The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How Bagels Made Me Money

verminiusrex's picture

How Bagels Made Me Money

Someone asked for a year end writeup on how I did at the Farmer's Market selling bagels and breads this year. So here's the breakdown.

Market season started April 12 and ended November 8.  I worked 26 weekends (Saturday morning, 7-11am), missing I think 4 or 5 weekends due to being out of town, ill, or just not feeling like getting up that early after a late July 4th celebration.

This is a breakdown of the bagels and breads baked for the market.  I stopped making breads after July 19th because I made more money on just the bagels, and maybe selling 4 loaves wasn't worth the extra effort when my bagels were close to selling out most of the time.

2893 bagels made
2631 bagels sold
71 loaves made
59 loaves sold
35 large bagels made
30 large bagels sold
32 giant bagels made
31 giant bagels sold

602.5 lbs of flour used this season

Money made $3116

Money spent for Market $1110.19

Sales Taxes $226.72

Profit $1779.09

Some of the expenses are one-time setups like folding tables and such.  The good news is that the price of flour finally dropped (waited until market was over, so unfair), it went from about $15 for a 50 lb bag to $25, and finally went down to $17 a bag.

Overall not a bad hobby business, although a lot of work in the kitchen (about 12-16 hours a day on Friday, to sell Saturday morning).

ehanner's picture

For a first year in the market that sounds like a decent number. You know a lot about baking commercially that you didn't last year. Next year maybe you can find a more efficient way to bake or focus on high profit items and improve your profitability. For example maybe you could find a good source for cream cheese and make a home made gourmet chive or strawberry blend to sell with the bagels. Many retailers make more on the extra items than the primary item.

Good job on the market. Thanks for sharing your success with us!


HogieWan's picture

making your own cream cheese isn't very hard either:

Elagins's picture

Eric's right. Consider this past year your advanced degree. By my math, you ended up making about $3.80 an hour, assuming 18 hours of total labor per week, and before you deduct the cost of energy and other overhead costs from your $1,779, and before taxes. As long as it's only a hobby, even $1 positive makes it worthwhile, but as a business, I'd follow Eric's advice and look for economies of scale and higher margin items -- maybe selling bagels with creamcheese and coffee, as well as by dozens?

How much were you charging?