How to Start a Cookie Business

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Image of a cookies

Important Details Included For Starting A Cookie Making Business

Cookie Making Business Overview:

Gourmet-related businesses are one of the most popular categories of home-based business ideas and a large number of people, especially stay-at-home moms, are turning to cookie making, cooking classes and online cooking recipes as an opportunity to make money.

Everyone loves fresh, homemade cookies. Many Americans work full time and find that there isn’t time left over at the end of the day to bake delicious treats for the family. This is where you come in. As the owner, you can supply cookies and comfort to people of all ages, incomes, and job types.

If you are interested in starting, chances are that you already enjoy baking and your cookies win the approval of friends and relatives. However, if you’d like a little more training, check out the culinary schools in your area. Baking classes can be a good way to learn more.  Also, consider apprenticing with an established baker in your area.

Starting this type of venture is appealing to a lot of people because it requires minimal investment capital. You probably already have most of the equipment. You may need to buy additional bowls, mixing tools, or cookie sheets.

Skill Set:
  • Knowledge of nutritional values.
  • Patience and knowledge that not every batch will turn out as expected
  • Reliability and consistency with creating, baking, and delivering top-quality cookies
  • Excellent baking skills
  • List of Common Business Skills
Employee and Job Consideration During The Start-Up Phase or In The Future:
Approximate Daily Hours Needed:

Plan to spend about an hour to make cookie dough, another hour to bake batches and package, and additional time if you are delivering still-hot cookies to a location. After hours include bookkeeping, checking email and voicemail, and preparations for the next day.

Equipment, Supplies, & Services During Start-up OR In The Future:
  • Mixing bowls
  • Utensils
  • Cookie sheets
  • Cooling racks
  • Great recipes – Grandma’s secret recipe is good!
  • Vehicle to deliver cookies to stores or customers
  • Food ingredients
  • A good oven
  • Packaging for cookies
  • Separate warming portable carriers or units
  • Postal scale and packing materials to ship cookies
  • Unique packaging (such as a box in the shape and design of a very large cookie).
  • Essential office Equipment
Monthly Expenses and Operating Costs To Consider:

In addition to our list of common business expenses, your Cookie making business will require a budget for the ongoing cost of baking supplies and packaging.

Licenses:

If you are working out of your home, check the zoning regulations to make sure you can operate there. Also, you’ll need to register with the Department of Health as a baker, provided you meet the guidelines set by the FDA and other legal requirements mandated by your locality.

Also, See Our Page on Licenses and Permits

Approximate Minimum Startup Cost:

Bare essential – The average startup cost varies depending on how much of the equipment and supplies you already have. Startup can range between $250 to $ 2,500.

Tips & Considerations:
  • What will you do that will make your cookies special enough for people to drive across town in order to buy them, or dig out their credit card and pay for them through your website? Perhaps it’s your decadent dark chocolate or the special design of your cookies, or that your cookies are made into cookie bouquets or cookie baskets.
  • Your ingredients could connect with a particular market and attract particular customers. Are your cookies low carbohydrate, vegan, or do they contain only organic ingredients?
  • Test your original cookie recipes on your family and friends to find the most appealing cookies to sell. You might need to add a secret ingredient to certain recipes, to set them apart from other company’s cookies.
  • Think of places you can give batches of cookies to in order to get free publicity, such as at radio and television stations. Leave your card inside the batch.

For local marketing, the best way to get people talking about your cookie is to get people tasting your cookies.

  • Create cookie baskets to donate as prizes for a school or church auction.
  • Rent a booth at a craft show and sell cookies. Have your business card and a brochure available so customers know how to find you again.
  • Contact locally owned grocery stores and coffee houses about carrying your products. Locally owned stores may be able to make simple buying decisions other larger chains can’t
  • Find gift basket businesses in your area, and suggest they include your cookies as one of their offerings.
  • In addition to a love of creating edible treats, you’ll need to develop a solid understanding of running your business. Finding resources for your supplies, negotiating the best prices, keeping track of inventory and determining retail price, are all necessary skills.
  • Before you select a name, make sure no one else has already claimed it. Search your state’s Secretary of State website’s corporation naming listing. Type your proposed name into the search engine to see whether it is already in use. You can also look through the yellow pages. Consider names that make a play on your own name: “Katie’s Kookies” or something more upscale such as “Frances’ Gourmet Desserts.”
  • Join a cookie industry organization such as The Biscuit and Cracker Manufacturers’ Association, which offers educational seminars such as their cookie and cracker manufacturing course, the only self-study course designed for the baking industry, plus annual conferences, webinars, and a membership list.
  • “The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is to not try. Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it.” – Debbie Fields from the Mrs. Fields(R) cookie franchise.
Pros and Cons:

The Pros:

  • People spend billions of dollars in the United States on baked goods
  • You have the advantage of being your own boss
  • There is a great market for cookies
  • Ideal for at-home parents
  • Low startup costs
  • Completely expandable

The Cons:

  • A lot of competition, including giant companies
  • People can make their own cookies and may cut down on baked goods when money gets tight
  • You will be busiest on holidays when demand soars
  • It could be hard to market your products due to existing competition
  • It can be hard to create a unique niche

Resources

Starting Your Business

How To Start A Business Step By Step – A list of important issues you need to address when starting your business, created in a checklist style.

Cookie Business Plans:

Specialty Baker Business Plan Sample – Executive Summary | Bplans

Cookie Shop Business Plan Business Plan | Reference for Business.com

Start-up Checklist:

Business Start-up Checklist

Cookie Business Articles:

How to Start a Cookie Business From Home | Chron.com

The Rise of The Cookiepreneur – and A Challenge! | Cookie Connection

Start Your Own Cookie Business | The cookie blog.com

 

Cookie Recipes:

Cookie Recipes – Allrecipes.com

70 Best Cookie Recipes – Easy Recipes for Homemade Cookies | Delish.com

Cookie Recipes | Food Network

20 Delicious Classic Cookie Recipes | Real Simple

Cookie Recipes – Betty Crocker

Cookie Recipes | Martha Stewart

Cookie Recipes | SimplyRecipes.com

43 Cookie Recipes for Holidays and More | Bonappetit.com

Quick + Easy Cookie Recipes and Ideas from | Pillsbury.com

10 Guilt-Free Cookie Recipes | Prevention.com

How to Make Cookies | Kraft Recipes

 

Cookie Supplies:

Buy Cookie Making Tools & Cutters | KitchenKrafts.com

Cookie Making Supplies | Cakemischief.com

Cookie Cutters & Baking Supply | Downtowndough.com

Online Buy Cheap Cake Molds, Cookie Cutters | Banggood.com

Baking Supplies, Cookie, Cake & Cupcake Decorating | Fancy Flours

Cookie Cutters | Baking Supplies

Seasonal Cake Decorations & Cookie Cutters | Jo-Ann

Cookie Cutters | Sweet!

 

Forums:

Cookiers R Us

Cookie Connection

Cookie Baking Forums

 

Cookie Franchise Opportunities

Great American Cookies Franchise Cost & Opportunities 2016 | Franchise Help

Franchise Info | Cookies by Design

Cookie Time | Franchise Opportunities

Gourmet Cookies Franchise | Great American Cookies

 

Established Cookie Businesses:

Cookie Gift Baskets & Thank You Gifts | Mrs. Fields Cookies

Cheryls.com

Little Brownie Bakers

4th Street Cookie Company

Bergers Cookies

Cookies.com

Alyssas Healthy Cookies

Mother’s Cookies

The Christie Cookie Co.

 

Cookie Businesses For Sale:

Cookie Stores for Sale | BizQuest

Cookie Stores for Sale | Globalbx.com

 

Books:

Martha Stewart’s Cookies: The Very Best Treats to Bake and to Share

Cookie Love: More Than 60 Recipes and Techniques for Turning the Ordinary into the Extraordinary Hardcover

The Cookie Companion: A Decorator’s Guide

Dorie’s Cookies

The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion: The Essential Cookie Cookbook

Cookie Recipes: Delicious and Easy Cookies Recipes (Quick and Easy Cooking Series)

Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich

The Cookies & Cups Cookbook: 125+ sweet & savory recipes reminding you to Always Eat Dessert First

Cookies: The Top 100 Most Delicious Cookie Recipes

Taste of Home Cookies: 623 Irresistible Delights

Betty Crocker the Big Book of Cookies

Cookie Craft: From Baking to Luster Dust, Designs and Techniques for Creative Cookie Occasions

 

The Latest Cookie Related Videos

Cookie Business Tips

Cookie Making Tutorial

Cookie Making Recipes

 

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