The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

To hire staff or suppliers?

randos25's picture

To hire staff or suppliers?

Hi guys!

I dream of opening a bakery but I am not sure how to start it. My first question is would it be better for me to start from home/a studio first (with helpers since I did it alone for a while and I need the extra hands) or open a small shop/cafe straightaway?

Secondly, I was wondering if it's more profitable to hire people as employees or suppliers? I basically found home bakers who make AMAZING desserts that I would like to add to my collection but I don't know if I should ask if they provide classes (therefore I can learn the recipe to bring to my business and get people to do) or ask them to join me as staff or source from them (so I order from them but brand is under me).

Quite confused which path to go so I would really appreciate anyone with experience to give me their advice please! Thank you.

just passing by's picture
just passing by

Although I don't have experience running a bakery, I do have experience as a customer.  If I go to a locally owned bakery that's not part of chain or franchise,  I expect the products there to be made fresh on the premises.  If something is being brought in from somewhere else, it should be labelled as such.  The one problem with outsourcing is quality control.  If you make everything in the bakery, you have complete control over the quality.  Also, as you said, these people are home bakers.  They may not want the burden of making desserts for a bakery.  Making one or two cakes might be acceptable for some people, but if you start getting requests for those items, then that home baker may not want to make that many cakes.  The thing to do is talk to the person.  That being said, in my opinion, if it was my bakery, I would hire enough staff and make everything on the premises.  The trick is figuring out the balance between having enough employees to make everything and selling enough and making enough money cover all your costs.  You'll have to decide what you want to sell and how many man-hours it takes to make everything.  Then you'll have to add in customer service hours because you can't have your producers stopping every few minutes to wait on customers.  It just puts everything behind.  I would be like if a chef at a restaurant had leave the kitchen to wait on tables.

pul's picture

Check this channel "Proof Bread" on YouTube. There are very good ideas and tips on starting a bakery.


Rock's picture

Be sure to check with your county health department for regulations, requirements and standards that you will have to meet in your home to be legal. Also protects you if someone should get hurt helping you or if a customer gets sick.


retired baker's picture
retired baker

we started from my partners apt in Boston, did $60K in the first year and moved into a commercial space, we did very well and sold it 20 yrs later.

but we had 25 yrs commercial experience going in.  You can get a million dollars worth of experience in a few months working in any business you desire to open. Bakery, cafe , whatever, get in there behind the scenes and watch how its done, make note of the suppliers, costs, rents, payroll, due diligence will save your butt....and you make money too.