The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Anyone (successfully) selling bread on the side?

leftcoastloaf's picture

Anyone (successfully) selling bread on the side?

Does anyone here successfully sell bread as a side-hustle? I love baking, and I love to eat what I'm making, but I bake much more than I could possibly eat, or should eat... Anyway, I've gotten a few compliments from friends and family that I could sell bread at the farmer's market or similar, but I have a full-time job that is currently paying the mortgage.

My question to the community here is, do you sell your bread/baked goods in addition to working a primary job, and what model do you use (subscription service, markets, etc)?

I actually only bake about 2-4 loaves a week currently, so I'm not sure how my time could scale being a one-man operation.

Danni3ll3's picture

even though I don’t meet all of your requirements. I am retired but my schedule could work for someone working full time. And I don’t keep the money I get for my bread; it all goes to a soup kitchen. 

So basically, I have a Facebook group where early in the week, I post what I am going to make that week. I choose the recipe and I make 12 loaves of that kind. 3 of the loaves go to the soup kitchen, one for my family and the other 8 are available to friends for a $5 donation. (That really is not enough for the ingredients I use at times but I am not looking to make a profit here, it’s basically my little fundraiser for that soup kitchen). I let them know when pick up is and the location is my house. I also post an ingredient list. If someone wants a loaf, they post and I add them to my list for that week. My posts look like this:

August 19th - Loaf of the week: Olive Sourdough with Rosemary and Sun Dried Tomatoes. I will have 8 loaves available. Please post in comments if you wish to reserve a loaf or two. Pick up is between 4 & 5 pm on Sunday, August 19th. 









Ingredients: Filtered water, Unbleached no additives flour, mixed olives (Kalamata and black olives), sun dried tomatoes, durum semolina, soft spring wheat, barley flakes, Spelt, einkorn, Kamut, rye, oats, red fife, Farro, Pink Himalayan salt, Sourdough, yeast water, fresh rosemary. The 9 grains and the durum semolina were all freshly milled in house.

My schedule is that I revive my starter from the fridge usually Thursday morning, mill all flours Thursday or Friday night depending on what I am making, make the first stage of the Levain Friday night, make the last stage of the levain and the dough Saturday, retard my loaves overnight and bake Sunday morning. Pickup is between 4-5 pm so I don’t have to spend my whole Sunday waiting on people. 

This works generally well but I do have people who forget or who can’t pickup then so I freeze their loaf and they get it later. 

Oops, I hit return and it posted before I was done...

One thing to think about is your city’s requirements for a home kitchen to sell to the public. Here you need to have your kitchen inspected and I believe you need a vendors’ license. I only give bread to friends (they give me a donation in return) and I make it clear to them that my kitchen has not been inspected and that I don’t keep any of the money from the bread. 

I get to have fun with my hobby, they get great bread and the soup kitchen benefits. 

Hope this helps. 

Sugarowl's picture

I know this post is old, but I am thinking of doing this exact thing (some food banks will take homemade bread, some won't). I love the list idea for limited loaves, it seems like a great idea to get one's feet wet in the business area. Thanks for the great idea, time for me to start baking more, now that I can find flour and yeast again (darn those panic buyers).

G. Marie's picture
G. Marie

Mike at has an email blast and did a 4 (if I remember right) part series with the gist being "so you want to start baking for money". He went though different options and possibilities. He said he would start putting the emails on his site but I don't see them. I can forward them to you if you'd like or if you reach out to him I assume he'd send them to you.

I'm looking into setting up a Cottage Kitchen here in Utah. I've been told it's a fairly simple process for bread but I don't have all the details just yet. I'll have a once-a-week delivery to start.

I'm a SAHM with my kids starting kindergarten this year so hoping this will make for a decent part time gig. 

Jellybean's picture

I started this year selling at my local farmer's market baking out of my home. In my state, we do not have a cottage food law but are allowed to sell un-inspected at farmer's markets only. We sell one day a week and typically have about 50 loaves of various breads, 20 sweet breads and 24 cinnamon rolls. This was our first year "testing" the market to see how we stack up. We have had a ton of success and typically sell out each week. Our market is almost over and we've made a good chunk of change but I will say that we lost quite a bit to start up costs (about $500 including the table fee) and reinvesting in supplies to keep up with demand. So really we've made some but I don't expect to see much money until next year when we should hopefully be only buying ingredients each week.

eddieruko's picture

I'd be really interested in those 4 part series.

There are really lots of ways to make the switch... but it's really difficult when you count on a FT job to pay the bills. I've looked into it myself, and have yet to take the plunge. 

Every city will likely have restrictions about what you can sell out of your house, and how much business you can do before you are subject to food prep laws, etc. 

I have been drawn to the food truck side of things. It would give me the most flexibility in terms of marketing, subscription type offer (if it was viable), cooking space, regulations, and investment. If at the end of the endeavor, things didn't work out... flipping a food truck is easier than the alternatives. 

Unless you've hit a home run with your product and brand, I think subscription service might be the hardest to achieve profitability. The company that does this locally offers $10/loaf deal (10 loaves for $100). That's quite the price tag when I can go to the local market to get something similar at less than half the cost. 

You might be able to find a "startup kitchen" in your area. Essentially it's a commercial kitchen that uses a membership (like a woodworking guild) and you can cook there. Scaling up for the homebaker is difficult in terms of investment and regulations from what I've come across. 

leftcoastloaf's picture

Thank you all so much for sharing your experiences. I’d love to see those email articles! I don’t know if I’m ready to scale to 50 loaves just yet, but valuable advice nonetheless. 

G. Marie's picture
G. Marie

The articles will probably be on his site by next week. 

It is impressive what one can do with just 2 double ovens but it does take a lot of time. 

G. Marie's picture
G. Marie

That should be just 1 double oven. Oh how I wish I had 2 double ovens. 

G. Marie's picture
G. Marie

It's 5 in all.

Here is the link to his blog. They are at the top currently.

leftcoastloaf's picture

Thank you for sharing!