The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Progress. The Bakery Project

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Progress. The Bakery Project

Hi fellow TFL mates, and a belated Happy holidays to you all.

There is progess.. slow, but sure. The Bakery name has been decided. A Location has been found.  Although FAR from the city center, and cast away inside a Mall at a residential community (the only decent space we could afford for now....),  the location shows promise. The surrounding residential community is growing, and families / households who love and know good bread actually do exist in the not-so-far vicinity!  

Equipments have been shortlisted, we’ve salivated over their pictures, but we are yet to sign the deal in anticipation of a miracle/ investor to shoulder some of the burden associated with Capital startup costs. Negotiations with a fit-outs contractor also is underway, but, ...

 We face numerous obstacles as i write this. After many attempts to raise the Power connection to a decent level fit for a Bakery, we've reluctantly settled on a 45 KW power load (An ordinary 3 deck electric oven feeds on a 30 Kilowatts all on its own!)  Gas is out of question (technically) for now, and an auxiliary power unit (generator/inverter) fitted outside/on the roof is not permitted.... which leaves us with 15 KW to run the whole show!  

 Furthermore, negotiations with many Investors are still in the works, as we try to convince their royalties that the concept is worthy of their hard earned money, all while baking sourdough for them to try and sell them on the idea. 

The part of me baking still lives on, as i continue to bake for Markets both at ARTE, and The Mall where the Bakery space is located. Recently, I’ve been asked by the Market host to do a workshop on Bread making, and so I did. It proved to be a hassle the first time, but I’m beginning to adapt to , even like the new undertaking. It is in the afternoon, but i appreciate the smile on their faces when they mix a wet shaggy dough and transform it into a soft elastic dough. Priceless

That is all in a nutshell ;)

Wishing you all the best. Bake on people. Believe. I’ll leave you with some of my recent bakes.

50% Atta Whole Wheat Sourdough

50% whole wheat crumb

50% Whole Wheat Walnut-Raisin Sourdough

Khalid

 

 

 

Comments

bikeprof's picture
bikeprof

I'm working on my business plan and have many more questions than answers about so many things.  In the meantime, I'm going back to SFBI and will be looking for a job (more like an apprenticeship) at a good artisan bakery for the summer, before pulling the plug on my privileged but unsatifying career and converting my garage into a one-man cummunity supported bakery (whoa, it is really weird to actually say that so definitively!).  The latter makes the overhead much more reasonable...I'd be a bit more nervouse taking out loans and plunking down for equipment and rented space...BUT THAT IS THE REAL DEAL!!!

CONGRATS, BEST OF LUCK AND BEAUTIFUL LOAVES!!!

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thanks, man. good luck to you on this bold endeavor of yours. Stick with it, no matter what. It'll materialize sooner or later.

So, what class are you planning to take at SFBI? the idea of turning your garage into a bakery is interesting. Don't know how you'll get around getting permits for that. got cottage license?

isand66's picture
isand66

glad to hear about your progress.  I'm sure it will all work out in the end and you'll be baking bread in your new shop before you know it.  Your bread looks great as usual.

Best of luck.

Ian

Mebake's picture
Mebake

thanks for the heads up, Ian. Great to hear from you again. your breads have come a looong way since you joined TFL. 

How are you cats? :)

isand66's picture
isand66

Cats and dogs are doing well.  Can't wait for winter to end!

Regards,

Ian

Arjon's picture
Arjon

Seeing that you're still looking for investors, I can't help urging you to be very cautious in terms of trying to start your business on a shoestring. I can't specifically speak to bakeries, but for small startups in general, being under-funded / under-capitalized is one of the two or three most common factors contributing to quick failure.

A scenario I've seen too often is that a business that could succeed fails because the owner was optimistic about how long it will take to reach break-even and profitability, and funded the business accordingly. Then, when it takes longer (which happens A LOT because most people are optimistic with their projections), the business runs out of money before it reaches the point where it's viable long-term. 

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Valuable advice, Arjon, thanks. We're being conservative with our forcasts and plans. we are well aware of this pitfall.

 

Arjon's picture
Arjon

Part of the pitfall is that many people make projections that they deem conservative but that turn out to be optimistic. In my sample of over 100 startups I advised in various industries, after a year, less than half had reached the conservative sales estimate in their business plans - and in most cases, this was after, at my urging / insistence, they had revised said estimate downward from what they originally projected. 

I don't mean to be negative; I'm actually very pro micro-business. However, it's A LOT harder to succeed than most people realize. I hope you're among the exceptions. 

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Hi, Arjon

Thanks. I've burnt the bridge to the way back. It is either full a head or nothing. I'm not counting on exceptions.

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

The purple color really comes though on the walnut and raisin bread too. The update on your bakery business sounds pretty typical for a start up. Keep after it . Your bread is plenty good enough to sell. I'm sure things will work out eventually.

Happy baking Khalid

Mebake's picture
Mebake

This walnut raisin sourdough sold like there was no tomorrow; People loved it! 

Thanks for you words of encouragement, DA. Your breads are amazing!! 

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I'm following your adventure with admiration. Your breads are looking better and better.

I am sure you love your international rooting section!

Best regards,

David

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thanks, David. i really need every bit of support and enthusiasm to get me going. that is why i always come back here. 

glad you are still around here too, baking gorgeous breads, and mentoring amateur bakers.

Best wishes,

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Hi Khalid,

I totally missed your latest 'chapter' and am glad to have stumbled upon it this evening.  Sounds like things are taking shape and that you are still baking for the weekend sales despite all you have to deal with in getting your bakery up and running.  Sounds both exciting and challenging and I can see how much you are learning about negotiating when it comes to starting up a business.  Most people don't have a clue as to what is involved on that front.  I admire your tenacity and wish you the best of the best.

Can't end without commenting on the loaves you included.  What beauties.  Your baking has come a long, long way.  All look terrific and tasty.  Seems like the combo of walnuts and raisins is one that is popular all over our world.  I thank David S. for introducing me to that one and I am glad to read that it has its niche in your corner of the world too :)

Thanks for the update.  I look forward to more updates in the future and will take better care not to let them pass me by.

Janet

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Hi, Janet

Thanks for the well wishes, and encouragement. Yeah, Walnut (lightly toasted) and raisins make a bread that is hard to beat. 

(Apologies for the belated reply)

Best wishes 

varda's picture
varda

Hi Khalid,

I missed this when posted.   As always your bread looks amazing.  And glad to hear that your business plans are moving forward!

Varda

Mebake's picture
Mebake

thanks a lot Varda. Sadly, there has been a recent setback to the plan. Things haven't worked out well, and i'm looking at other options (mainly due to lack of sufficient funds).

how about you? Would love to hear from you on your bread- venture plans. How are things going? I hope you are moving forward with your ambitions, and that you may realize your dreams.

thanks,

best wishes

khalid