Cake Business With Out A Shop

Business By gingersnapp Updated 27 Jul 2010 , 3:30pm by IsaSW

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gingersnapp Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 11:54pm
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Ok- here is my situation: i am a SAHM with 2 toddlers running around, ex Pastry-chef; Ok still a chef, just not working in the industry now. Great at making sugar flowers, learned from the best. Not the best when it comes to piping happy birthday. Love fondant and all things cake.

My dream has always been to have a bakery of my own. I have gone to culinary school and have worked for a while mostly in bakeries and hotels. for the past three years i have been home taking care of my girls and am realizing that i do not want to go back working for someone else. However, i am SOOO ready to get back into doing cakes.

My question is- how can i have my cake business without to have a shop? I use to work for a cake decorator in NYC who has a cake studio. Her shop is more of a loft with two divided rooms, one for baking and the other room for sugar work. I am looking for something similar. I do not know how to go about having that, and there is the part of me not having any money to open up a shop. What kind of space do I need to look for? And what kind of licensing do I need to have? Do I need to do a business plan?
They don¡¦t teach you that in culinary school. LOLº

I guess i am worried that if i don't have walk in customers, how will i make it. i have tried to do this out off my house but it is really hard with my kids around and i live in a two bedroom apt. i get a few cake request from time to time but i don¡¦t really market myself because I just don¡¦t have the space to bake. I have so much equipment in my apartment you would not believe. Luckily my husband is also a chef so understand my need to buy cake deco stuff. He is very supportive but I think since the girls came, he seems to be more practical in his thinking then I have been.
I guess for me I see it as a true passion and I just simply can not see myself doing anything else. It¡¦s my OBSIOSSION!!
Please help!!!

9 replies
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leah_s Posted 24 Jul 2010 , 12:37am
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Well, first step is to find out what you need to be legal in NY. regulations vary state to state and county to county. You may be able to work out of your home, maybe not. If not then you need a commercial space that could be by appointment only. Of course for that you need $ up front for rent. Which means . . . you might have to take some temp culinary jobs and save every penny. But then you have child care issues unless you and DH could work opposite shifts.

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anasazi17 Posted 24 Jul 2010 , 12:41am
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I have had a "cake studio" for about a year now. It's all legal and legit but it has been hard to get my name out there. I dig that I can have a professional shop and do what I love with little overhead. However, I think the idea of a studio is weird to a lot of people in my area because they can't just "drop in" and buy a cookie or cc. I am always thinking of new and creative ideas to market my business...but it's been tricky. If you have specific questions please let me know I would love to help!!


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LindaF144a Posted 24 Jul 2010 , 1:21am
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gingersnapp Posted 24 Jul 2010 , 1:22am
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Leah- Thank you, i should have stated that i now live in MA. yeah the child care issue is a big thing right now. its so expensive ,so i would be working to put my kids in daycare. as of right now the last place that i checked with wanted $75 a day per kid, and they would have to attend 2 days per week. icon_surprised.gif

Jenny- i know what you mean, that is what i worry about. people don't understand that they can't just show up. i would love a bakery but i just can't deal with all of the mess that comes with it. all of these top cake people that i fond over all have cake studios, how the heck did they do it? and how come no one is shearing? did i miss that day in school-lol i don't even know why i went to school anymore, this whole thing is starting to make me depress icon_cry.gificon_cry.gif

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dawncr Posted 24 Jul 2010 , 9:14pm
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Sounds like you have a unique talent in making sugar flowers, etc. Until you can have a studio of your own, what about subcontracting out gumpaste flowers to other persons who make cakes?

You could survey all the bakers who make higher end wedding cakes and see if they would be interested in custom flowers.

Just a thought.

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soledad Posted 24 Jul 2010 , 10:01pm
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gingersnaps... as soon as I read your post I also had the same idea as dawncr, if you are good at making flowers, make some and go to your area bakeries and show them your work, also make some business card, they might not need you then but maybe later on. Have you though of giving flower making classes? In my area they charge $60.00 or $80.00 per 3hrs, if you offer them more affordable you also can get some clients, and you can start getting some money this way and $$ave!!!You have no idea how many people are out there, that want to learn, but just like me we can not pay as much, I am not saying is not worth it, It is worth every penny it is just that I can not afford those prices. But do not get depressed, it does not help at all...some things take time. In the mean time go to the busines section of the CC forum and read as many post as there are, about the business side of it... you will eventually need it!Good luck! thumbs_up.gif

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IsaSW Posted 26 Jul 2010 , 5:49pm
post #8 of 10

I feel your pain, I live in a small town house, 3 bedrooms, 1 daughter, the guest bedroom, no longer guest bedroom, is my cake shop, like my daughter calls it.
I believe you really need to have that extra bedroom, with little ones around, there is no way you can leave gumpaste roses halfway done and not expect the little ones to eat them or break them.
We were in a 2 bedroom townhome when we had our daughter, you just can't work and clean up at the end of the day. It makes a big difference when you can close that door and the little ones understand that is momys workspace.
If you really believe in your dream, there is so much you can start doing right now to show your husband this is for real, do the math, find out how much will it cost to move into a small house, start saving, start making that business plan, learn how to do your own website. Prove your husband you really need more space.
If he is supportive and sees you working toward your dream, he might help you.
If you are good at gumpaste flowers and have a degree in culinary arts, you know you need a bigger kitchen, start small, get those small cake orders.
You have to convince your husband you can not do big wedding cakes in a small two bedroom apartment.
My husband has been looking at how much of a mess I make when I make a 5 tier cake in our home, how crowded it is the guest bedroom, with all the tools and all the flowers I am preparing for a cake.
He is going nuts with cleaning the whole house because of a tasting.

So now, its him, who wants a bigger home because of the business.
If you start little, and first with the stuff that doesn't need floor space, like building your website. You slowly will make your husband want that dream of yours. Trust me I am there.
I started in a 1 bedroom apartment, when I was taking classes and just building my website. Then a 2 bedroom townhouse, 4 years ago a 3 bedroom townhouse and know we are house hunting for a 5 bedroom home. And all because of my growing dream, maybe not making any profit right now, but growing and my husband can see that and he is dreaming with me. You can do it thumbs_up.gif

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gingersnapp Posted 27 Jul 2010 , 2:49am
post #9 of 10

You ladies ROCK!!! thank you SO..much. Carolina you made me cry happy tears. i love your site. Wow you are right! there is a lot i can do. as far as getting started. i was having a really bad day when i posted. kids in the way and husband saying we can't do it. you know that song and dance. much better now, thanks to all of you. i have decided to fucuse on flower making and cupcakes for now. i will take orders for smaller cakes and cookies but nothing too crazy. and i will start thinking about what my web site will be like.

i love the idea of selling my flowers to other cake makers. Thanks thumbs_up.gificon_smile.gif
I love CC

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IsaSW Posted 27 Jul 2010 , 3:30pm
post #10 of 10

So happy we can help! We all love CC
I have learned so much here in CC, and everybody helps so much.
I call them my forum ladies.
My husband laughs whenever I say: "well... the ladies at the cake forum suggest this or that".
We are here for you. icon_biggrin.gif

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