The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


firephool's picture


I'm New. My Friend and I are working on a business plan to open a bakery.  Any suggestions  would be appreciated. We are familiar with cooking / baking but not so much with business.

gmagmabaking2's picture

Where is your bakery going to be?


firephool's picture

Western Massachusetts, there is no bakery save for the instore grocerystore bakeries, and Dunkin' Donuts since the 90's

MIchael_O's picture


I have some information but no experience with bakeries. This is what I understand to be true

Bread in Western Massachusetts

1. Bakeries selling bread do not make money. There is too much waste when people dont buy.

2.The only way to circumvent 1 is to supply wholesale, then your buyer is the one wasting as opposed to you.

3.You need a dedicated base, usually a college town, or a place where breads are religiously, culturally siginificant.

I used to live in Western Massachusetts. There were two bakeries in Amherst, Black Sheep and Henion. Henion supplied bread to the cafeteria at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. I think it was the main cafeteria not the student run People's Cafeteria. Take note, UMass has a local-oriented food sourcing policy which favors local food suppliers.

Bottom line, Henion treats their retail business like a front for their wholesale contracts. Have more than one revenue stream, i.e. don't rely solely on people walking in the door.

Chabaso Bakery, out of New Haven, Connecticut, ships frozen bread to Shop n' Stop's as far north as Amherst, Massachusetts. 


Pastries in Western Massachusetts

I have no idea about pastries. You may want to be specific as to what you mean by "bakery". Are you looking to set up a wholesale, retail, sweets, artisan breads, deli, etc?


firephool's picture

Its in the Berkshires. Breads Pastries, Doughnuts, rolls, cakes, etc. its for individual sale, but we may grow to supply other local restaurants.

gerhard's picture

I think it hard to compete making the soft toast bread but making real bread that is not readily available can be a lucrative business.  If you make quality and charge for that quality there is no reason for not making money.  Of course you need to locate in an area that has the income level were people don't shop just for price but also consider quality to determine if something is good value.


Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

The Rose32 Bakery is located in Gilbertville, a section of Hardwick, MA. It's run by veterans of the San Francisco Bay Area bakery scene who do know breads and pastries. I don't know how much business they do with commercial accounts but they have a thriving retail business in a small town that seems to defy the norm. It might be worth your while to investigate.

dabrownman's picture

has the best business model for a bakery I have seen.  They bake breads, pastries, cookies but they don't count on selling it  as a normal bakery, even though they do sell loaves.  Big college town too.  They make their money by being a restaurant that specializes in gourmet sandwiches, several dozen,  that feature their breads.  They have a few sides like Italian pasta salad .  They have no waste either.  They are busier than any bakery I know and making a killing by value adding to their bread and butter - no pun intended.  If I was going tinto the bakery business I would do it their way - no question about it.  Their bread and sandwiches are top notch and their customers are loyal and legend.