The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Small artisan bakery

hazimtug's picture

Small artisan bakery

Hi Freshloafers!

I'm seriously entertaining the idea of opening up my own bakery in Cyprus (think Mediterranean, but I am currently in Michigan) in the near future. I'll focus on limited production (250 loaves/day) of wild yeast breads and depending on how scheduling/demand works out, I am thinking of rotating in a pizza day/night. I have a lot of home baking experience, tried working at a seriously high-volume artisan bakery for a little while as well, and made pizzas at a very nice SF Bay Area restaurant, but other than that I don't really have any commercial experience. Once I move to Cyprus (hopefully soon), I will slowly start laying out a serious business plan, start slowly (maybe in a garage), and then move into my own space. We will see... I also yet to play around with flours from that region to produce the high quality products I am visioning...

In any case, I have a more or less good idea of the equipment needed to start this endevour, but the areas that I really need research on I guess are the temperature-controlled proofing cabinets/closets, mixers and bread ovens. No clue on proofing cabinets/closets... for the mixers, I really want to use a diving-arm mixer to imitate the gentle hand mixing... Regarding the ovens, I first wanted to go with an Alan Scott brick oven but then eliminated that idea thinking that I am not going to have a consistent/reliable source of wood in Cyprus. So, I am thinking electric/gas ovens... I have no experience using a commercial oven other than the Baker's Pride deck oven I used for making pizzas.

I'd appreciate any general feedback, but also specifically on the equipment I mentioned above. If you have knowledge of equipment available in Europe, that would even be better. Also, any suggestions on how I can get more experience on using commercial ovens/mixers? Classes or do I need to go to a local bakery? Or can I just figure out how to properly use an oven for example by talking to the experienced FreshLoaf folks or other bakers?

And finally, are there specific oven-types that I can both use to bake hearth breads and make pizzas?

Thanks much!


davidg618's picture

For example, Back Home Bakery, in Kalispell, Montana runs a summer intern program. Here's link to their posting featuring their most recent intern. You can contact them about applying.

Or, search for one in your area, and offer yourself in exchange for mentoring.

David G

gerhard's picture

I don't know about Greece but in Germany and France bakers protect their turf pretty vigorously and therefore opening a bakery is not that easy.  Firstly you need to be or at least employ a Master Baker and then there are regulations controlling the hours that you are allowed to produce and various regulations that would seem totally to someone from North America.  Now Greece may be much more lax but I would suggest researching what it takes to open a bakery.  In Greece there use to be a lot of small time bribery and extortion by public officials, no idea if this is still the case.


Mebake's picture

Cyprus is a sovereign country, and not part of greece, btw. cultural influences are there, however. The author of this post may be referring to either  Greek or turkish cultured part of Cyprus.

Laurentius's picture

Wouldn't your primary focus in that area be Flat Bread?

wazirgallam's picture

In response to Laurentius, I live in Islamabad, Pakistan and own an artisan bakery see where we bake some 1000+ breads a day including wholewheat, multigrain, baguettes, ciabatta, focaccia and also do pizzas and various pastries and cakes etc. Please don't stereotype and think that Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Asian countries ONLY eat flatbreads. Hazimtug, take heart and work towards your goal, there are numerous comercial ovens available in Europe. We use Bongard rack and deck ovens (France) , VMI mixers etc. Inmail me or email me if you need any help at wazir at mjsdotcomdotpk



hazimtug's picture

Thanks Wazir for the encouraging words... I will definitely give it a try. To respond to others, Cyprus is its own country, the north side is Turkish and the south side is Greek. And, somehow it's get associated with Greece, not sure if it's because of the nationality, or geography, but it's also much closer to Turkey than Greece. I am from North Cyprus... Flat bread is a very generic term. We do eat flat bread, mostly in the form of pita (containing Cyprus cheese, or all sorts of kebabs), but otherwise, we eat all sorts of other breads. What I want to do in my future bakery is high hydration, only sourdough breads with some variations. I want quality rather than quantity and a balanced life... I am looking to see where I can "intern" in this area, preferably a small-scale bakery.