How To Start A Bakery


Image of someone mixing

An Overview Of Starting A Bakery Including Valueable Resources

Considerations Before Starting Your Bakery:

Before opening a bakery, there are several important decisions to make. First, you should determine how you want to start. You will need to decide how you will sell your baked goods.

Will you sell through a café setting, with tables and chairs, or by delivering your goods to stores and restaurants?

Many bakeries start as “home-based,” and grow from there. The benefit to this is lower overhead and start-up costs. However, limitations include space and capabilities, as well as local laws for Food Health & Safety.

For example, in the state of Texas, it is against the law to make any foods for distribution unless the production and storage areas are completely closed off from the living and sleeping areas.

Also, consider the style of your bakery. Common types of bakeries include pastry bakeries, bread roll and bagel bakeries, large commercial bakeries like:

The above bakeries fill different roles and require different amounts of startup money.

Skill Set:
  • Planning the menu
  • Ordering ingredients (flour, eggs, yeast, etc.)
  • Prep work (Mixing ingredients, raising bread, oven prep etc.)
  • Baking and cooling
  • Glazing/decorating
  • Displaying baked goods
  • Cleanup of tables, counters, and display cases (if applicable)
  • Cleanup of equipment and work areas
  • Deliveries (if applicable)
  • List of Common Business Skills
General Hours of Operation:

This will vary, if you serve breakfast style pastries and coffee may open as early as 6:00 a.m. and may close as early as noon, while a franchise like Panera Bread® may be open from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm.

Before and After Hours – First, prep

Start your prep work very early in the morning. Many recipes require several hours for prep time. Recipes that require that the bread rise will need to be started several hours before the first customer enters. On the other hand, large-scale bakeries may operate 24 hours a day.

Finally, after the shop is closed to the public, be prepared to spend a few hours cleaning the kitchen and all cookware as well as prep work for the next day. Prep work and closing up, could take hours depending on recipes.

Employee & Job Consideration During The Start-up Phase Or In the Future:

See our Page on Licenses and Permits

Approximate Minimum Startup Cost:

It is recommended that you have three months’ worth of operating costs set aside before you open. According to the New Yorker Magazine, a small pastry shop in the Lower East Side of New York City called, “Baby Cakes” has a monthly operating cost of just over $11,600 USD.

However, location and wages can vary largely. Entrepreneur Magazine estimates that an average bakery startup will cost between $10,000 and $50,000 (depending on scale.)

Monthly Expenses to Consider:

See our list of common business expenses

Equipment Considerations During The Start-up Phase & In The Future:
  • Sheet Pans
  • Cake Pans
  • Muffin Pans
  • Pie Pans
  • Quiche Pans
  • Bread Pans
  • Baking Supplies
  • Pastry Rings
  • Pastry Tips
  • Pastry Bags
  • Icing Spatulas
  • Pastry Forms
  • Bakery Display Cases
  • Dough Prep Equipment
  • Ovens and Proofers
  • Pan Racks
  • Ingredient Bins
  • Ovens and Mixers
  • Cooling racks
  • Tables (for food prep and seating)
  • Proofing racks/storage (for flour to rise)
  • Cookware (pots, pans, bowls, etc.)
  • Chemical detergents and sanitizers
  • Dishwasher
  • Packaging materials for delivery or service
  • Delivery vehicle
  • Ovens, microwaves, warming trays and plates
  • Refrigeration unit(s), some portable
  • Dough sheeter for rolling out the dough
  • Glazers and icers
  • Essential office Equipment
  • List of General Retail Equipment
Special Requirements:
  • HACCP compliance and excellent sanitary practices
  • Regular checks will be conducted by health officials
  • Food temperature monitoring at all times
  • Conformance to all applicable food service laws
Pros and Cons:


  • You can start at home, and with a small investment
  • Huge market potential, depending on your location
  • Potential for expansion
  • You can opt for wholesale or retail, or both
  • You can develop your own specialty product
  • The field can be very stable
  • Total control of manufacturing


  • Prep work requires an early start
  • Long days or shift work may be required
  • Work can be 7 days a week and 365 days a year
  • Tight schedule with a strict quota
  • Inventory may have to be thrown out or donated if sales are slow
  • Strict government rules
  • A full blown bakery is expensive to open
Type of Customers You Need to Attract:

Bakeries tend to attract, special occasion, breakfast, and dessert customers. Small bread bakeries may attract restaurants and small groceries. Larger businesses may only sell wholesale to large grocery chains.


Starting Your Business

A List of Important Steps You Must Consider When Starting A Business – Take a couple of minutes to go over this list of issues to consider when starting a business.

Questions To Consider Before Starting A Business – 10 key issues to look at before starting a business. Starting a new venture blindly is asking for headaches! Know what to expect before you start!


Business Plans:

Bakery Business Plan Sample – Executive Summary | Bplans


Day In the Life of A Bakery Owner

A Day in the Life | Arizmendi Bakery

A Day in the Life of a Bakery | A Bakers

Red Truck Bakery Owner Brian Noyes: A Week In The Life | Huffington Post

My Job Description: The Bakery Owner


Bakery Articles:

10 Characteristics of Successful Great Harvest Bakery Owners |

Here’s What It Really Takes To Start Your Own Bakery | New York Magazine

How to Start a Bakery | Starting a Bakery

A Dozen Hot Tips for Starting a Bakery | The Street

6 Financial Tips for Starting a Successful Bakery | Nerd Wallet

John Sweet’s 10 Lessons On Baking Success Into Your Small Business | Black

How to Start a Home Bakery of Your Own | Mother Earth News

So You’d Like to Start a Home-based Baking Business: Now What? |

Starting a Home Bakery |

1000+ ideas about Home Bakery on Pinterest


Bakery Training Resources:

Baking Courses and Training Programs |

Culinary Arts – Program of Baking and Pastry Arts |

Baking School | King Arthur Flour

Online Baking & Pastry | Escoffier Online Culinary Academy

California Baking School | Premier Culinary School

Want to Go to Pastry School? |

San Francisco Baking Institute |


Choosing Bakery Equipment:

Choosing the Best Commercial Bakery Equipment |

5 Must-Have Pieces of Equipment for Your New Bakery | The Bakery Network


Bakery Equipment:

Bakery Equipment Sales World Wide | – USA

R.F. Bakery Equipment | – Canada

EM Bakery Equipment | – Canada

Food Makers Bakery Equipment | – USA

Gemini Bakery Equipment Company | – USA

WP Bakery Group USA | – USA

Markets Oliver Packaging & Equipment Company |

Bakery Equipment Services | – USA

LBC Bakery Equipment Manufacturer | – USA

Used bakery equipment for sale – Google Search


Bakery Supplies:

Bakery Supplies

Bakery Supplies – Boxes, Bags, Ribbons and More

Pastry Chef Central, Inc.

Baking Supplies & Tools

Welcome to Lakeside Bakery Supplies since 1949

Commercial Baking Supplies


Bakery Niches:

6 Types of Bakery Niches to Choose for Your Start-Up Bakery Idea | Amari Quick Breads Bakery

Types of Bakery Products | LEAFtv

Niche and Profitable | Bakers Journal

Finding a niche within a niche: 4 inspiring niche marketing examples |

Specialty Bakeries: The Rise of Sweet and Successful Niche Concepts |


Established Bakeries:

The 10 Best Bakeries in America

America’s 50 Best Bakeries |

39 Essential Bakeries and Sweet Shops in Los Angeles |

Ten Best Bakeries | Westword

8 Best Bakeries In New York City | CBS New York

The Best New Bakeries in America in 2016 | Bon Appetit


News, Industry Publications & Popular Sites

Bakery News | Baking

Bakery and snacks, cakes and pastries global market news | Bakery and

Bakery | Supermarket News | Supermarket

Bakery Industry

The Bakery Network

Bakery and snacks

Supermarket News

Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery

Bakers Journal

British Baker Magazine

America’s 50 best bakeries | Fox News



Bakery Industry Analysis |

2016 Bakery Trends |



Glossary | The Bakery Network



American Bakers Association

American Society of Baking

Associations & Organizations

Snack and Bakery Associations


Baking Recipes:

Gretchen’s Bakery |

Baker’s Formulas | King Arthur Flour

Dessert Recipes –

Wedding Cake Recipes –

Our Best Layer Cake Recipes | Martha Stewart

Pastry & Baking Recipes | Dessert Professional

Recipe Showcase |

Recipe Index | Jenni Field’s Pastry Chef Online


Bakery Franchises:

Exploring Bakery Ownership | Great Harvest Bread

Perkins Restaurant & Bakery Franchise Opportunity

Shipley Do-Nuts Franchise Opportunity

Dunkin’ Donuts Franchise Opportunity

The Dapper Doughnut Franchise Opportunity

Auntie Anne’s Hand-Rolled Soft Pretzels Franchise Information

Wetzel’s Pretzels Franchise Information

Great Harvest Franchising Inc. Franchise Information

2Good2B LLC Franchise Information

Ben’s Soft Pretzels Franchise Information

Franchise Information – Corner Bakery Cafe®

Bakery & Donut Franchise Opportunities

Bakeries Franchises –

Best Bakery Restaurant Chains – List of Franchise Bakeries

Bakery Franchise Opportunities –


Find Bakeries For Sale:

Bakery For Sale |

Bakery For Sale in California, CA. Bakery Franchises and Opportunities Businesses For Sale | BizBen

Bakeries for Sale | Buy Bakeries at BizQuest

Bakeries for Sale |

Bakeries For Sale |


Educational Products:

Want To Bake Like a Pastry Chef At Home? – Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could make cakes and desserts with a professional look and perfectly balanced taste? Cakes that make your friends and family wonder whether you turned into a French patisserie overnight?

78 Healthy Desserts That Actually BURN Belly Fat – Read this page and you’ll discover how you can indulge in delicious desserts like those pictured above that will help you lose weight AND keep it off better than “deprivation dieting”… Not to mention it’s a lot more yummy and fun!

Professional Cake Decorator Reveals Her Secrets – To Generating A 6-Figure Income From A Simple Home-Based Cake Decorating Business!


The Latest Bakery Related Videos

How To Start A Bakery

Bakery Owners Interviews

Bakery Business Tips

Professional Baking Tips

Day In The Life of A Bakery

Bakery Training

Inside a Bakery

Bakery Boss – TV Series


Bakery Forums:

Cake Decorating Forum | Cake central

Bakery Story | Discussions |

Pastries & Baking |

The Fresh Loaf Forum | The Fresh Loaf