Some of you have asked me how to go about starting a home baking business, so here is a 3-part series on how my little home business started, how to start yours, and tips.
My little home baking business has been a lot of fun, and has helped us out financially. It’s something I’ve been able to do from home quite well, although it requires help from my husband in terms of helping out with the boys from time to time! 🙂
I started baking at home to sell just over 2 years ago. I had saved up and bought myself a Nutrimill, to grind my own grain into flour. (I already owned a Bosch mixer, which is an awesome mixer!) A friend asked if I would bake bread for her to use in a food bar at a Christmas show. She offered to sell some for me, as well. It was my first time selling like this, and I had a lot of fun! It was a lot of work, and my timing was off, but I was learning. 🙂 I sold most of the breads I managed to make in time, probably about 16 loaves or so.
That was the beginning for me. People started wondering about this yummy bread someone in town had made. 🙂 I started selling a few loaves every Saturday in a little shop in town. How often I sell it has varied a lot over the past two years, ranging from a few loaves every few days, to a few loaves once a month! It is based on how much time I am willing and able to put into it. Since my own family is priority for me, I don’t sell it as often as I could.
As word of my bread started spreading, and people became interested in buying it, I started renting a table in shows and craft fairs. My first show was at an Earth Day show. Since I was selling bread made from local organic fresh-ground flour, it fit quite well! 🙂 Then I started booking tables at 1-2 Christmas shows a year as well. I sell at a local farmer’s market 2-3 times per summer.
Over time, the content of what I sell has expended. I started with only selling 100% wheat bread, to selling 4 types of breads: 100% wheat, 100% spelt, Rye, and Multigrain (made with 100% wheat flour, and a mixture of up to 16 different grains!). I also add, as time allows, bagels, muffins, cookies, whoopee pies, Christmas baking trays, and cinnamon rolls.
Obviously, I’ve learned a few tricks to get quicker at baking! My kitchen is organized in a way that I can easily access what I need. I know where everything is. I am blessed to have a large kitchen now, but it is still possible in smaller kitchens! My friend has a tiny kitchen and does amazing bake sales! 🙂
I have slowly gotten better equipment (with money I’ve made from my baking). I have many, many measuring cups and spoons. I currently have 15 bread pans! I even got a new oven that would accommodate two full batches of bread overlapping (or cooking at once)! Those are all things that came gradually. The bottom line is that if you have an oven, you can bake and make money and slowly buy more equipment!
With time, I’ve learned what works best, and to go with that. One example is that people are not used to homemade bread. It doesn’t last as long as store-bought since it is not full of preservatives. I used to sell large loaves of bread made in a 9×5 pan. Some people stopped buying because they couldn’t finish the loaf and it got wasted. With that knowledge in mind, I found a good deal on bread pans and bought 12 more pans in a small size, 9×4”! I reduced the price per loaf (small loaf), and people love that size a lot more. Find out what people like, and go with that!
My son helping make doughnuts! He shaped the dough as a loaf of bread. He helped me, and watched me, make hundreds of loaves and learned to make very decent loaves of bread at age 2! 🙂
On Wednesday, I will post 10 tips to keep in mind as you start a home baking business!