The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

commercial week end

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Jo's picture
Jo

commercial week end

well hooray, I finally sold all my loaves at a little deli nearby, it was fabulous to see people walking out with a baguette tucked under their arms. I had a huge problem last week of the bread splitting down one side and finally managed to solve it so my loaves looked great. I will continue to supply them and only charge them for what they sell, hopefully people will continue to buy. My aim is to sell up to 40 loaves per day, output is small as I only have a single phase deck oven which I have tiled with very thick pizza tiles. I use a garden sprayer for steam and can bake 15 baguettes in one bake.

Comments

TinGull's picture
TinGull

Just wanted say congrats :)  It's a wonderful feeling seeing complete strangers enjoying the bread you've made.  Best to you!

Jo's picture
Jo

Hi,

Just wanted to say thanks for that will keep you updated on further dealings in the commercial world.

staff of life's picture
staff of life

I also make bread and sell it at a local store in my small (pop 3000) town.  I started at our Farmers' Market last year and before the season had ended, I had started also selling at a local mom and pop grocery.  One of my customers was/is a food journalist, and she liked my bread so much that she had an article published in our local paper about my business (Staff of Life Bakery), complete with picture!  The store ended up folding, though they told me my bread was a huge draw.  My last month there, I brought bread 3x a week, 50 loaves at a time and they would sell out by noon.  I'm laying low right now, selling a few loaves at a cafe, but our market season's going to start up soon, and this year I'll be doing two markets.  I just received my 20 qt mixer yesterday, and I was so happy!!  It's so exciting to pursue a dream, especially when it's so well-received.  I must say however, that I have little in the way of competition.  In my town, there's no bakery, and in the "big" town half an hour away, there's a bakery but they just do homestyle loaves, and when you walk in, it doesn't smell like anything's been baking at all, so I wonder...

How are you able to bake bread at home (which is where I presume you're making it)?  Is this in addition to a full-time job?

Jo's picture
Jo

baker Jo

I don't bake at home I have converted a friends garage, will post some pictures as soon as I work out how to do it. My capacity is about 50- 60 loaves. I am trying deperately to get into a few of the delis around so that I have a steady outlet. As far as competition is concerned, we have a few bakeries around but none of then bake artisan breads. This is fab in terms of competition but there is no awareness and alot of people don't even recognise my loaves as even being bread. i must say that in fairness most people are willing to try and pleased to say I have about a 95% conversion rate. I bake French baguettes and sour dough rye as my main product.

 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I've been following your conversation about selling your bread. What kind of things did you have to do for the health department? Also what kind of oven is that single deck. I would like to try and find a picture of it on the net just to get an idea of what it looks like.

Thanks,

Eric

Jo's picture
Jo

I will attempt to put some pictures onto the site in a few minutes. As far as the health department goes, I just set up my bakery and run it as a home industry. as you can see from the photos it is very neat and clean and so far I have not run into any trouble.

Regards

Jo

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Where are you located?

Jo's picture
Jo

Hi,

I am located in Capetown South Africa. I know we do things a little differently over here!!

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Jo,

I'm glad to hear you are not in the US. We tend to be obsessive about some things and I think this is one area where a little slack could be given. Good luck with your enterprise. There is nothing more satisfying than running your own business and seeing your ideas accepted by the public.

 

Recently I discovered Peri-Peri chili's which are from your area. Actually my understanding is that Portuguese explorers many years ago discovered the small hot chilis and took them with the ship to England. Today there is a chicken restaurant chain in the UK called Nando's that has many outlets and is quite popular. They call it fast food but not like here, it's a big open fire grilled barbecue place that serves great spicy hot chicken with Peri Peri sauce. I found someone in the US that imports it and I buy it from him. It's really good if you are up to it. I have been in the barbecue business here in Wisconsin so I am always looking for something special from another part of the world. A little off the track, sorry but I suspect you will relate.

By the way there is a fellow in Colorado here that is doing about what you are maybe a little more down the road as far as a commercial operation. Take a look at the link below. Mike Avery is his name. He produces a lot of bread every day with out a mixer and it goes better than you might imagine. He has taught me a lot about sourdough and the process of working dough with your hands. I hardly ever use a mixer now. Mike knocks out something like 200 loaves each day by hand almost alone. Tell him I said HI.

http://www.sourdoughhome.com/

 Good luck and please let us know how you are doing.

 Eric

staff of life's picture
staff of life

I can't speak for Jo, but here in VA we have to have a license/permit/inspection, but it's not as stringent as the Health Dept. We have to get renewed every year. There are also zoning restrictions.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I know there are people here from all over the world so it's possible that she might be  OK where she lives. That said, a friend once told me that food is like sex, once you sell it, all the rules change.

Just to satisfy my curiosity I called my local health inspector and asked what the minimum requirements are in Wisconsin if I wanted to sell to the public. A three tub sink plus a single one for hand washing. The floor has to be sealed with epoxy and the ceiling has to be the smooth polished type. The oven has to have a vent and insurance to protect the public. If I want to sell to a deli or store, that's a totally different deal. For that you get licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. If I recall the last time I knew about those boys it was a little easier but you need a wholesalers license issued by the U.S. Govt.

So I hope anyone who wants to go commercial takes the steps to get legal. The fines are pretty stiff here in Wisconsin as I'm sure they would be elsewhere.

staff of life's picture
staff of life

Here in VA we too have to adhere to the Dept of Ag's guidelines, and only if we cater do we have to go to the Health Dept to get inspected. I have a tax ID number; I file my taxes on the 20th of every month. Some months out of the year, I have no taxes to pay, as I have sold everything wholesale but I asked at the tax agency and they're fine with that. I also have insurance to protect me against whatever. I'm also fine with zoning--in my town, everywhere is zoned also for home businesses. I checked everything out, believe me! I have no intention of getting in trouble.