I hope I am posting this in the right place A friend of mine has given me a 300 sf store front. It is small but its a start for me. I am going to be selling cake and candy making supplies. I am curious about what people would like to find in a supply store besides the basic? Anything unusual that you would not think to find, but always seem to need. I am having a hard time thinking of anything, its so crazy opening a store.
There is no supply store around me so i know some of these may be considered basic, but it's a pain to me that i can't find it locally and always have to order online.
-Magic Line Pans (Square AND round, one place does carry a limited # of the rounds)
-Boxes that fit more than sheet cakes (think 10x10 or 12x12) - i recommend www.brpboxshop.com
-Americolor gels (in the larger bottles, Hobby Lobby is carrying the smaller botles now)
-Sprinkles - In larger containers than what the grocery stores sell
-Flavorings beyond McCormick and Tones. I really like the Watkins Clear vanilla, but can't find it locally. And the larger bottles of the watkins pure vanilla.
-Luster Dust (god what i would give to have a local supplier of this)
I'm sure i'm forgetting quite a bit, but i'll come back and add some more when i think of it.
Are you going to be doing any cookie supplies? like cutters and that? or just stick to candy and cake?
all sorts of cutters, tylose, molds, airbrush colors, and everything else that leily mentioned above
oh and i forgot Fondant, that is another big one b/c of the shipping cost
If there is a hobby/craft store in your area or a super center store that has cake/candy supplies do not sell the same things they have. Concentrate on the items that they do not carry. If they do carry Fondant, consider a better tasting fondant and consider giving out tasting samples. Look at carrying the brands used by cake professionals like, CK Products, Lorann, JEM, PME, FMM,First Impressions.
I have a good friend that is an instructor that has opened a shop selling decorating supplies and having classes. She carries only a limited amount of Wilton supplies to go along with the Wilton classes she teaches. As she is in competition with Hobby Lobby and their 40% off coupons and Walmart on their products.
You need to offer things that people cannot get in your area. Your accessibility will be your biggest selling feature.
Thank for what you guys are coming up with so far. I have set up accounts to carry alot of different brand like CK, Lucks, Decopac, and Squires Kitchen, and some others. We have a Walmart here that carries the wilton stuff. The next store anywhere near here is a Micheals that is about 25-30 mins away depending on traffic. We have 2 other cake and candy supply stores that are awsome but they are about 1 1/2-2 hr dirve from where I am located. So I am hopping to catch all the customers that like me dont have time to drive up there very often. I am also going to do cookie supplies as well as a few hard to find kitchen tools. This is going to be an adventure. I was planning on starting out with just a web store and then she offered me a small store front. I am just hopeful that I am right about having alot of decorators in my area
I'll come shop there...like every week!!! I'm excited you're opening up right up the highway from me
As she is in competition with Hobby Lobby and their 40% off coupons and Walmart on their products.
This is exactly what I first thought of....
Make sure you have a business plan ready to go before you get started. It will be very difficult to make a profit only selling cake supplies, especially with such a small store...you will have to set high prices for your products.
If you can supplement your retail business by leveraging the storefront to sell custom cakes (or renting display space to local bakers without storefronts), that would help. Offering classes would be another way to go.
High ratio shortening
Definitely the business plan.....My friend just jumped into it not knowing anything and with a relatively unknown business partner. The business partnership was dissolved within a few days after the grand opening. Luckily, the local college has a small business counseling advising program.
So she has been able to get some guidance about running her business and growing it. Think about advertising.....................it is expensive and I would suggest researching the different mediums opened to you to see where you would get the most bang for your buck.
Remember to count in your freight costs into the price of your products. Especially, the heavy items like fondant, shortening, boxes. Depending on the items you are buying and from where your margins may not be very much. You will make more on some items than others. You have to watch over pricing yourself out of business.
Also, customer service is going to be a big factor! That will be another edge that the big chain stores do not have. There is a store about 1 -2 hours from my friend that is her only other competition other than on-line. Their customer service stinks. My friend is very knowledgeable about decorating and all the tools, products she sells so she uses that to her advantage.
I'm excited for you. I worked this summer for my friend at no charge and really loved it. I'm now in school full-time and miss being at her shop. The day's we received shipments was the most exciting, unpacking the boxes, pricing and seeing all the new stuff. My wish list is about as long as Santa's list at Christmas!
Definitely the High Ratio shortening- in the big boxes and the smaller bags.