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How Can I Start a Bake Shop?

Some bake shops focus on desserts.
A bake shop might serve a variety of pies.
Donuts may be served in a bakery.
Important bake shop tools include different spatulas.
When starting up a storefront bake shop, it's important to focus on location and customer demographics.
It's important to learn all of the food safety guidelines before starting a bakery.
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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 23 November 2014
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If you have a real passion for baking, opening a bake shop can be an excellent way of making a living doing what you love. Starting any business means having an effective business plan in place and the funds to make your dream happen and starting a bake shop is no different. If you want to start a bake shop, you'll also have to develop, perfect and advertise your products, choose your location wisely, price your products competitively and start thinking about issues such as staff and suppliers.

A great first step is to check out other bake shops both in your area and outside your area. Note what seems to be working and what doesn't seem to be working in each shop. If you find a bake shop for sale in a newspaper ad, you can ask questions of the seller that may help you even if you decide not to buy or lease that particular store. You can ask about different suppliers and the owner may not mind giving you some great tips if he or she is leaving the bake shop business anyway. You may also want to visit out of town bake shops in person and speak with the owners to find out how many staff work in each bake shop as that can give you an idea of how many workers you'll need to hire and for what jobs.

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Location should be something you really consider carefully. Before you create your product line you'll have to get a good idea of who your customers are likely to be and what their needs and desires are when it comes to baked goods. Make sure to research your competition thoroughly. You want to be able to have a unique angle and different, yet in-demand products to offer customers. Remember also to research the grocery stores nearby if they have fresh bakery items so that at least you could compete on creativity or some other aspect if not on price alone.

Once you have understood your market, analyzed your competition and decided on what unique, yet desired bake shop experience you’ll offer customers, you can design your product line. Be sure to take the logistics of cost, storage and preparation into the planning considerations behind each baked good you'll offer for sale. Keep baking test batches of something until you get the best one. For example, it may take you several tries to come up with a low-fat lemon-blueberry muffin that you know is going to be a popular-selling item because it tastes delicious.

You can create a marketing buzz by offering taste tests before you even open. You could even ask some survey questions about what kinds of products potential customers would like to see in your bake shop and/or hand out coupons for your Grand Opening all at the same time. You should always follow good marketing principles and advertise and promote your bake shop to increase traffic. Colorful signs, interesting decor and some outdoor seating if possible can also help get your bake shop noticed by new clientele.

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Discuss this Article

anon126187
Post 4

@leiliahrune - Red Ribbon Bake Shop is been in business for so long. They are originally from the Philippines and started branching out here in the US. They also have a store in California.

leiliahrune
Post 3

@lmorales - There is a place called the Red Ribbon Bake Shop where I live and it is so great. I have been meaning to ask them if they started commercially or privately, but either way their business is booming. I would ask them, but they are always so busy! I think that if you start your business privately you are more personable and friendlier than if you were some large conglomeration or corporation that really doesn't get down to the consumer's level.

lmorales
Post 2

@Kamchatka - Your statements are very true. For instance, you can't have a home bake shop anymore in the state of Texas and must have a separate, commercial kitchen in order to begin. It is quite different if you are wanting to do things the right way rather than try to sell things under the table. Beginning a bath products shop, on the other hand, might be a little different.

Kamchatka
Post 1

Depending on where you live you may not be permitted to begin a bake shop in your own home. Some places or states (again, depending on where you are)might require that you have a separate kitchen and permits, etc. in order to begin your little bake shop for wedding cakes or what have you. You should definitely check with your local laws in order to begin things on the right foot.

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