The New Bakers Dozen
Comments on owning and running a small bakery

The The Bakers Dozen: Comments on owning and running a small bakery
By Admin (Admin) on Thursday, October 28, 1999 - 09:41 am: Edit

The Bakers Tade

The Baker's Trade
A Recipe for Creating the Successful Small Bakery
by Zachary Y. Schat

By Mikeh (Mikeh) on Tuesday, October 26, 1999 - 08:58 pm: Edit

Have any of you read The Baker's Trade: A Recipe for Creating the Successful Small Bakery? A couple of chefs who I admire, such as Peter Reinhart, have recommended it, but I'm looking for some comments from this forum too. Comments in general on what it is like to run a small bakery are also appreciated. I'm the entrepreneurial type, and I can see myself owning something like a small bakery in 5-6 years, and I'd like your opinions. For instance, is owning a bakery the 16 hour, 7-day a week marriage wrecker that I've heard several former restaurant owners say that running a restaurant is?

Cheers, Mike.

By momoreg on Wednesday, October 27, 1999 - 06:36 am: Edit

I have read the book, and they do not glamorize
the job at all. It is, according to the authors,
much more than a full time job. And theirs is an
established family business, passed down, so they
must be doing something right. I imagine that
they do so well,partly because they keep payroll
low, by doing much of the work themselves. In
the process, though, they have no life outside the
bakery. To me, it was more of a horror story than
a Stephen King novel. I have dreamt of owning a
bakery business for years. This book helped me to

By MarkG on Wednesday, October 27, 1999 - 09:10 pm: Edit

I read this book in anticipation of opening a retail bakery. It convinced me to stick with wholesale. Much of the book is concerned with their bakery/cafe which didn't apply to me. However, there is plenty of information which was useful. By the way, the author is the brother or cousin of one of the three U.S. bakers (Jan Schat) who won the Coupe du Monde World Cup of Baking!


By Paige on Thursday, November 04, 1999 - 02:05 pm: Edit

my husband and i want to open a bakery and coffee shop. we are interested in going to school, but we are overwhelmed by the choices and opinions. we have looked into J&W and CIA. recently, i have looked into The French Culinary Institute in NY, and the Art Institute in Atlanta. Where do you sudjest we go? We are trying to stay in the south-eastern area, but are willing to go to NY, if necessary.

By Carl on Thursday, November 04, 1999 - 03:17 pm: Edit

Running your own business is a labor of love and yes you can be "married" to the business. As with anything in life if you love what you are doing then you will be successful at it. I suggest that you talk with other owners in your area and get their pros and cons about owning your own business. As far as schools go being a graduate of the CIA I'm kind of partial to their Baking Majors Program. You can call the school and get all the info you need as well as take a tour of the facilites. If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to contact me. Good Luck!

By Panini (Panini) on Thursday, November 04, 1999 - 08:36 pm: Edit

I suggest you work on any level in your local bakeries just to get a feel for the invironment.
Schooling can be a costly adventure if its not for you. From my own experience, schooling and owning a bakery are two different worlds. The hands on experience can not be learned. Timing is the key to success. I left the large hotels and upscale restaurants to open my own bakery. I started with a wholesale operation 4 years ago.Paid it off, and actually went to the bank today to fund my new retail operation.Which brings me to my final point,business and administration is very important. A detailed business plan,financial planning, is just as important as product development.
e-mail anytime

By Mikeh (Mikeh) on Thursday, November 04, 1999 - 10:38 pm: Edit

My background is in business and I'm currently enrolled in a good B&P program as part of a career change. I'm doing the B&P program because I can't get a work permit to work in a bakery/restaurant here in the US, and my wife is making a ton of money here, so I'm not leaving for another year. Hence the reason that I can afford to go to a very expensive culinary school. What is your advice on the best way to gain experience in planning to open a future bakery?

Cheers, Mike.

By Panini (Panini) on Saturday, November 06, 1999 - 11:43 am: Edit

If you have the business part of it down and you school yourself you shouldn't have any problems.
It does however take full commitment,understanding,and support form your family. Let the business become part of your life but don't let it control things.My 8 year old son has a full understanding of the business, but when we vacation ,we leave it all behind. Talking
to people is the best way way to gain experience in planning your bakery.
ps. I found it best to limit your variety of stock items, focus on quality, have the best chocolate cake in town and charge for it. R&D
should be on your stock items and let your customers dictate what your a la minute products
should be.

By Doucefrance (Doucefrance) on Friday, November 12, 1999 - 07:52 am: Edit

I had an artisan bakery in France for 8 years. It takes your life but if you love it the way I do, you don't care. I made many mistakes and learned a lot from them, I think Panini gives you wise advise. I sometimes think I should write a book about my experience, it might help others not to make the same mistakes!
Good luck,

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