The New Bakers Dozen
Want to start my own!

The The Bakers Dozen: Want to start my own!
By Jmb3210 (Jmb3210) on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 06:14 pm: Edit

Hi, I am in the research stage of opening my own bakery. Please post any information that you think is even vaguely related to my question! I need info and suggestions on financing, equipment, leasing a space, baking etc. Please share some stories of when you first started as well. I would love ANY advice or info. Tell me what to do or what not to do! Thanks so much!

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 02:10 am: Edit

How come you don't have any info in your profile?
If you've never baked or done pastries, please consider some other kind of work.
If you've done this at home for years and think you could make a living out of it,'cause your family and friends think that your stuff is so great, please consider some other kind of work.
I'm not trying to be nasty here.
Just honest.
To start with you need a Quarter of a Million Dollars.
Then you need to have learned from someone, who learned from someone else and that should equal at least 60 years total knowledge.
Please, consider some other kind of work.
If your not as good as some of the Pastry Chefs here at this site, please, consider some other kind of work, and save your money.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 03:10 am: Edit

I turned my computer off and was heading to bed and I had to come back to this.
It bothered me that much.
To think that someone could just start a Pastry/Bake shop, on a whim (ok, maybe not a whim ) but I started to think of Lenotre'.
He was the Masters-Master of Baking and Pastries.
If anyone was born to Bake and do Pastries it was Lenotre'.
To have eaten something that was made from his hands was like having God reach down and caress the back of your head. It was LIKE THAT.
He came to America, opened some Pastry and Bake shops, and closed them within 2 years. I think one is still going, I'm not sure where, I can't remember.
But my point is, and I say this sadly, unless you do one or three or six things only, like that Mrs. Fields stuff, here in America, your not going to make it.
Theres NOTHING I can't do in the shop.
and when I get the bug up my rear end to open a shop, I have to stop and think to myself, do you realy want to paint smurfs onto the tops of cakes?
Hell No.
Sadly only a small percentage of people in this country know what good is, when it comes to Pastry and Baking.
All the T.V. Chefs and books and shows and videos have not changed that.
So if they couldn't, over what?, 30 years?, what makes you think your gonna make a go of it?
Heres an idea, why don't you go work at a Vons for a while and then decide if you still want to open your own shop.
and if you don't shoot yourself in the head, maybe, just maybe you may have a chance and if you think I'm some old fool who don't know noth'in, just ask some of the people on this site who own their own biz, just how hard it is to have, run, and make money in your own place.
Again, N. B. N.- J. B. H.

By Chefgibz0 (Chefgibz0) on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 11:31 am: Edit

Ya know Spike I have to agree partly with you. A bakery is an intensive business to get into. I myself am not a master baker, I dable in it at home and work, worked for one for a while and saw how much work is involved if you want to do it right and not half assed. To make good bread...I mean really good bread takes days. Nursing the starter controling the climate and proofing. The expense of a good worth while oven. And if you do not do the starter method you have to go in by 3:00 am to get the batch going to be ready by 6:00 when any decent bakery opens. If you plan on doing your first proof and shape and then freeze to thaw and do final rise day of, forget it, the bread never has the volume, taste or texture of a GOOD bread. And in my opinion the bread is what seperates a good bakery from your local grocery. And if the bakery is going to survive on just walkin business, and not wholesale, it is even harder to survive. In a bakery the store front is the gravy not the potatoes. There are exceptions to this rule....but not many. I think what is tring to be said JMB is that to startinto this takes alot of research not only on the business itself but on the person wanting to do it. One must be willing to scarifice alot, life and soul to do something like this and make a success of it. Agree Spike??

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 08:58 pm: Edit

yes, I agree, and anyone worth their salt does not come here for beginer advice.
they already know that part of it.
and i don't use starter for the bread, never have.
i go in and make it fresh.
well, i teach someone to go in, cause its my turn to sleep in.
you know the above was just my 0.02.
there may be other Pastry Chef's out there that don't think or feel the way I do.
I eat something from every Pastry Chef, then I meet them. you can always tell the good ones from the school ones. LOL.

By Chefgibz0 (Chefgibz0) on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 08:44 am: Edit

The starter I was talkin about was like a San Fran. sour dough starter. You are in Cali. right spike.......what's her name of La Brea uses starters in just about all her breads.....or at least that is what is in her cook book. One baker I know used fermented mashed grapes, cumin, and a touch of flour for the starter and MAN!!! was that bread good....

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 09:24 am: Edit

yes, L.A.
the thing i didn't like about labrea bakery bread was the crust seemed to be the same on most of the bread. good flavor.
i did not know about the starter.
people sure seemed to like it.
place was going good, it still does a nice biz.
people are com'in and going everytime i drive by.
and thats a perfect example of someone working their as* off to get a place going.
i don't think its the same owners, or chef anymore.
people move on, ya know.

By Jmb3210 (Jmb3210) on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 12:09 pm: Edit

Thank you for the useful information that you offered. I am confused about one thing though, Chefspike. In one message, you say that "anyone worth their salt" wouldn't come to this message board for beginner advice. Yet in another post, you tell me to ask those on this message board who own and run their own business how hard it is, and what it is like. THAT is what I was doing. As for talent and commitment, I have it. I am not worried about that aspect. As for how unrealistic it is to expect to be able to open a successful shop, I dont agree. I have been to more than a few shops where the pastries were uninteresting at best and yet the place was packed. Thank you for taking the time to respond to my post. I realize that I am young and have quite a bit to learn, but I would rather chase my dream than spend 20 years working for someone else. And there wont be any smurf cakes coming from my shop, thanks.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Saturday, August 28, 2004 - 01:13 am: Edit

(you say that "anyone worth their salt" wouldn't come to this message board for beginner advice)


(Yet in another post, you tell me to ask those on this message board who own and run their own business how hard it is)


hey, chase it.............
we all do in one way or another, its your time and money.
we've all been to the Pastry shop that sucks.
theres more of them than good ones.
tell ya what, you open a good one up, where you use good products, butter, good choc. ect and theres no smurfs looking at me from inside the case and I'll come and spend $500.00.
you have it in writting.
oh and i better be able to drive to it.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Saturday, August 28, 2004 - 01:18 am: Edit

oh and another thing.
your products, they should be just as good or better than mine.
I would expect no less from someone with "talent and commitment".

By Doucefrance (Doucefrance) on Sunday, August 29, 2004 - 09:25 am: Edit

Now Chefgibz0 this is exactly what I hate to hear about making bread!
No you don't have to use a starter, fresh is good too, sometimes better because old starters give all breads the same flavour and you can't tell the difference between the flours you use.
No you don't need an expensive oven, a good bread baker can make good bread in any oven...and you don't have to get up at 3:00 am, there are work methods and recipes that allow you to make a great tasting bread in exactly 90 minutes from weighing ingredients to taking the bread out of the oven.
And I think you want to specialize in a few items only if you want to have a moneymaking bakery.
Be different, don't do what everybody else does.
And if you have some extra money, fly over to France and come see me in Perigueux, I'll show you how to start a small bakery with nothing except good bread and a few old fashioned pies.
Very little equipment, cheap and easy to use.
This is a new concept.
I guess all heavy equipment sellers will hate me.

By Chefgibz0 (Chefgibz0) on Sunday, August 29, 2004 - 09:43 am: Edit

Hello Douce, I appreciate your critizisms on my thoughts but I have seen bread come out of a oven not made for bread and the oven get ruined and the crust on the bread wrinkle like a 5 yr old that has been in the tub too long. As far as using a starter i think it provides a great deal of flavor to the product. I did not say that it HAD to be utilized just SUGGESTED. As far as from measure to done in 90 minutes where do you get your flavor. the methods of starters and retarding was to ensure flavor in a bread not just gluten and crust. I would love to taste your 90 minute bread but time is what gives a simple bread flavor not enhancers. Like is said I dable, not a pro., but I do now how to produce bread in a professional setting. So I am not an rookie.

By Doucefrance (Doucefrance) on Sunday, August 29, 2004 - 02:03 pm: Edit

That is the problem. Everybody thinks that only time can give a flavorful bread. All I put in my bread is water, salt, fresh yeast and flour, nothing else, no additives, and I use all-purpose flour for the best results.
And it is said that I have the best bread in town...
I can't give you more details because I'm teaching this special way of breadmaking (very useful for restaurants who usually don't have much time for that)

By Chefgibz0 (Chefgibz0) on Sunday, August 29, 2004 - 03:22 pm: Edit

So then what is your secret?? Proof boxes?? With no special equipment a normal proof at kitchen temp of 80-90 degrees would still take at least 1 hour for first proof then shape and proof again another 40 mins. So no lil insight on your new technique?? And A/P flour?? How is your crust with such lil protein?? Are you doing a cooler "proof"?? I am intrigued of how you produce a "good" bread in such a non traditional fashion and being French.....oui!!

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 02:45 am: Edit

(in my bread is water, salt, fresh yeast and flour)....chefgibzo, this is all i've every used in my bread.
i don't get what the big deal is.......
if i bench proof its a little longer, the crust is a little tougher. smaller gas holes.
if i hot proof, a more gental crust. a slightly larger gas hole.
depends on how much ice i throw in too.
and how hot the oven is to start with.
i think chefs have a tendency to over think things every once in awhile, when it comes to baking in general.
also don't forget....bread will talk to you, you just need to listen. i'm not kidding.

By Doucefrance (Doucefrance) on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 08:22 am: Edit

"bread will talk to you, you just need to listen."

Thanks Spike, you just said it all.

Here's a little hint: The crust is not too thin nor too thick, gas holes are large and the dough has that nice creamy color.
I bench proof and I don't shape, my breads are just roughly cut and baked.
And then there's the little thing that makes the difference in the techniques...Recipes can be any you choose.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 09:35 pm: Edit

And then there's the little thing that makes the difference in the techniques...........

this part is called " the touch or the feel "
its when you stick your hand in the oven and you know the temp and humit. is just right.
its when you feel the dough and it lets you shape it.
you feel the air in the shop and know thats just right.
ain't hard....ya just had to have done it enough.

By Foodtech (Foodtech) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 09:45 pm: Edit


The guests all pose a lot of intersting questions (obstacles). If you are in the right place it is doable. Depends on how you plan to market it. If you can answer the question that you will have traffic , I can help.


By Snuffaluff (Snuffaluff) on Friday, September 03, 2004 - 04:22 pm: Edit

eh? huh? mmmmm.... bread!

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Friday, September 03, 2004 - 09:08 pm: Edit

any one of us could help, thats not the point.
and we'd do it for no money, it sounds like your making an offer.
say it ain't so, joe.

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