I'm Thinking Of Starting A Home Bakery But Not Sure About Pricing And Serving Sizes?

Decorating By kandyslife Updated 4 Apr 2015 , 2:12pm by -K8memphis

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kandyslife Posted 3 Apr 2015 , 7:46am
post #1 of 11

I've been watching cake tutorials since forever and finally got the courage to try out cakes with fondant 3 months ago. So I've been making cakes for friends and family, and they all love my work. So I’m thinking of maybe opening a small business, since I have free time and I enjoy making them. But I wouldn't know how to price, or what size inches of cake I must make for serving size?

Like example this is a 9 inch round cake I made for my mother on mother’s day! The cake is two layers with vanilla butter cream frosting, covered in fondant and decorated with flowers on top. It’s a chocolate cake and it’s also 4 inches long!

How much should I charge for such a cake and how many servings would such a cake provide? Took about 4 hours to make by the way

Everything is from scratch even the fondant, so it took some work/time

Ps. Camera quality not that goodgyFvjwYd6D-mothers-day-cake_900.jpg

10 replies
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cakeemewithyou Posted 3 Apr 2015 , 3:40pm
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hey! So no one has responded to you on opening a home bakery. I just started selling cakes about 6 months ago. All I did to help me get started, was I found out what the going rate was for a basic cake in my area. I called 4 different bakeries, and asked 2 different other home bakeries what they charged per slice. Then I calculated up how much EVERYTHING costs in my cake. From the paper towels and dish soap, to the supplies. Then I decided what I should pay myself for such work. Since it takes me longer to do my cakes, I work longer and get paid less per hour. It sucks at first, but as I get better, my rate per hour goes up! It's like a reward! lol

Anyway, I hope this helps. Good luck to you!

Also, If that were my cake, for MY area, it would go for about $45.

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johnson6ofus Posted 3 Apr 2015 , 3:54pm
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Wilton cake chart shows a 9 inch round, 4 inches tall cake serves 32. If you sell for $45. that is $1.31 per serving for a fondant covered cake. That seems very low.

Materials costs are #1 thing to figure out, because you can easily lose money. Everyone wants a great cake, and few people really want to pay for it, even if it includes premium ,expensive ingredients. "Everyone" says you should open a business but will "everyone" pay a fair wage for you to make one?

If you can't make minimum wage doing it, is it worth it? If it is for "fun", then maybe you don't care. Don't forget to consider the local laws regarding home bakerys and food safety, as well as neighborhood zoning. If you don't comply with the law, and don't make minimum wage, you again must ask... is it worth it?

While how long it took you is important to know, but also understand that a "full speed" bakery may knock that out in much less time and be able to charge accordingly. 

Cake me has it right though, you first need to know the competition. 

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cakeemewithyou Posted 3 Apr 2015 , 3:59pm
post #4 of 11

Yeah, I'm not claiming to know it all...and I definitely don't know much about fondant but I make mine with marshmallows, water, and powdered sugar. Not all that expensive...just time consuming! (I'm more of a BC gal, myself!)

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Pastrybaglady Posted 3 Apr 2015 , 5:47pm
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Your cake is very pretty!  Thinking about starting a business always seems like fun, but there are so many things to factor in.  Hopefully they can get the search function up and running.  There is a ton of very practical advice on these boards from very successful bakers and cake decorators who work from home and brick and mortor bakeries. 

Even before you figure out pricing you need to think about what you're really trying to get out of it.  Are you just wanting to dabble to make some money on the side, are you trying to pay the bills.  Have you gotten all the permits and licensing you need, do you need insurance, do you have all your recipes down, are you organized enough to keep all your records straight, do have your contract language and policies down, will you deliver, will they pick up at your house, how you will get business...? Essentially, do you have a business plan?  Too many of us come at this thing backwards and suffer endless headaches because of it.  We underprice and overwork ourselves.  When we look up we have little to show for all the love and effort we put into it.  There are tons of cake ladies out there low bidding, is there enough business to make it worth your while?  Not to mention you will be giving up most if not all of your weekends.  We see lots of fed up bakers ready to throw in the towel because there isn't enough business for those who want to be paid what they're worth, not to mention it takes a long time to build a good reputation and good clientelle.  Be prepared for the fact your friends and family who rave about your cake will not want to pay for them.  They will all expect heavy discounts for what would be really expensive cakes.  Everyone wants a bargain!  Just some things for you to think about as you move forward.

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kandyslife Posted 4 Apr 2015 , 10:38am
post #7 of 11

Thank you for responding :3

i think that's actually a good idea! ill definitely call up a few bakers around and ask for the prizes and set mine. Hopefully they wouldn't mind sharing the prices though, because where i live unless your willing to buy, then you don't ask for prices of products :p

but what you said was definitely helpful, thanks again :D<3

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kandyslife Posted 4 Apr 2015 , 10:46am
post #8 of 11

@johnson6ofus  your probably right

many people are not willing to pay. i do kill myself over these cakes and try to make them as perfect as possible. A lot of people don't appreciate that.

it is a lot of work, and i do enjoy making it, but if i cant get the amount of money that the cakes i make deserve, then it really isn't worth it :/ i guess ill have to see, just keep making cakes for now for fun, and see where it leads me in the future

thank you x)

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kandyslife Posted 4 Apr 2015 , 11:01am
post #9 of 11

Thank you <3<3<3

I'm honestly still in university studying, and i have some free time! and i just thought it would be a good idea to make some money on the side and help out my parents. i have all the recipes in my phone haha! Probably would be a good idea to write them down. but so many things to think about !!

The place i'm living at, doesn't have much competition, that's why i was thinking it might work out, but i wouldn't know if people will come to me for cakes. and i really don't want to work that much and not be paid for whats its worth. I mean i end up getting back pains from standing so long! And working for 4 hours straight and then only earning a small tiny amount of profit doesn't seem like a pleasant idea. There's much of thinking and organizing i need to do, if i do end up doing this.

And yeah, family and especially friends will bargain for much much lower prices. but it shouldn't be this way, its a service and a product I'm providing them with. i am no less then any other bakery, they should just assume i'm not related to them if they want a cake. i mean making a big cake for free ain't that fun :/ but it would be rude not to discount 

anyway thank you so much, you gave me a lot to think about, before actually going on and doing this!


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kandyslife Posted 4 Apr 2015 , 11:07am
post #10 of 11

The thing is where i live, there is barely any home based bakeries! not much competition going on in my area

That's why i am hoping that this will work, but i'm just worried now about if people really understand how much work this needs, and whether they'd be willing too pay the money that cakes deserve.

thank you !

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-K8memphis Posted 4 Apr 2015 , 2:12pm
post #11 of 11

it's not rude to not discount for friends/family -- consider them wanting to support you and help you build your business -- and if that's not the case then they need to buy a 9x13 pan and a cake mix and go for it themselves yes?

speed/efficiency is the single most important thing that home cakers lack -- so there's that too -- makes all the difference in the world in your ability to survive a growing business or hobby --

best to you

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