The Fresh Loaf

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Commercial bakery resources

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steverino's picture
steverino

Commercial bakery resources

Hello fellow bakers,

I'm in the early stages of researching what it will take to open a small (100 loaves/day) craft bread bakery.  I would be grateful to anyone who has had direct experience with such an endeavor, or anyone who can point me to resources for such things as commercial ovens, mixers, and other equipment/supplies.  I'm considering gas or electric with steam injection but am unfamiliar with size and brand recommendations.  

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.

Steve

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codruta's picture
codruta

Hi Steve. Before anything, tell us where are you located, US? Europe? You can choose one brand or another depending from where you'll buy the equipment.

 

First of all, no matter where you are, your premises must have three stage electricity. Spiral mixer, sheeter, ovens, etc they all need 3 phase.

If you will bake mosttly breads, the best choice for the oven is a deck oven. You can choose between electrical or gas, knowing that: electrical deck ovens have the great advantages that every deck can be controlled separatelly. (on, off, temperature: you have full control). But it consumes a lot of energy, so you might consider the costs on the long term. A lot of them are modular, so another advantage is that you can add more decks if you need to expand the business.

Gas deck ovens are good if you don't have enough electrical power. Possible, depending where you're located, the price of gas is lower than the price of electricity, so on the long term, choosong a gas oven might be a good thing. if you choose a gas oven, take into consideration that you need to get out of the premises the burned gases (that is very important, don't underestimate this). Once you heat the oven, all decks will work on the same temperature. So you won't be able to bake pastry on one deck and breads on another. 

I bought a WP Matador gas oven, even at first I thought I'll get an electrical oven. But I only got aproval for 16kw 3 phase electrical power, and for the oven alone I would have need more than that. So I had to reconsider my options, and I decided to get a gas deck oven. second hand, completely reconditioned. I haven't used it yet, so I can't give you feedback, but you can see photos here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.503646683042664.1073741840.150054771735192&type=3 

It is bigger than the one you'll need, but it would give you an idea.

Another aspect you might consider is how much space you have and how is it configured. Electrical deck ovens are usually wider than deeper (ex: wide: 120cm, deep 80cm). Gas deck ovens are a lot deeper. ex: wide 60...120cm, deep 160cm.

Try to make a list, a sheet: brands, prices, dimensions, pros, minusses and little by little, your list will show you the best option for you.

 

You can also have in mind to buy an used reconditioned oven. a good brand, with tradition and positive feedbacks, rather than a no name new oven.

 

If the premises allows you, why don't you build a wood fire oven?

 

Spiral mixers are another thing you must thing wisely before buying one or another brand. Some of them have detachable bowls, others don't.  There are a lot of good brands, kemper, diosna, haussler, hobart, are just few of them. But the prices are high (thousand of euros, even the small ones). Again, try to find a reconditioned one. If you will only sell 100 loaves a day... you almost don't need a mixer. And 100 loaves ... they won't make enough money to pay off the initial investement.

 

Of course these are just my thoughts and others will come with different opinions. Try to get the most informations you can before deciding what's best for you.

Good luck!

codruta

steverino's picture
steverino

Hi Codruta.  Thanks for the helpful advice...and all the way from Romania!!  Sorry for the late response but I've been traveling and just returned.  I live in the US but I'm thinking your advice is still very relevant.  

I've been a home baker of rustic breads for many years.  Even have an outdoor wood-fired oven that I enjoy.  Your explanation of gas vs electric is very interesting.  I like having the flexibility of baking more than one type of product simultaneously so electric might be a better option.  I don't know the loaf capacity of a typical deck so I'll have to research this as well.  Your comment about 100 loaves not being sufficient to pay the bills is another one I'll have to consider.  I'm already thinking I'll have to develop a local commercial (wholesale) business to make it work.  My primary interest is to be the "village bread baker" in a small town near where I live.  There is a sizable population nearby the village that I should be able to tap into.  Basically I'll plan to generate enough business to justify a mixer (ha, ha) so my arms and back don't fail me.  Finally, I would be interested to hear about your experience and what type of bakery operation you have.

If you or anyone else would care to offer advice, please know that I will be most grateful.  Thanks again!

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Steve,

Typically deck oven capacity is measured by the number of baking sheets [standard size] they will hold.   For electric you can find ovens which hold 1, 2 or 3 trays side by side.   There are also ovens which are twice the depth, so can hold 6 baking sheets.

Best wishes

Andy

coltuc's picture
coltuc

Great inofs Codruta,

Can you tell me from where you bought your refurbished oven?

Did you took into consideration italian or french ovens?