Advice Needed- Getting Started!

Business By Lissybear Updated 27 Apr 2015 , 10:49pm by amartin1900

Lissybear Posted 27 Apr 2015 , 9:17pm
post #1 of 9

Hey ya'll!

So here's the dish- I'm looking into starting a bakery business, long time dream.  Texas has the food cottage law, which is annoying, but could make it possible to start out of my home.  I'm also looking into renting time at a commercial kitchen to get started until I get more experience and business and can look into getting a storefront for myself.

Here's the issue-

I have never worked in a bakery  before.  

I have done retail/admin. my whole working life, so I know more about the books and things like that.

On my own, I have mastered macarons, home made cakes, icings, and decorating. 

I have been getting a lot of heat from family that I should instead seek employment at a bakery first for a year and see how I like it before diving in.

I'm having a hard time with that idea.  There are few actual bakeries around my area (most everything is a donut shop closed by noon...), they are rarely hiring, and from what I've heard they do not pay well.  

So basically I'd be leaving my current job, which pays enough to keep me afloat, to gain the experience of cleaning a bakery kitchen, selling some one else's baked goods, and putting premixed batters in the oven, and, possibly, frosting some cupcakes, for less money.  The actual baking is done by the owners in the wee hours of the morning, then the ...helpers?  Employees?  Come in later and will toss things in the oven as needed, box things up, clean and sell.

I get what they're saying, what if I hate it, and I invested money into it, etc.

Except I don't quite get it, because, and maybe this is where my ignorance comes into play, I am already baking.  I'm baking large scale in a small scale kitchen, and it's frustrating.  The only part that I don't have yet is the actual business owning experience, and that I will not get from working at a bakery part time.

What are your opinions?  Did you start at a bakery first before branching off on your own or did you dive in?

8 replies
Pastrybaglady Posted 27 Apr 2015 , 9:34pm
post #2 of 9

By all that is holy, DO NOT QUIT YOUR JOB!  Plenty of us bake from home with the same kind of background as you.  It takes time to build up your business and clientelle.  Working in a bakery will not help you with that.  It's actually excellent that you have a business admin background, you have quite a leg up over people who only know how to bake!  Work with what you've got and see if you can make a go of it.  Others will be chiming in with all kinds of further advice, but again, do not quit your job!

-K8memphis Posted 27 Apr 2015 , 9:40pm
post #3 of 9

Quote by @Lissybear on 15 minutes ago

... There are few actual bakeries around my area (most everything is a donut shop closed by noon...), they are rarely hiring, and from what I've heard they do not pay well...

so this ^^^ is what is most significant -- why would you want to get into a business that is not doing well in your area? yes cottage laws are seriously taking a toll on the established bakeries --

working in a bakery is a completely different world than baking at home -- what about working in a grocery store bakery for a while, sam's club, wal-mart --

but have you seen the post on here from "royal treatz" they are in pembroke pines florida i think it is and they are giving away their bakery for an essay and a $100 entry fee -- i'll post the link, brb  --

if you like florida...

Lissybear Posted 27 Apr 2015 , 9:57pm
post #5 of 9

It's not that they aren't doing well, it's that there just aren't any.  There's maybe two that I can think of right off the top of my head, in this immediate area.  They're both doing very well!  It's just that none are opening up in the area.

Lissybear Posted 27 Apr 2015 , 9:59pm
post #6 of 9

Pretty much!  I definitely don't want to quit my job- not yet anyways ;)

I planned on baking from home to start with, but I was hoping to use a commercial kitchen to try and get around having to bake under the texas food cottage law.

-K8memphis Posted 27 Apr 2015 , 10:17pm
post #7 of 9

oh i see what you mean i kind of mixed up 'not pay well' with not doing well -- however that is not really a stretch -- they would pay better if they did better -- but yes working for someone else already established is a great way to learn -- for the record here -- i've done all of this -- worked for others, opened bakeries, stores -- worked 15 hour shifts decorating -- not icing cakes just straight decorating -- 

and there's a world of difference between the two -- not that you can't do it without the experience but it's easier -- and you learn speed -- speed is gravy

-K8memphis Posted 27 Apr 2015 , 10:46pm
post #8 of 9

i mean it is a good thing to do -- so i can't argue with them saying that -- but while it's not at all necessary it does give you the bird's eye view that's lacking when moving from a home based bake shop to retail -- there's no wrong way to do it though

amartin1900 Posted 27 Apr 2015 , 10:49pm
post #9 of 9

I agree, keep your job and grow your business.

Here is what I did: first I cut down to part time, 30hrs and used the extra on my business. Then I cut down to 4 days, 3 days and so on. Not all for the same company though. I did go work for a few bakeries that specialized in cake. But aside from getting cakes under my belt and learning about customer interactions and suppliers, most of what I picked up on happened in the interview process. I learned great decorating tips and see how they were all organized. Seeing thier kitchen alone and seeing them in action will be a great help. 

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