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Home baker turned store front owner??? - Page 2

post #16 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurenSadler View Post
 

Actual friends; one of them being my former boss at the bakery I first started at :)  Another being a young girl who bought out a bakery going out of business (retiring - not due to lack of sales).  I've also spoken with a few other bakery owners back in the other town I lived in just to see what they had to say, and most of them wouldn't recommend it, either.  So unfortunate :/  Cheesy as it is, the motto "do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life" has been about 90% accurate working from home, it just sucks having to turn customers away because it feels like I'm outgrowing my kitchen when I'm super busy, like during wedding season.  There are no commercial kitchens here for rent, either.  So theres no middle, here.

 

I totally get what you're saying, part of our reasoning for opening the storefront was because we were outgrowing where we were, getting more orders than we had the capacity to take.

 

Renting a commercial kitchen would be a nice middle ground (there's not much of that available where we are either), I think the biggest issue with a retail shop is how much you have to be there at the shop, and then because you are the owner, even when you go home you are still never really "off"- there is always shopping to do, emails, quotes, accounting, etc. At one point we actually considered if it would be feasible to turn it into a custom cake studio only, and maybe have retail hours only 2-3 days a week, but it wouldn't have been sustainable for us, our overhead required us to have the storefront sales in addition to cakes.

I have heard of people doing that with success though. Or they just have a studio, no retail. But the only reason I could see doing that is if you really feel it would be worth it and it would help you expand your capacity. Otherwise you're better off just baking from home in that situation, and not adding extra overhead in the form of rent, possible build out, permits, licenses, higher utilities, and so on.

 

As far as if it is "worth it", unfortunately that's something you have to answer for yourself. You have to reeeaaalllyyy love it and be committed to it as a lifestyle, and find joy in what you do enough to overcome the drudgery parts. For us, we just realized that it ultimately was not the kind of life we wanted.

 

Before you ask- I'm licensed, inspected, insured, and all that jazz.
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Before you ask- I'm licensed, inspected, insured, and all that jazz.
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post #17 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis View Post
 

oh oh oh -- gotcha -- sorry i misunderstood --

 

still i do have one other question that you just answer for yourself--the $200 you invest to make the $800 (per $1,000) --the 80% you make --is that 20% your out of pocket expense -- the amount of money you spend at  the grocery store and cake store only?

 

because you still need to add in your overhead like utilites and household things like paper towels, dish soap, gas and time, etc? or is the 20% just out of pocket expense--

 

oh and oops thought of one other question ;)

 

in your small town, there's enough market for five brick and mortar bakeries? all the households in san angelo are also your competition because of cottage law of course so lots to weigh and man i wish you the very best--

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

different subject---

 

i was selling some doughnut filling equipment and i actually had a potential buyer in san angelo tx--so i was all over google maps looking up the addresses of bakeries to be sure my buyer was legit--just an interesting aside that i've been lightly researching bakeries in your town --lol

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

best of the best to you!

Haha, wow, SMALL world!  Would you mind messaging me the name of the donut place?  I'm curious to know if its 'the' donut shop here in town.  

 

But the 20% includes the percentage of utilities, I track my milage (wear and tear), gas costs, etc.  The only downfall that I've never been good at 'pricing' is my own time.  I know I've read countless times I need to try to estimate how many hours a cake is going to take and how much I feel I deserve per hour, but I am very picky about details.  If a buttercream cake has a spot that won't smooth out NO MATTER WHAT I DO, I'll scrape the whole dang thing and start over.  I don't like taking short cuts, even though I work by "work smarter, not harder".  So I guess I'm not accounting for my own decorating time in that 20%.   

 

Also, I just spoke with the owner of one THE known bakery here in town.  She's 70 something and looking to retire and is wanting to sell the business; building, equipment, supplies and all.  She wouldn't disclose the cost over the phone, but I'm not sure how I feel about taking over someone elses business and constantly being known as "the old blank blank bakery". 

 

As far as home bakers here, there are really only 2 in this area that I've found.  If there are anymore, they are hiding and I can't find them easily.  One of them is just starting out, and the other is sooooo cheap and I guess can afford to make a sculpted cake to feed 40 for only $40.  kudos to her. 

 

I guess the main issue for me is that I never envisioned that I would always be doing this out of my home.  The goal was to always get better and grow bigger.  But I do like keeping all of my profit :D

Getting baked since 2009! ;)
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Getting baked since 2009! ;)
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post #18 of 39
Thread Starter 
I talk myself out of needing a retail space all the time, but it never fails, if I see a "for lease" sign, I'm looking it up, pricing it, day dreaming. So it's where my heart is, but my heart is also in other places, like my family, too. Ugh :/.

How do you guys handle the "where is your shop at?" Question and the "ohhhhhhhh" reply you get if you say you are a home
Baker. I used to get by with it in Amarillo by giving them my home address but saying I was a custom order bakery, only, I didn't keep items on stock for anyone to just walk in and purchase, but our house now is out in the country, so that won't work too well for me here! Haha! And as much as I'd love to have the attitude that I'm a home baker and "damn proud of it, take your business elsewhere if you don't like it", I also don't like having to follow those questions with a list of credentials proving that I'm just as good, if not better, than anyone with a store front. It just comes off as arrogant.
Getting baked since 2009! ;)
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Getting baked since 2009! ;)
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post #19 of 39

it was purely a donut place not a cake place and it was about 6 months ago----but i was drawn to look at all your bakeries  --so i don't actually remember which donut place it was--just sold the equipment last month though--yes!

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

but very good news there about your accounting--i vote for what it's worth that you keep your money and stay as is--because that overhead will eat your shorts and the rest of your wardrobe too--regularly --lol

 

it's just not typically a big money making business, right--it can be lucrative but few cakers are in the list for being the highest paid business owners around--if you're clearing 80% before your wages--that ain't bad at all--

 

if you had your own tv show what would be your favorite commercial/sponsor

i think i'd like ghirardelli and hershey for starters...

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if you had your own tv show what would be your favorite commercial/sponsor

i think i'd like ghirardelli and hershey for starters...

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post #20 of 39
Thread Starter 
That's what my husband says. He said he likes not having to give me any money! Haha!
Getting baked since 2009! ;)
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Getting baked since 2009! ;)
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post #21 of 39

I could not agree with you more..We are 10 months in the game and man ole' man..i said BEFORE opening the doors that I would not let it consume my life..HAHAHAHAHAHA..it kicked my butt AND consumed my life (and my hubbys) within six months..its really hard too cause you don't have the money to hire the help unless you just absolutely HAVE to. You are wearing all the hats in the bakery from mixing and baking to customer service to washing dishes to ringing them up to phone calls..get my drift and oh did i mention the burn marks on your hands and arms because the phone is ringing and a customer is waiting..Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love doing ALL cakes and have for years, out of the home is one thing, but a storefront..better think twice if it is only one person for most of the day. Just saying!

post #22 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurenSadler View Post
 The only downfall that I've never been good at 'pricing' is my own time.  I know I've read countless times I need to try to estimate how many hours a cake is going to take and how much I feel I deserve per hour, but I am very picky about details.  If a buttercream cake has a spot that won't smooth out NO MATTER WHAT I DO, I'll scrape the whole dang thing and start over.  I don't like taking short cuts, even though I work by "work smarter, not harder".  So I guess I'm not accounting for my own decorating time in that 20%.   

This is definitely a consideration- once you are in a shop, you will not be able to dedicate that kind of time and attention to detail to cakes, you just simply will not have time. It starts to feel more like an assembly line of cakes. You do get faster and more efficient, because you have to. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ncsweetcreation View Post
its really hard too cause you don't have the money to hire the help unless you just absolutely HAVE to. You are wearing all the hats in the bakery from mixing and baking to customer service to washing dishes to ringing them up to phone calls..get my drift and oh did i mention the burn marks on your hands and arms because the phone is ringing and a customer is waiting..

LOL about the burn marks, so true! I have scars all over my arms from burning them on the oven! 

 

And yes, the hiring issue is real- it would have helped a lot to hire someone to run the front, but we never could afford to. 

Before you ask- I'm licensed, inspected, insured, and all that jazz.
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Before you ask- I'm licensed, inspected, insured, and all that jazz.
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post #23 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis View Post
 

grossing $4k a month is not a recipe for supporting a $2k rent--not even close--then add on the utilities and the payment on the costs of the initial build out--plus plus plus

 

you would need to ramp this up considerably to make it work--

 

This is where I would focus as well - do you feel that you could comfortably bring in $2000 in sales a week to support this rent?  That would put your rent at 25% of sales, which is still quite steep.  If not, I would focus on finding a site with a much lower rental rate.

 

Liz

Follow me on my Twitter handle: @Sugar_Iowa

Or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SugarFineBakedGoodsAndConfections

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Follow me on my Twitter handle: @Sugar_Iowa

Or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SugarFineBakedGoodsAndConfections

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post #24 of 39

As a person who owned a bakery for a short while when I had kids at home (never underestimate the advice of others to never go into business with a friend!!!) and now as a person who owns a bakery as all 3 kids are now in college, I can tell you this: if you have children at home, then continue to cake from home.  There will be an enormous amount of time to dedicate to running a retail bakery once the kids are on their own.  I missed one of my kid's whole football season (games and cakes are always on Friday nights!) and nearly missed helping my daughter get ready for prom.  It was NOT worth missing any moments of my kids' lives!  The bakery WILL consume your life.

~ Sherri
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~ Sherri
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post #25 of 39

Is there any way you can remodel your kitchen at home to add more space, another oven, etc?

post #26 of 39
{ may I add here, that if I were to go into business I'd set up a travel trailer refurbished into a bakery kitchen like the decorator from Oregon.  That was the sweetest set up, and it would follow you wherever your husband transfers to next.}
~~We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons. ~Alfred E. Newman
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~~We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons. ~Alfred E. Newman
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post #27 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cakepro View Post

As a person who owned a bakery for a short while when I had kids at home (never underestimate the advice of others to never go into business with a friend!!!) and now as a person who owns a bakery as all 3 kids are now in college, I can tell you this: if you have children at home, then continue to cake from home.  There will be an enormous amount of time to dedicate to running a retail bakery once the kids are on their own.  I missed one of my kid's whole football season (games and cakes are always on Friday nights!) and nearly missed helping my daughter get ready for prom.  It was NOT worth missing any moments of my kids' lives!  The bakery WILL consume your life.

This right here is great advice! It definitely is a great thing setting your own schedule when you don't have rent to pay!
Getting baked since 2009! ;)
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Getting baked since 2009! ;)
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post #28 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MBalaska View Post

I'll have to look that up! My husbands job wasn't a transfer, he was offered a job in his late 20's that most men in his field have to wait years and years for. And it also came with a nice salary so that if I didn't have cake income one month, we wouldn't have to stress about bills or food or anything. It was one of those "jobs you'd be crazy to say no to". We will be here for a good while! So it may be worth it to add onto our home. My grandmother (who practically raised me) passed in November and I do all of my cakes on her dining room table that we have. It makes me so nervous :/. I'd love to work on a stainless steel table, again!
Getting baked since 2009! ;)
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Getting baked since 2009! ;)
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post #29 of 39
I can remember when I worked in a storefront it was crazy but it was very very fun. I'm the kind of person though that doesn't mind working all the time. I remember the owner though being very stressed. Idk I still think id like a store front one day like you...we will have to see I guess
post #30 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurenSadler View Post

My husbands job wasn't a transfer, he was offered a job in his late 20's that most men in his field have to wait years and years for. And it also came with a nice salary so that if I didn't have cake income one month, we wouldn't have to stress about bills or food or anything. It was one of those "jobs you'd be crazy to say no to".

 

It is nice to have a partner with a good salary to rely on while you work from home, but remember that you don't want that same scenario to occur once you have committed to $2500 in rent/utilities/expenses per month.  Then you are on the losing end of that equation, with his salary being eaten up unintentionally during any months that are slower than expected.

 

And I am not trying to be a negative nellie - just realistic.  My bakery opens in a month, with overhead a FRACTION of what you are looking at, and I still worry about bringing in enough to make it worth my while.  And we own a restaurant across the street from the bakery, so I am already familiar with life consuming endeavors. :)  Really just trying to be helpful.

 

Liz

Follow me on my Twitter handle: @Sugar_Iowa

Or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SugarFineBakedGoodsAndConfections

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Follow me on my Twitter handle: @Sugar_Iowa

Or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SugarFineBakedGoodsAndConfections

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