Bakery owners certainly do not make as much as NBA All-Stars, but they do find a way to take their passion for baking and natural business-management skills and make it into a hearty income. And, over time, they can hire enough staff that they might even be able to take a long vacation out of town.
Just make no mistake — starting a bakery is a tremendous amount of work, though there are hundreds of people who elect to do it anyway every year. Some of the smarter owners find a niche in the baking industry that allows them to earn even more than most small business owners. Here are the basic ingredients you will need to get your bakery off the ground.
There are a few isolated instances of people starting a bakery with no experience, but usually, they only exist in comic novels. So do yourself a huge favor and get some experience, even if it is the only part-time experience for a few months. You may think you want to have a bakery, but after you have had to wake up at 3:30 am and make the same kind of cinnamon rolls every single morning for four months straight, you may think differently.
You may also not be aware of what it takes to pass a food inspection, or to keep supplies in stock, or how to service restaurants effectively. All these things are best learned while you are working under someone’s guidance. If you can bare it, get jobs at two or more different bakeries (perhaps a boutique-like specialty shop and a large commercial bakery), just so you can see how differently things can be done.
Business License and Food Permit
Depending on the laws of your county and state, you may need one or more different licenses. Check to see what the minimum requirements are to get a business checking account, and then get that covered immediately. After that, get your resale license (so you can buy in bulk and sell other products).
To bake and sell goods you will have to pass a food inspection. This is no small thing. If you are starting a home bakery or a similar business, you may be able to find a kitchen that will lease you a day or two a week to bake in. That way you can bake off of their food inspection passing grade.
Equipment and Supplies
If you can find a kitchen to rent or lease, your requirements here might be lower, but you will still need all the basic ingredients, packaging, decorating, business cards and other accessories of a business. Refer to your business plan to know what you’ll need (these items should be included in your startup costs budget, which can be from $3,000 to $30,000 depending on what your plans are).