Watch Before Starting a Home Bakery!

Sift & Stir: 6 Questions Before Starting Your Home Bakery Business

starting a bakery from home
Home Bakery Business

I want to start a Home Bakery Business; what should I do now? I know exactly what you are dreaming about right now. You want to start a home bakery. You have the desire, the drive, and the dream. Your mind can't stop thinking about it. You're not looking to make millions right now, but you want to bake for others and share your passion with the community. All you want is to start small and maybe grow as you're able, depending on your family's needs. Inside this article, I'll ask you SIX questions you'll need to answer first!


But where do you start? 6 Questions to Ask Yourself First

This is a question I get asked almost every day in my inbox. Although I can't help you with everything (cottage food laws, anyone?), I want to encourage your ideas and get you thinking about the right way to sell your baked goods.

You need to answer six questions, and hopefully, this will get your creative juices flowing in the right direction.



1. WHO: Who are you going to sell to?

Are you wanting to sell locally or nationally? If you are wanting to sell locally, I encourage you to get a Facebook business page. This will help your community find you, and you can start by inviting your friends to follow you. If you are wanting to step into the online world of ordering and shipping, be sure to add Instagram along with Facebook.  

Family and friends can be very supportive, but let me caution you about counting on them for orders. I rarely get orders from family, and if I do, I am usually expected to give a discount. And it becomes very awkward when your friends want you to bake for free. You will need to reach out beyond your “warm” market if you want to have a successful home bakery that grows.


2. WHAT: What are you going to sell?

You may know that you only want to make macarons, and that is all you ever want to do in your business. Or, you may be open to ALL the ideas and need inspiration. Start with one to three items that you know you can bake, and make sure they are something you have the resources to accomplish.

For example, you may want to conquer donuts, but buying the equipment may put you in financial debt for years. I would suggest starting with simple things that are popular right now, like gourmet cookies, cinnamon rolls, or cupcakes. Make sure whatever you choose can be made in your home kitchen. 

If you need ideas for WHAT to sell, check out my courses and recipes for Cinnamon Rolls, Sheet Cakes, and Pumpkin Rolls. These are all bestsellers for me and highly profitable items that you can make in bulk.  


3. WHEN: When will you sell?

Will you be seasonal or all year long? I started selling cupcakes at our farmer’s market in the spring and that was all I could handle with four young children. As the kids got older, I was able to do more and add more to our menu.

Think about your year and what weeks and months you will be able to bake. Maybe you only want to bake for holidays and special events or just a couple of months a year for the farmer’s market. No matter when you decide, you can alway adjust your schedule as you grow and learn. 


4. WHERE: Where will you sell?

Farmer’s Markets and Craft Fairs are great starting points for home bakers. You can dip your feet in the water without committing all of your time. They are also tremendous for making contacts in the community. But if the idea of loading and unloading tables and canopies does not appeal to you, there are other places to consider.

If you live in the city limits, you could have people pick up from your porch.

Or, you could decide to make deliveries on a certain day of the week. I know of several bakers who sell their candies and specialty items from rented booths in craft malls. A friend of mine has her husband take orders from his place of work, and he brings the orders to work on Fridays. Think about your unique situation and how you can make it work for you.

If you're having a difficult time deciding WHERE to sell, check out my course "Maximizing Profits at Venues." It reviews the pros and cons of the different ways you can sell your baked goods and gives you clarity on what may be best for you and your family. 


5. HOW: How are you going to be able to do all of this?

You don't have three ovens, a huge following on social media, or confide ce in yourself and your baking abilities. What makes you think you can start a home bakery? Before you quit before you start, let me talk you off of the ledge. No one that has ever gone into business for themselves knew how to do it all. I always, always, always encourage home bakers to start small and start slow, I repeat, start small and start slow.

Do not go out and buy a commercial oven before you even have one order.

Don't commit to a year-long spot at the farmer's market without even knowing what you will be baking. 

Start with a few orders, a market or two, or sign up for a one-day craft fair. Offer your baked goods on social media, and learn along the way. If you jump in with both feet and do everything and anything, you will burn out faster than an Easy Bake Oven. And if that happens, you may never want to bake again. 


6. WHY: Why do you want to start a home bakery business?

I did it because I loved being in the kitchen, wanted to supplement our household income, and wanted to have a business where my children could work with me. It has brought our family so many rewards and benefits, and I’m so thankful for it. Did I make mistakes and want to quit? Absolutely, and…yes, I actually did quit! But I always came back to my “why.” It has changed throughout the years, but being able to be home and work with my family is such a blessing. 

What is your “why?” You may have the same reasons as me, or yours could be completely different. Your “why” will keep you grounded and on track. If starting a home bakery sounds like all sprinkles and cute packaging, you will not last long. But if you’re committed to your dream and your goals, you will definitely grow and thrive! 

Remember, home baking is not just about the sweet aroma of fresh cookies wafting through your house or the joy of frosting a perfectly baked cake. It's about the strength of your purpose, the power of your determination. Your business will face challenges, and there will be days when you question everything. But let your 'why' guide you, let it be the beacon that illu inates your path during those dark times.

After all, it's not just a bakery - it's a dream you're building, one delicious treat at a time. No matter what your 'whys' are, hold onto them tightly and never let go. Because when all is said and done, that 'why' may very well be the sweetest thing you've ever baked!


Recap: Starting a Home Bakery Business 

Taking the first steps to start your home bakery business can feel like baking your first loaf of bread. It's a bit daunting; you'll probably second-guess your yeast, and there's a chance it may not rise on the first go. But remember, even if it falls flat, there's nothing a little extra baking powder and a second attempt can't fix!

So, start small, be patient, and remember why you're doing this. Whether it's to share your killer macaron recipe, supplement your income, or simply because you love the smell of fresh baked goods in your home, keep your "why" close to heart.

Just like a well-baked cookie, your home bakery business needs time to cool before it's ready to serve. So take it slow, don't bite off more than you can chew, and remember, every great baker has burnt a batch or two. You've got the recipe for a successful home bakery business; now it's time to step into your kitchen and get baking!


Want to go into a deeper dive into ALL THE THINGS related to a home bakery? My Bake From Home Course has fifteen years of knowledge, all in one place. If you're a new home baker, it's perfect for you. 

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