The New Bakers Dozen
Opening a bakery/pastry shop

The The Bakers Dozen: Opening a bakery/pastry shop
By Tim Conors on Wednesday, May 16, 2001 - 07:15 am: Edit

I am planning on opening a bakery and need a list of everything I will need equipment wise. I have a pretty big list of the things I think I need but I don't want to leave anything out especially since I am moving out of the kitchen into a whole new world of commercialism. I plan on doing the usual cakes, pies, donuts, cookies, pastries, breads, and buns. Don't worry about the list I have just fire away. The bakery will most likely be medium sized if this helps. Thanks!

By W.DeBord on Wednesday, May 16, 2001 - 08:04 am: Edit

Well, is this a dream budget or are you looking for the least expensive route? If you can break down your question or simplify things it would make helping you easier. Otherwise we will be listing every piece of equpiment ever made, which would be silly. Are you talking about the back of the house only?

Maybe it would be easier if you mentioned what exactly your making and what equpiment you have in mind. Then we can tell you if your missing something. Then as a over view we could tell you if you could slim down your list (to save money).

Another way to do this is to go to several bakery equipment supply houses on line and look thru their list of equipment. But they can't give you imput as to what really is necessary for what products.

write us back....

By Tim Conors on Wednesday, May 16, 2001 - 08:35 am: Edit

No dream budget here...just reality. Sorry I left some things out. It's tough to type with a million things on your mind like cases, ovens, mixers, etc. This will be a small to mid volume bakery with a store front. I will be making: cakes - round, sheet, and cheese; Pies - fruit, custard, and usual holiday stuff; donuts - yeast, cake, jelly and creme filled; pastries - fruit and nut; cookies - all the usual kinds; breads - white, wheat, sourdough, and rye; buns - hamburger, hot dog, and dinner rolls. There's probably a few things I'm missing but they would be related to something I've typed above. Thanks for your quick response!

By Panini (Panini) on Wednesday, May 16, 2001 - 06:08 pm: Edit

purchase credit card machine on ebay, making sure it takes the debit and has a pin pad.Buy a very used inexpensive bread slicer and buy new blades for it.Don't go SS all the way on tables, get yourself 1 old wood block and have it sanded, making sure it has a very strong base 10' ideal.Go with a regular size sheeter over a tabletop if you have the space. Have your electricians give you some drops around the kitchen for convience. Stay away from 3 phase equipment. If you already have some do not get a converter, get the service. Have dual AC: kitchen and front if your having tables.GIVE A SECOND THOUGHT TO DONUTS a fryer prevents good sanitation and usually takes 1 labor shift to run. Your other bkfast products might canabalize your donut sales.
If your having packaged bread and things than get a scale that has the capability to price, print,ingredients ands weight. This is usually required in most states.A integrated POS system is helpful. Make sure you get a circulating dry air cold case if your going to do chocolate things.
Visit some places. If your near Texas I would gladly show you my places. Let me know if your finishing out or taking over another place.
Good Luck
IMHO work daily check lists and use a pocket recorder.

By Tim Conors on Thursday, May 17, 2001 - 06:42 am: Edit

Thanks for the response. There's a few things listed I didn't think of which is why I posted this question. Always good to have other opinions. Thanks or the good info.

By W.DeBord on Thursday, May 17, 2001 - 08:24 am: Edit

I guess it depends on your area but we found making alot of product selection killed us physically and wasen't as profitable as making less selection and more volume of that.

Speaking as a housewife and knowing my friends who are similar...bakery visits are for things like cakes and items to have at parties at home or work. I wouldn't consentrate on buns much...but try them and see....

Have a chair by you photo albums for customers to relax while ordering.

I've never had much in the way of production equipment and can work well with-out most. Consentrate on the big things like Panini mentioned. Many things you don't need to buy to start, make due until you know what's selling. Buy as much used stuff as possible (when we sold our business we only got pennys for perfectly good items).

What I need to crank out volume...plenty of racks, trays, cake rings, a walk-in cooler and freezer, clear counters, several extra bowls for you mixers, good storage containers....

By W.DeBord on Thursday, May 17, 2001 - 08:32 am: Edit

The credit card machine is brilliant! Let them hand you cash, I love it!!!!!

Watch for people who want everything boxed, then boxed again, individually boxed etc... think about you costs. Some give aways can really hurt your profits.

By ghb on Thursday, May 17, 2001 - 09:35 am: Edit

I'll second what W.DeBord says about extra mixer bowls and good storage containers. Extra whisks/paddle blades for the mixers, too.

I'd say to have plenty of the little stuff around--plenty of rubber spatulas, offset spatulas in different sizes, pastry bags and tips (lots of extras--these get lost so easily!), bowl scrapers, paring knives, whisks. I count on these things a lot and it's a real drag when you have to go hunting for them or there aren't enough.

By MarkG on Thursday, May 17, 2001 - 10:09 am: Edit

Think about your over all marketing plan and store design then consider your packaging. How are you going to promote in-store as well as out-of-store advertising/promotion? There's a restaurant in Chicago that has great breakfast service. They give a box of Milk Duds to all the women who eat there when they arrive. It's a silly promotion but they're known for it.

It's cheaper to have blank boxes (no printing or logos) but if your customers are carrying their packages around town, why not slap your logo on it or make it a distinctive color so that evevtually, everyone will recognize your packaging.

As far as equipment, find a good electrician and plumber who will work with you. Check your lighting in your store. The front of the store lighting can help make your products "look better, warmer, more desirable."

By the way, I've got a list of used equipment if you'd like to see it, including 20 qt Hobart mixer.


By Tim Conors on Thursday, May 17, 2001 - 12:06 pm: Edit

Thanks everyone. These are good suggestions and some I didn't think of. I appreciate it.

By peachcreek on Thursday, May 17, 2001 - 07:55 pm: Edit

I agree with Panini about donuts. The fryer is a real hassle along with sanitation and safety problems. The other reason is price. Those 65 cent transactions will kill you. Anything transaction under a $1.00 is is tough to make money on. Upselling is definately the way to go. I'd rather sell a $1.50 danish than a 3 for a dollar donut.

By Rc_fleming (Rc_fleming) on Thursday, May 17, 2001 - 08:53 pm: Edit

Putting your logo on a large sticker that you can use to fasten your boxes might be cheaper. It's also convenient since you can slap your logo on anything coming out of your shop with out having to special order all the different sized boxes you'll need.

By Panini (Panini) on Friday, May 18, 2001 - 01:51 am: Edit

I'd like to take a look at your list if it's not to much trouble.fax 214-363-1220 thanks.
I have a 6' Federal open face merchandiser for drinks, cold items just a little to big for my shop, paid 1750.newer model, could'nt pass it up.
ALSO!!! Hit your perveyors for some of your stuff. I got soda coolers from Nantucket Bev.Coffee brewers from my coffee distributor.If your doing most of your business with one bakery supply house, than you should be able to negotiate something from them to, dunnage racks, shelves etc.ONE THING TO KEEP IN MIND!! IN THIS DAY AND AGE THERE IS NO REASON TO SIGN PERSONAL GUARENTEES TO ANYONE, EVEN THOUGH MOST ASK.A BUSINESS LINE OF CREDIT IS ABOUT THE MOST POWER YOU CAN GET. RETAIN AN ACCOUNTANT THAT HAS A BACKGROUND IN BUSINESS DEVELOPEMENT. I love to see people going into business! Do it right and good luck. Than once you open you will have nights like this one, trying to figure out if a potential account is worth it or not. See, just telling you to do things right, I've decided against it. Lots of money!but more staff, and a logistical nightmare for my managers.. an all around pain in the butt, something better will come along.

By W.DeBord on Friday, May 18, 2001 - 07:21 am: Edit

Just out of curiousity where would someone find info. on buying used equipment (other than local shops)? There must be several sites on line now that do? I thought years ago there was a trade magazine that specialized in this???

I saw a site a while ago when Gerald was selling his business that posted only bakeries for sale...thought that was interesting....

Just in case...

By peachcreek on Friday, May 18, 2001 - 04:47 pm: Edit

There is a lot of used equipment on the market once you start looking around for it. Some of my best referrals were from foodservice salespeople, and repair people. I bought an 8' deli style case with rear doors, a practically new 3 door sandwich table, 240V 2 burner flat hot top, a 6' outdoor BBQ, and a truckload of smallwares for $2100 from a bankrupt restaurant. I bought 3, 3-door upright display cases from a florist who was remodeling. I paid $1200 for all three. All three have new compressors, two of them are remotes!
Restaurant auctions are another good place to look. Most of the equipment you buy there like mixers, ranges, ovens, refers, need to be refurbished. I've still found buying at auction to be the cheaper way to go than buying through a used equipment place.
Another cost consideration is freight and moving charges.That needs to be figured into the total price. This is especially true on the large heavy appliances.

By panini on Friday, May 18, 2001 - 08:03 pm: Edit

I agree 100% about referals. The myth about getting equipment for pennies on the dollar is just that. That kind of equipment is usually fabricated for something special. I did like peachcreek, bought "auction lots". Internet sales are kind of a bust,ebay, like peachcreek says, the shipping can negate the good price. I have two repair people who moonlight for used equipment places, their my best resource.

By Ramodeo (Ramodeo) on Saturday, May 19, 2001 - 08:31 pm: Edit

I'd definitely recommend the repair guys for used equip. Our refrigeration guy has been a huge source of info and leads.

Our experience with auctions is that you've got to be good at it to get a good price. You cannot get caught up in the moment and forget what you really want to spend. Know what you're looking at and what the going price is for comparable used stuff. If you don't know, take someone with you who does.

By Panini (Panini) on Thursday, May 24, 2001 - 08:59 pm: Edit

Where are you at? How are things proceeding?

By W.DeBord on Friday, May 25, 2001 - 07:24 am: Edit

My parents have a table top 20qt. hobart (I think it's A200 series)their trying to sell. It's probably 14 years old but 12 of those has been in their basement collecting dust. Hobart dealer says a new model like that is $4,000. their asking $1,500. is that a reasonable price?

By peachcreek on Friday, May 25, 2001 - 12:28 pm: Edit

That is very reasonable price for a mixer, if it has all of the attachments. If it is in excellent condition and has any extra pieces like a grater or grinder, its worth more than that. I would think about 40% of the new price is a good valuation for a mixer in excellent condition.

By Tim Conors on Tuesday, May 29, 2001 - 07:44 am: Edit

Not too well here. The "perfect" spot I had picked to buy was just sold. I missed it by one hour! Oh, well. I'll have to look around some more. Still thanks to everyone. Very good and useful information that I'm sure to use sometime soon. Thanks.

By Panini (Panini) on Tuesday, May 29, 2001 - 04:56 pm: Edit

I'm sorry to hear this. You know the first thing you learn in business is that nothing goes right. You must consider every setback as an obsticle and go forward. I can't remember if you told us you were in business before? This is probably a good time to move forward and fine tune your business plan. Your company has some history already. It's time to do all those things that pressured you when you felt the deal was going. You can still gather capital, you can apply for credit, you can develope relationships
with people at the bank. If your thinking SBA start it now. It is always much to have your line of credit established before you find your place, heck, theres nothing to loose, you only pay interest on the monies used. The banks won't look down on you for not having a location, get your line and start to go to auctions. If you are ready on paper and ready money wise, a broker will find you places that you never knew about.
This setback might be the best thing that has happened yet, capitalize on it.
Good Luck

By Doucefrance (Doucefrance) on Wednesday, June 06, 2001 - 07:21 pm: Edit

In case anyone would be interested, I'm selling my bakery in Florida to go back to Europe.
If you need info, just e-mail me.

By W.DeBord on Thursday, June 07, 2001 - 08:06 am: Edit

Helene it's been a while since you've visited us, I've wondered how you were? Just home sick or unhappy with the U.S.?

Will you be baking in Europe?

Take care!

By Doucefrance (Doucefrance) on Thursday, June 07, 2001 - 07:03 pm: Edit

I have to admit that I don't spend much time on my computer these days, and I miss the forum.
I want to thank all of you for the answers to my questions regarding pricing, ingredients etc...
Home sick a little, I haven't seen my kids and grandson for over a year now and I miss my boyfriend even more since he visited in march, but no, I'm not unhappy with the US. I love this country and the people even though I don't always understand them, especially the women!!!
I just want to go back to France to open a business with my man, and YES I'll be baking, I can't live without it anymore. You somehow get addicted to the stuff, pretty bad huh?
But don't worry, it's a WORLD WIDE WEB, I'll still visit this place where I feel at home.
Let me sell the business first and then I'll move on to some new adventures.

By W.DeBord on Friday, June 08, 2001 - 08:04 am: Edit

My best wishes for your happiness! Good luck and come visit us....tell us what about your new adventures in Europe?

Are the women here different, really?

By Panini (Panini) on Friday, June 08, 2001 - 03:02 pm: Edit

My best to you. Keep in touch, we are there once or every other year.
Jeff and Sophie

Add a Message

This is a private posting area. A valid username and password combination is required to post messages to this discussion.

See Forum in a Frame