figure out what it is hahaha

-K8memphis Posted 9 Jan 2014 , 3:54pm
post #14 of 15

plus you will be doing a ton of networking which will be invaluable for when you might wanna start custom work or proceed to any other food thing-


but an advantage of custom is it's not every week--you could arrange any schedule you want--


oh but i vote fm for the win ;)

craftybanana Posted 11 Jan 2014 , 12:05am
post #15 of 15

AThank you all for the feedback. I just looked at my costs for one batch, and it's not promising.... I'm going to try and get my costs down lower before I go any further, and keep straitening my recipes. Wanting to start right now may be a side of effect of the nesting syndrome too, ha ha. :D

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