baking/buying in mix for a new cafe
Hello, I am trying to create a menu for a cafe I hope to open in the new year. Id like to bake the cakes/muffins/lunchtime filled foccaccia myself. Ill be using a local bakery for pastries, but how much should i try to do/bake myself
and how much should i buy in, what is the balance to strike in terms of costs/uniqueness?
for example should i bake my own baguettes or get them from the bakery with the pastries? what other things might I buy in and how profitable is it, or not, to be selling the produce of others, be they a bakery or artisanl biscuit/tart/chocolate/etc maker? what is the idea behind the mix?
One menu i have come across interests me a lot. Here's what part of it looks like on average for them, with what they buy in specified by the bakery name and the rest produced their own kitchen:
Ciabatta Roll with pancetta, rocket and salsa
Croissant with Italian roast ham, goats cheese, spinach and plum tomatoes
Croissant with gruyere cheese and plum tomatoes
The **** bakery bloomer toast (choice of preserves)
Cinnamon and raisin toast
Pastries by the **** bakery
French butter croissants
Pain au chocolat
Blueberry muffins 1.80
Courgette and cheese savoury muffins 1.80
Raspberry financiers 1.90
chocolate brownies 2.20
Plum tomatoes with puttanesca, bufala mozzarella and spinach
Red onion jam with fondue and rocket
Polenta with grilled vegetables, avocado and goats cheese
Looking at this menu, which is not their full offering by the way, my questions are:
how do people feel about pre-made cellophaned baguettes? I have mixed feelings about them when i enter a cafe. For me decor is high on my list when rating a cafe,
and i personnally mildly dislike the way the ingredients are in front of me in metal buckets (even if of high quality) and the general feel of having
the kitchen in a hang-out space, like it detracts from its "coolness" a little. I dont know if anyone else feels this way, probably (without being
insulting to them in any way) the masses are oblivious. Indeed the
benefit of having a cafe space food-station free becomes a big leakage if the pre-made rolls do not smack visually of freshness. On many occasions the above cafe
does very high quality and interesting fillings which combined with freshness swings it for me as a patron. However, the public may have a single criterion - fresheness,
and having it prepared in front of you will appeal to a very many, unsightly metal buckets bedamned ?? what do people think?? does anyone buy/make pre-made?
Whats super confusing for me from the above menu is that the cafe seems to bake similar items to the things they are getting in from the local bakery, I mean, they get in their croissants and yet make their own filled croissants? i mean unless its a snafu in writing the menu how does that work? They make their own cinnamon and raisin toast but buy in bloomer toast? Can anyone
shed any light on this, Im stumped. Of course I can email the owner but he will smell competition (even though im in a different country) and may be wary of giving away info on how they do things.
So if you just like hanging out and eating in cafes or have run a cafe, if you have any ideas on the product mix or the eternal and highly partisan "do I pre-make, or make-to-order" then I would love
to hear from you one and all. Thanks and here's to better cafe grub!