Launching a Bakery - A Candid Conversation

Photo by Saad Ahmad on Unsplash

Recently, I had the opportunity to eavesdrop on an intriguing conversation between a colleague and his business consultant friend. My colleague, full of enthusiasm, was looking for suggestions on how to start a bakery in his hometown. As their chat progressed, I was impressed by his friend’s insights and practical advice for him.

These weren’t just baking-specific advice; they were core ideas that every budding business owner could use, no matter what sector they are in. Take a seat, put on your thinking cap, and get ready to take notes—the dialogue went something like this:

(Here A is my colleague and friend Anand and B is his business consultant friend)

B: Hey, you come to me whenever you have a thought that makes you confused. I’m sure you came to me to hear what you need to hear, not what you want to hear, right?

A: I guess that’s true.

B: So, what’s up this time? Is it the bakery business?

A: Yes

B: Cool! Here is the thing. Before you get started faster than you can make a cupcake, there are a few things to think about. 

A: You know, I want to be ready to handle both the ups and downs.  

B: Exactly. See, everybody starts somewhere. You may or may not be an exceptional baker at home, but running a business requires a different oven, right?

A: Totally!

B: The key factor here is knowledge. It’s okay to get your hands dirty. Look for a part-time job in a local bakery.

A: So you get to observe the day-to-day struggle.

B: Correct! You will learn everything, like how to make delicious bread, manage stock, satisfy customers, and yes, even clean the bowls.

A: You have to learn about the industry from all angles, not just the exciting aspects, right?

B: You’ve got it. Also, be a sponge. Soak up knowledge from everyone – bakers, servers, and, if possible, the owner. Ask questions! These people are a wealth of knowledge, and who knows, they could be future partners.

A: It seems like networking could be helpful.

B: Absolutely! After some experience, consider whether this is the right life for you. Can you imagine yourself enjoying this despite the long hours, managing people, and following emerging trends? If the response is a “yes,” then explore the local baking scene. What are the major names doing? What can you provide that is unique? Find your niche!

A: Getting a piece of the pie requires you to stand out, right? 

B: Exactly. Don’t try to set up a large bakery on day one. Perhaps begin with a small rental space or a home-based one. This allows you to test the waters and keeps the first investment reasonable. Don’t be hesitant to ask for help. You may be an expert baker, but accounting may not be your forte. Consider a co-founder with business knowledge. You concentrate on the flavour, while they take care of the numbers.

A: Sure, this makes sense.

B: Remember that growing a business is a marathon, not a sprint. There will be obstacles, but with knowledge, expertise, and the proper team on your side, your bakery dream can come true. Have faith in your abilities, and don’t hesitate to get your hands dirty. You have got this Anand 🙂