Ideas For Opening Small Bakery

Business By ConfectionsCC Updated 16 Apr 2013 , 12:25pm by leah_s

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ConfectionsCC Posted 17 Nov 2010 , 4:42pm
post #1 of 26

Hey everyone!!!! I am excited to begin building my new cake business, but I have sooooo many questions I need to figure out first!! As of right now, I am only doing custom cakes from home, by order only. I plan to open a small bakery where I continue to do cakes by order, but I am thinking I want a "daily" special where people can walk in and purchase things already made.

Is this a good idea? I am thinking of having a sign outside showing the "special"and having something different every day of the brownies, different cupcakes...maybe have a certain cake every week too...I have several different recipes that I could do this with, maybe just having a flavor of the day?

For instance, Mondays being red velvet cupcakes, Tuesdays Carrot cakes...etc (just examples, I haven't figured every detail out just yet). Please give ANY suggestions, whether you think this is a good idea, bad idea, or give a better idea!!

I hope to start building the bakery in the spring, so not a whole lot of time to get things together!! Again. SUPER EXCITED!!!!!!! icon_biggrin.gif I am also going to post some pictures of the layout of my bakery, so please take a look at those too and give me suggestions on layout and such!!

25 replies
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lilbitacake Posted 17 Nov 2010 , 5:07pm
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Congratulations on your new cake business and am very excited for you. I wished it was me. I like the layout but the only thing that I would change is where the oven and refrigerator is, I would separate them just due to the fact that with them beside each other it will make them work harder and drive up cost on running them. I also love the colors. Where did you find the layout program to do this with? Just for future reference.

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jason_kraft Posted 17 Nov 2010 , 5:08pm
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Before you continue, you should check your local state laws regarding selling baked goods made at home, some states do not allow this.

Regarding opening a new retail bakery, you will want a business plan first. How much will it cost you to build the bakery? Do you have the money set aside already (getting a loan will be very tough)? How much will the overhead cost per month (including utilities and insurance)? How about the cost of labor? Will you be able to make enough money to turn a profit? If so, how much harder will you need to work?

We looked at opening a retail shop in CA, but instead we opted for a rented commercial kitchen with no retail storefront. When I ran the numbers, with a retail shop we would need to do 5-6 times as much work to make the same amount of profit as our current setup.

By the way, you should also be very careful about including copyrighted logos in your cakes. If you have not obtained permission from the copyright owner you are opening yourself up to lawsuits.

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ConfectionsCC Posted 17 Nov 2010 , 6:24pm
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This is considered a home bakery, it will be in front of my house (I live in a more rural area, We have 3 acres of land, house on back acre, bakery on the road). I have already checked with state requirements, and I have included everything that is required of a home bakery. Mississippi does not require that a home bakery have commercial appliances or open shelving, just that what is there has easily cleanable surfaces. Cost to build in MS is EXTREMELY LOW compared to the rest of the country, I am looking at about $30k total to build.(and that is assuming I have EVERYTHING new and nice!) We also have a lot of the furniture and appliance manufacturers here in MS, making costs even lower. icon_smile.gif

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lyndya Posted 17 Nov 2010 , 6:40pm
post #5 of 26

Congratulations! I too am in the process of opening a small bakery - just cakes and cupcakes. I am planning on special orders, as well as having daily supplies of 8 different cupcake flavors, and smaller size retail cakes. Love your design - I am thinking you may need more refrigeration/freezer space. Good luck!

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jason_kraft Posted 17 Nov 2010 , 6:41pm
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Since you will be building on your own property you should be in good shape financially, since you won't have to worry about rent. Do you already have the money to build or will you be taking out a loan? If you will be borrowing the money make sure you can get a line of credit, as it can be tough to get business loans these days.

The biggest expenses will probably be your utilities and loan payments. Don't forget to create an LLC to protect your personal assets and take out liability insurance as well.

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ConfectionsCC Posted 17 Nov 2010 , 7:25pm
post #7 of 26

I am creating the LLC in Jan. Hopefully building very soon afterwards! I suppose the bank will tell me yes or no on the loan, but if not, we do have a back up plan icon_smile.gif I am feeling great that a bulk of what I need is coming together so quickly! I will be the first bakery in our area which is experiencing a boom and is growing very quickly!

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WendyB Posted 17 Nov 2010 , 8:07pm
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If you're in rather a rural area will you end up with a lot of unsold product if you make it ahead for daily specials?

If you don't have a bunch of people walking by during lunch or on the way home you may not get too many customers who buy on the spur of the moment.

You don't want to throw away half of what you bake.

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ConfectionsCC Posted 17 Nov 2010 , 8:22pm
post #9 of 26
Originally Posted by lilbitacake

Where did you find the layout program to do this with? Just for future reference.

It is Better Homes and Gardens 3D Home Architect 8.0. I actually have no clue where it came from! My friend brought it to me because I was drawing my house plans out by hand! I think you can google it and buy is a great program, so so sooo much you can do with it!

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hsmomma Posted 17 Nov 2010 , 8:53pm
post #10 of 26

Where are the pictures? How am I missing them (It's been such a long day!) I'd love to see them.

I'm in the opposite situation, I've got a commercial storefront...and want to sell and buy a house where I can add on a commercial kitchen without a storefront. But, I can tell you that we make lots of cupcakes from our leftover batter from our weeks wedding cakes. Not much money in them since we are already making the batter and frosting. And they sell like hotcakes!

Good luck to you!

In case you are wondering why we want to sell the storefront...there are quite a few reasons...
employees, insurance, utilities, time etc. We make most of our money on our wedding cakes. Which I will be able to concentrate on more without the storefront hassles. To each their own...but, for me, I've had enough.

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ConfectionsCC Posted 17 Nov 2010 , 9:02pm
post #11 of 26

Wow, that is very interesting to know! I think the best route then will be to stay with the home business and not worry so much about the little extras! The photos were removed because they were not actual cake! I will be happy to email them to you, and if you would like I can draw up some plans too with my program and email you the plans and pictures icon_smile.gif the program is quite expensive if you want to buy it...but if you ask me, worth it, its addicting, I have about 40 dream home plans I have designed and decorated lol!!

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Dayti Posted 17 Nov 2010 , 9:24pm
post #12 of 26

Good luck on your new bakery! Having just opened a small bakery myself (albeit in a different country), I can probably help a little.
You have the advantage that your bakery will literally be in your front yard - this is good, because you will need to get up early to prepare the baked goods for the day. I spend 2 hours before opening baking and decorating cupcakes, along with the cookies, brownies, etc. My idea was also to have small (6") simply decorated cakes for people to come in and buy, but so far have been too busy to be able to do that (which is good!).

Since I am on my own, I sometimes find it hard to attend to the people coming in and wanting to buy things, and work on the orders as well. If you have a busy day, be prepared to work extra hours to get your ordered cakes finished. I also have a small bar where people can eat in with a coffee/Coke, so that also takes up some time.

But for the most part, I usually spend my day working on orders, once the bakery is open. Just have to keep the clingfilm handy in case I have to jump up and help someone, right when I'm in the middle of a complicated piece of fondant work (Murphy's law!).

Once you finally open, you will be able to see what you sell most/least of, and prepare accordingly. I use the freezer ALOT!

I haven't hired help yet, I am still waiting a bit longer to see what happens. I don't want to have to fire someone in their 1st week for lack of work!! So I am putting in the hours myself for now, and am LOVING IT!
Again, good luck!

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CWR41 Posted 17 Nov 2010 , 9:35pm
post #13 of 26
Originally Posted by ConfectionsCC

The photos were removed because they were not actual cake!

You can upload your photos to another site (like Photobucket, etc.) and post the link to them on CC.

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ConfectionsCC Posted 17 Nov 2010 , 9:37pm
post #14 of 26
Try looking on here, This is my facebook, I believe I opened the album to everyone! Let me know if it doesnt work and I will post them to my blog!

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luntus Posted 17 Nov 2010 , 10:56pm
post #15 of 26

love it. all the best.

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hsmomma Posted 18 Nov 2010 , 12:33am
post #16 of 26

It looks beautiful...thanks for sharing. The only thing I noticed was maybe you would want sliders to close off your kitchen to anyone in the consultation area. I like your idea of your clients being able to see your kitchen and see how clean the environment is. But...there are SO many times in my kitchen...I would never want anyone to see it. Not that my kitchen is dirty. I assure you that I have received 100% on my surprise kitchen inspections through the State every year but one in 8 years (the one year I didn't it was because I had a freezer that needed defrosting). But, when I'm in the middle of may look a bit like chaos. Non-cakers would not understand that IS what it looks like mid - project.
Just thought I would add that for you to think about.

Also, I didn't want to discourage you about having bakery items ready to sell if you wanted to do that. A previous poster listed having to have saran wrap ready to stop a project if somebody comes in. That's what I can't stand. I want to get in my zone and not be bothered. My current's constant interruption. Constant stopping and starting. But, that's just me. That same poster said they absolutely LOVE it. So clearly it would be a decision that only you could make for you since everyone has different exeriences with it.
Good luck!

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Annabakescakes Posted 18 Nov 2010 , 5:03pm
post #17 of 26

I don't see a hand sink or a mop sink. Is these not required in your neck of the woods? Also, is that a standard home dishwasher? I know that I am not allowed to have one, only commercial, and there is no way! icon_sad.gif It would take up too much space.

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ConfectionsCC Posted 22 Nov 2010 , 2:00am
post #18 of 26

The hand sink is only require to be easily accessed, and a bathroom sink passes...and as for the mop sink...hmm I am not sure if I am aloud to have that outside or if it needs to be inside, either way I can fit that in the design easily...and this is just my first layout try! This is why I am posting icon_biggrin.gif I wish CC had a gallery for bakery photos so newbies like me can get ideas of how an efficient bakery should look!!! I think I will be emailing them tonight to see if we can't get something worked out!! Yall email too about it!!! Oh, and the appliances here don't have to be commercial grade, just easily cleaned and the fridge and freezers need external temp gauges on them!

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-K8memphis Posted 22 Nov 2010 , 3:17am
post #19 of 26

To Anna--You can get commercial dishwashers with the same footprint as a home dishwasher--just an fyi. And the cool part is they cycle in a few minutes rather than a whole hour like home ones. They ain't cheap of course.

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homebasedbaking Posted 22 Nov 2010 , 3:37am
post #20 of 26

Hi ConfectionsCC,

I don't know where you live, but there is a bread baker in Carrboro, NC who built a brick oven and has photos of his kitchen. I am not sure of everything he had to do, but he may be able to direct you and provide some insight. Take a peek at his website and I will ask other bakers to see if anyone has additional information.

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tracycakes Posted 22 Nov 2010 , 1:50pm
post #21 of 26

We've been open about 15 months and have debated having prepared foods. We get several people a week coming in to get something "off the shelf" but as yet, we don't have any. Our big holdout is waste. I don't want to have stuff baked and no one come in and it go in the trash. And, it is a big interruption when people come in. My hubby is there a lot to handle customers, but not all of the time. It can add several hours to my day to handle foot traffic and phone calls. If it happens on a busy Friday, it makes for a very late night and I don't like late nights.

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homebasedbaking Posted 22 Nov 2010 , 2:21pm
post #22 of 26


Have you ever considered catering or working with a caterer? You might want to partner with a catering company in your area that has a delivery truck. You provide the product, they provide the delivery, office buildings, work sites (There will be little waste since you will take pre-orders), you may even want to consider investing in a delivery truck in the future. Mobile foods are on the up-swing. I know you don't want to invest more time and effort and money, but if you are going to be in business for yourself there is no getting around it. No one will tell you this, but I will say it here; since I grew up in a business and my parents were in business for 30 years; it is the out-of-the-box thinking and sound business development strategies that kept them in business. You don't have to do anything in a vacuum but you will have to do some "major" things to sustain yourself. Meals on Wheels-article
If you want to chat online later pm me.

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Swede-cakes Posted 24 Nov 2010 , 3:51am
post #23 of 26

Congrats on your goal, ConfectionsCC!! I love the enthsiasm in your posts! In looking at your four images on facebook, there didn't seem to be a place where folks come to order/pay. I see the door where people come in to the four-chair sitting area, but is there a service & payment counter somewhere on the other side (side with with the couch)?

Best of luck!!!

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philscakescork Posted 15 Apr 2013 , 6:03pm
post #24 of 26

AHope you get this! How is it going so far for you? Can you email me the pictures on [email protected] love your idea want to do the same in ireland

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Edward32 Posted 16 Apr 2013 , 10:18am
post #25 of 26

First congrats on your great idea. Yes you can make a bakery where people can walk in and take whatever they like also you can provide service of dine in. If you have your saving and you are able to buy a shop in a public area. then it is best for you to start that business with great boost.

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leah_s Posted 16 Apr 2013 , 12:25pm
post #26 of 26

AThis thread is two and a half years old. Its always a good idea to look at the date of the post.

Quote by @%username% on %date%