The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Introducing myself and my vision ^_^

ledoux_rodeogirl_454's picture

Introducing myself and my vision ^_^

I am an entreprenuer at heart, and every hobby of mine is always thought of as a possible business opportunity. I'm a full-time mother, student, and housekeeper. On the side I compete with my horse, teach my son dirt-bike racing, and try to boycott the corporate giants by making as much of my families diet from scratch!

I love baking~ my son's birthday cake was such a hit... gluten and dairy free... that mother's began asking me to bake birthday cakes for them. I also have been experiementing with different bread recipes/ techniques and have a real passion for it. My mother-in-law is on a strict, gluten-free diet, so I began trying bread without the craveable wheat-gluten.

So my latest business vision is to start a desireable bread bakery, with the possibility of goodies to be sold at local coffee stands (which there are a lot of around here, near Seattle!). The closest full-scale bakery is 15 miles away and there is a Harvest Wheat store about 10 miles away, so I feel like I would have an advantage.

Gluten-free and whole-some ingredients would be some of my selling points. It seems as though there is a lot of hog-wash around making and selling out of your home. I don't have a lot of start-up cash right now... the reason to start small. Would it be worthwhile to begin by selling to family and friends, then to outreach with a local kitchen?

The plan is to stock up on ingredients from Oregon (there is a good retailer for gluten-free flours) and keep good records (the business side of me). If my vision begins to look promising then I could sell at the many local farmer's markets around and possibly sell to some of the local-minded stores.

Any insight is always helpful. I've just began the feasability research of this plan so I'm not 100% ready to invest! ;-)


Thank you in advance for your helpful wisdom!!! Happy trails!



pmccool's picture

Baking as a business is a lot more demanding than it is as a hobby.  It sounds as though you have a packed life already.  Something would have to go if you want to make a go of being a commercial baker.  And, with tongue more than a little in cheek, remember that the those corporate giants were initially startups by individuals with entrepreniurial bents.

The "lot of hogwash" that you mention are usually referred to as laws.  You'll need to talk to your state and local health departments to find out just what will apply to your proposed business.  People here can give you ideas from their experiences in their jurisdictions but it won't substitute for you getting in touch with the right people where you live and finding out exactly what the legal do's and don'ts are.  Health laws in some locations are comparatively easy to live with; in others they are very onerous and expensive to live with.  You will also need to research the "cottage industry" regulations that are specific to your location.  And, while you are at it, better check up on the federal, state and local taxes that would apply to a business in your community.  Oh, and insurance needs/costs, too.  Spending some money up front for consultation with a lawyer and an accountant could save you from disastrous expenses later.

You will also want to do some market research in your area to determine whether there is a demand for the kind of products you wish to make.  That, too, has to be done locally.  

There have been several extensive threads on this topic previously.  Use the Search tool at the upper left corner of the page to search for some key terms.

Much of what I have said could be construed as negative.  It is not intended to be.  It is simply that much of the information you need will only be available locally.  People here can (and will) offer suggestions, tips, and advice from their experiences.  Those will be useful but they cannot replace the need for doing the sleuthing in your own back yard.  

Best of luck with your proposed venture, whether you pursue it to fruition or not.


P.S. May I ask a favor of you, please?  I find it difficult to read the text in a post when it changes from plain, to bold, to italicized, and back again in the space of a single sentence.  Your enthusiasm shines through without resorting to added emphasis.

MichaelH's picture