We are starting a home based cupcake business. We have about a million ideas but very few materials. Could you give us just an idea of what you use? What don't you like? What your favorite? What you hate the most? I talking about things to use to bake and decorate, not the actual edible materials. I will post a new topic asking about those ata later time when we get what we need to bake. TIA!!!
I found that the single most important thing to have when decorating a lot of cupcakes is BIG piping bags so you don't have to refill constantly. (It's time-consuming and frustrating and messy.)
I'm not sure where you are located at but before you invest in equipment make sure you have checked with your local health department. Most do not allow a Home Based Business unless is it a seperate kitchen build to commercial standards. That's where alot of your start up money will need to go...and don't forget INSURANCE!
After that, start small and build up your equipment as needed.
Online_Annie, thank you for that advice. This is just in the beginning stages, and we need to know the basics. We have made the "homemade" cupcakes for our family and friends, and just want to expand.
Cutthecake-That is a very useful piece of advice...thank you. Is there a specific brand you like the best, or is there a brand we need to stay away from?
Good cupcake pans...Big piping bags.....large mixer probably a hobart to make huge batches of icing etc...Good recipes a must...Time managemnet is key!! Know how many batches you can make in a certain timeframe etc...How long does it take to ice.How many flavors are you going to offer.HTH
I'm sorry, but I do not know what brand is best. I use whatever I have on hand.
I would also invest in multiples of your main tips like the 1M and the open circle if you are using that kind of swirl. When I say multiples, I mean 5 to 6 of each if not more. Changing colors or if some need to be washed will slow you done. Having a bunch of the most populars will just speed up the process. You can get the large Wilton or Ateco tips. I've used both.
I would also recommend the sticky on the How Do I forum http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-588591.html for filling icing bags. I make large batches of icing, make the plugs like in the how to and put them in zip lock freezer bags. Anytime I need to ice, I grab the number of plugs I need, they defrost quick, snip the end and off I go. Also very clean if you're using reusable bags.
As far as things you need to pay good money for, my vote is cupcake liners. I find the cheaper the cupcake liner the more trouble I have. I've had good luck with the wilton white ones. I also love the new Reynolds stay brite liners which are foil liners with colors or patterns on them. If you bake a cupcake in them, the liners don't change color. You can buy them at Reynolds.com
I had bad luck with the new Celebration liners at Michaels. They look super cute until you bake something in them. The patter and colors were completely lost and they pulled away from the cupcake.
Oh and I would try and buy all things dishwasher safe. I love my magic line cake pans but hand washing is no fun if you're going to do a business.
Good pans are a must (look for deals and restaurant/bakery auctions on large quantities of them), as suggested upthread, multiple tips (if they're your main tool, I'd suggest OODLES OF 'EM (I prefer Wilton over Ateco...although Ateco is cheaper, they rust if not dried completely and soon after washing)and the same with 21" and larger (I prefer BakeryMate over Wilton), liners (The sleeves of 500 have worked fine for me), boxes, inserts, labels...NSF shelving, foodsafe containers for toppings, squeeze bottles, food handling gloves, aprons, towels, ss work table would be highly used and appreciated especially if it were equipped with drawers and a shelf below, work safe floor mats (the kind that ease the pain of being on your feet all day)...good support shoes too once you get to be busy busy,
possibly a cutter machine (have no preference) that will allow you to create your own wrappers
oh, I know there's more...
Thank you ladies for all of the wonderful advice. Like we said, we are starting off small, and hoping to become a household name in the city where we live. We are starting with the basics and trying to get our duckies in a row before we start trying to accomplish more than we can handle. Please, keep this post in mind if you come across any materials that you find you can not live without!!!
What Doug has said in other posts on starting a home business. It's on the money.