The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hey guys. New baker here.

flavordeliverer's picture

Hey guys. New baker here.

I'm very new to professionally baking but I got my first position 2 months ago in Chicago. I'm extemely passionate, hardworking, and I never stop learning. I'm very open to new things and since I'm a clean slate, I've been trying to learn the way things are really supposed to be done. 

I'm very focused AND I moved here for this position so bread is, hands-down, my life right now. However, the bakery I work at does not want to give us OT or give anymore salary positions so I'm forced with short 8 hour days. What am I supposed to do with the rest of my day??

I'd like to start a small side project baking bread for the market, etc. Id like to rent a commissary kitchen/bakery for a bread oven. I'm ServSafe certified. I have a general business plan. And I'll dig deeper into liability insurance if this seems to be a possibility. 

I'm just curious if anybody has done this on these boards before. I don't know where to look. I want to invest into where my future is ultimately going to lead me. 

Also, I'm know I'm new so feel free to ask me any questions if I have left out any info. Or if ya want to know. 



Moya Gray's picture
Moya Gray

Hi Wes -

I bake at a farmer's market.  Here are some issues I think you might want to consider.

First, is baking elsewhere a conflict for your boss?  if so, think about asking the boss for another job, or explain you need to make money and might have to take a second job or sell at the market.  Perhaps you could sell your boss' products?

Second, if you decide to do this, then liability insurance is a must.

Third, decide on your product line before you look at kitchens.  I haven't found a general commercial kitchen with the type of bread oven I need.  I did find a small sandwich restaurant that had a Miwe that I used for a short while.

Fourth, markets are a business, just like your boss's business.  Are you prepared to think of this endeavor as a business or just a hobby.  Be very clear before you go into this because your intention will dictate your business plan and path. 

Fifth, time is a huge issue.  When you sell at a market you aren't simply baking.  Obviously, you need to package and label all products, you need to continually keep your baking inventories adequately supplied, you need to get to the market, set up, display, sell and break down.

Sixth, consider whether you know your customer's preferences for bread and whether the market you choose to sell at services those customers.  If they don't, you may be wasting your time to sell at that market.

Best of luck!

flavordeliverer's picture

Thanks for the input!

It shouldn't be an issue with my head baker. We already have enough slots for our market bread. My boss and I aren't exactly on the same wavelength of what good bread is anyway. The amount of work/responsibility I get at work is most he wants to give me now unfortunately.

I'm probably going to have to look at renting time at a local bakery instead. If at all possible. If it is not available anywhere, I'll give up on this idea until it is possible. I know an oven is necessary since bread au levain is going to be the majority of my product. 

This would definitely be a business. I need money now. And I need the experience in independent baking before I start anything more substantial. I have a fire. I just need to work on containing and directing it now. 

My SO is available to do a lot of the organizing and marketing aspects right now. And is very excited to do so. I have a lot of respect and trust in her to do so.

And Ive got a great idea of what people like in my area. I know this is an evolving thing though as I'll learn. 

Thanks again for everything!