Mrs. Fields did it in 1977. She took a family recipe and made it into a small bakery business. Today Mrs. Fields has almost 400 stores in 80 countries. You might not have such big plans for your recipe, but even if your dreams are humble, you can have a successful bakery if you do your homework before you preheat the oven. A successful bakery depends on:
1. Master bakers who know that the proof is in the pudding…or bread.
2. Good sanitation practices.
3. A unique concept.
4. Most importantly, delicious pastries and bread.
Join baking industry groupsWhether you’ve chosen to tackle a wholesale bakery or a retail bakery, you’ll want to keep up with trends, regulations and tradeshows.
Educate your staffBread is only as good as the baker. And if your bakery serves pastries, you probably already know that a pastry chef is one of the most respected in the food world because of the scientific expertise it takes to master baking.
Food safety and regulationsBakeries, like other food service businesses, are regulated by the federal government and other local agencies. Check with your local food safety department, usually at the city or county level, for regulations and requirements.
Bakery equipment and suppliesSource your supplies and equipment before you design your bakery.
Business.com. Consider purchasing specialized software for retail or wholesale bakeries. The GlobalBake Bakery and Food Processing System is software specialized for retail and wholesale bakeries.
Create a business plan for your bakeryAny successful retail food shop owner can tell you that one of the main keys to success is to write a specialized business plan. You need to find your bakery’s niche and go from there.
Keep up on bakery trendsTrade publications offer up-to-date trend information, supplier resources, special events, and baking competitions.
- Retail bakeries may elicit a charming image of a Parisian street window full of artisanal breads, but don’t count out opening a wholesale portion of the business. Many restaurants don’t have an in-house pastry chef or baker. Supplying bread daily to high-end restaurants is often a guarantee for regular business that pays very well.
- Scour local coffeehouses and delis to see if they would consider selling your baked goods or using your bread in their sandwiches. It will not only provide them with fresh baked items, but will be a good marketing tool to drive customers to your bakery.
- No bread maker should be without an automatic slicer. Most Americans are used to having their bread pre-sliced and won’t have it any other way.
- Consider sampling one item a day to introduce your entire baked goods case to your customers.