The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

What chance do 2 amateurs have of being a success in baking for profit?

JOHN DULANEY's picture

What chance do 2 amateurs have of being a success in baking for profit?

My wife, Jojo, and I have been retired for 3 years but are bored.

She has been all her life and when she made some chocolate chip oatmeal cookies for our niece our niece asked for 60 to sell at school. They sold immediately. The niece, only selling 2 hrs. on Saturdays, has been ordering 120 cookies ever since and in 2 hrs. she sells them all.

So, Jojo started baking a wide variety and the niece sells them all fast and wants to enlarge business.

We are Americans, my wife is dual national Filipino/US, retired in Mandaluyong, Manila.

How fast will we close shop and lose our money if we dare open a bakery here?

Thanks, john

sandydog's picture

I note you are in your late 60's and 3 years retired - If your wife is the same age I would expect that you both will find it somewhat arduous to run and work in a bakery trying to make commercial quantities for profit.

I had similar feelings of boredom myself and helped start a bakery - It is extremely hard work and can take over your life for very little financial reward - remember your labour comes in at zero cost. Once it is big enough to start employing other bakers (Who expect payment for their services? - perhaps you have a large family who will work for free?) then your experience really changes as you are likely to start to feel the business is in charge of you, rather than the other way around - I can assure you however that you will not be bored, merely tired, frustrated and wondering why you bothered in the first place.

I have two recommendations - 1. Keep it low key and get enjoyment (A kind of profit) out of your endeavours at the current level.     2. Get some hobbies that give you and your wife pleasure and which can stop and start any time you feel like it, without being obliged to meet customers demands.

Good luck, from a tired (But not bored) baker in his mid 60's - whatever you decide.

Brian                                                                                                                                                                               Ps. Get yourself, your wife and your niece some public liability insurance ASAP as if someone gets ill from eating your product you will undoubtedly find your retirement "nest egg" somewhat depleted

JOHN DULANEY's picture


This forum is wonderful!

I just joined/posted yesterday and already many great comments!

Thanks for your very thoughtful insights in this matter.

My wife is 51 and full of energy.

Here in the Philippines labor is very inexpensive, around $10 a day or less.

Our own kids live in Europe and NYC so too far.

Thanks again for your wisdom!

John, Sexy cookies, flowers, ponies,SEXY MEN, young girls naked

PaddyL's picture

My sister and I had a little catering business for awhile, doing parties and a sort of private meals-on-wheels, and while we enjoyed it, we seldom came out on top.  We did some baking around Christmas and special occasions, but we never made enough money to break even.

JOHN DULANEY's picture

PaddyL...thanks  for your reply!!

Its a good warning....

I will report back here what we find in the end.

We do intend it to be a full-time job, even 7 days a week.


kevstev's picture

I don't know what your local conditions are like, but in my gentrifying city, we were really starving for a bakery. I was really excited when a pastry chef from a famous restaurant in NYC decided to open up a place a few blocks from me. Her blog was filled with tons of stunning examples of her work- she clearly knows how to bake. 

What she doesn't seem to know how to do is run a business very well. Every time I stop in, the display cases are mostly empty. The baker and her husband always seem exasperated when I am there. Their offerings are extremely limited, and kind of boring- a few types of cookies and brownies, cakeballs, and some cupcakes. None of the french pastries I drooled over on her blog, not really much of anything really. 

They don't seem to be doing well, and I am not too happy with them either- I want to give them my money, but can't seem to find anything to spend it on! 

The moral of the story is, focus on what people want, do it well, and then you have a chance of succeeding and doing well. Think about what a customer who wants to walk in and spend $5 would buy, and the same for $20 or $50. 

JOHN DULANEY's picture

Hello Kevstev,

Thanks for your very kind words and advice!

Here in Manila, Philippines the 100,000,000 Filipinos are totally NUTS for breads, pastries and sweets of all kinds and the number of bakeries etc. simply can't be counted.

I will try to sell them by offering free local delivery and very low cost delivery anywhere in Metro Manila.

Thanks again, this is a wonderful forum!



dabrownman's picture

I look at things accoring to social security.  You don't do anything and the governent sends you a check.  I figure ti equal SS, and make the business worth it, you have make a profit of $50 a day or a $1 profit a loaf.  This means you have to sell 50 loaves of bread a day - every day and see them for $5 each giving you a net 20% profit.  So if you keep your costs down to $6,000 month and your profits up to  $1,500 a month, then it is worth it to me - but I canlt speak for you.  Most successful bakeries can't make it on baking bread and pastries but do real well using their baked bread to make and sell breakfast and lunch where they make a killing.

But if you can can sell 50 loaves a day and make a dollar profit on each then you have given yourself double the money in retirement but, you will be working more then a full time job night and day -  and not be retired.  Still, I think you can make it OK if you are bored and want to do something.

Good Luck


JOHN DULANEY's picture

Hello Dabrownman!

Such wisdom and so freely given from you and others in this forum!

Thank you.

Most kind. I will show my wife your comment and all of them to my wife.

best, john