The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Home-Based Bakery - A Little Advice Please? :)

RachelJ's picture

Home-Based Bakery - A Little Advice Please? :)

Hello -
I'm posting here again. :) Although I still check the email notifications I get from here, I don't get to visit the site as often as I'd like. Mainly due to the fact that when I get on the computer, it's to check email and Facebook, my blog and Twitter. My mother's computer crashed and she's been having to use mine. Not to mention we are moved now, to Costa Rica, from the U.S. I am posting here a couple of questions I have about starting a home-based bakery here.

We've been told that you can't find good baked goods here, and that the ones you find taste AWFUL. We've been here about three weeks (nearly) and my father doesn't have a job yet. We are going to be baking and selling our own baked goods (i.e. breads, cakes, cookies, and the like) for an income. We are looking for a house right now, preferably we want it on some land in a more rural setting than the city, where we can garden and maybe have some chickens and a cow for milk and eggs. (Milk is kind of expensive here, as is most dairy things.) This is what we're hoping anyway. We lived on 2-1/2 acres of land in the U.S. and moving to the city has been somewhat of an adjustment for us. Not to mention we have a large family. :)

So... what I would like to know is any tips and ideas you all might have for things we could sell here. I know there are endless things to bake - breads, cookies, cakes, pies, tarts and the like. If anyone on here has started something like a home-based bakery before I would love to know what you did. We are getting a logo for our products, and the needed info for pricing and such. I would appreciate all your help, if you would be so kind as to give it. :)


flournwater's picture

Arreglados, Bread rolls for Tortas, Tortillas, Tortilla de Questo, Pan bon, Queque seco, Tamale asada, Torta chilena, Pan de maiz.

Be sure to check with local officials to determine what type of license (e.g. food handler's certification) you might need.

ehanner's picture

If you know the area and history then you know what the traditional breads and pastries are. If you don't know, I would ask around what breads and sweets the old people can tell you about. Then check back here to see if anyone knows what you are asking for. I would try simple sweets that everyone would like first. Common foods like tortilla would be highly competitive. There are a lot of New York Jewish people living in Costa Rica. You could sell breads to them if you can find some near by. Onion rolls, rye breads and such. The locals wouldn't know what they were at first. My two cents. Good luck.


jpchisari's picture

Besides legal issues, I would be concerned with how much actual production was possible out of your home kitchen, storage(dry and wet goods), oven and mixer capacaties, packaging, spoilage, transportation costs if you are delivering, and finally ingredient costs.

Take the time to analyze all of these factors and be realistic. A good rule of thumb is that ingredient cost is 20% of final price, but can be more or less depending on market and perceived value.

Good Luck!

RachelJ's picture

Well, I have two sisters, plus a brother who will be helping me to bake all the things we are planning. We are planning on only doing three, perhaps four, items at first, to see how they sell. Something simple like cookies, a sweet bread and like brownies or coffee cake. For the first few weeks of doing this, which we haven't started yet, as we are trying to find a home, I don't think this will be a factor. We all love to bake and I can whip of cookie dough, coffee cake or a sweet bread in less than fifteen minutes, pop it in the oven and have it ready soon after. (The bread would take a bit to bake, but the cookies would be a breeze.)

Thanks for all your comments. I am looking into seeing if we need anything legal for selling baked goods here. Does anyone on here live in Costa Rica?

turosdolci's picture

I wrote a blog on my experience starting "Turo's Dolci", a biscotti business that my sister and i started several years ago. It might give you some ideas of what to consider.  You can read it on,


Good Luck,