How to Start a Home Baking Business, Part 2 Wednesday, Feb 22 2012 

On Monday, I shared my story of how I got into a home baking business. Today, I want to share a few pointers to keep in mind.

1. Do not borrow money to start up. You can bake with the basic things you have on hand now. As you make money, invest it into equipment that will make your job easier. Research your equipment to make sure it will last. If you buy a cheap Kitchen Aid, you are more than likely to regret it! (Ok, I confess, I am not a Kitchen Aid fan. I’ve had too many friends have problems and issues with theirs!!)

2. Check your local laws to see if you need a permit: small business, kitchen inspection, etc. Each area is different. Some farmers market and shows will also have rules in how foods need to be packaged.

3. Find out what really sells through trial and error. Some things don’t sell, so don’t waste your time on those. Use your time wisely on what you know will sell. As a side note here, as people get to know you, and love your baking, you will be able to expand into selling other items! If I had tried to sell muffins when I first started, I’m not sure it would have really sold. Now though, I can sell it well!

4. Plan out your baking schedule. Make ahead what can be frozen (and thawed the night before/morning of the sale). Be realistic about what you can handle, and make sure to keep a time buffer! Mistakes can happen!

5. Prepare everything ahead of your sale: have a money box of change ready. Know how you will carry your baking (I use laundry baskets!). Make sure you have enough of all the ingredients you will need when baking the morning of the sale. Have bags ready to package your food. I have used both brown paper bags (for warm bread), and plastic bags for muffins, cool bread, etc.

These signs (for our front and back yard), as well as the business cards, magnet, stamp, pens, and writing paper are all from Vista Print! You can sign up to receive emails with special offers. I was able to get all these for very cheap! The most useful of all these was definitely the business cards.

6. Find your niche. What are you passionate about? For me, it’s baking breads. It’s the basis of my business. I know the goodness found in homemade bread, and the extra goodness in the breads made from fresh-ground grains. That makes me passionate about what I sell! My passion transfers over and people buy and love my bread. 🙂

7. Be pro-active. A business doesn’t start on its own. Try different things and keep refining what you do until it clicks and works.

8. Take time to price out your baking. You don’t want to overprice your items, as you really don’t want to go home with it! Yet you need to figure out how much it costs you to make it, so you know how much to sell. Compare with items from the store (although homemade is worth more), other bakers, and be fair in your price. I try and price my baking competitively as I want it to sell, and want people to like the prices.

 

9. A big one is this: buy your ingredients in bulk, and find the cheapest to buy it so you maximize your profit. I buy huge bags of grains right from the farm (300-700lb orders!), large bags of yeast, sugar in 10kg bags, etc. I find bags to package my baking in a wholesale store where I can purchase a box of 100 bags instead of spending a fortune on boxes of 10 bags in my local grocery store. This is a huge area that really helps you maximize your profit.

10. Try out new recipes from time to time. Keep your joy of baking! I got a bit tired at one point as I was always making the exact same things all the time. I took a bit of a break from selling baking and tried new recipes for my family for fun. Keeps things fun in my life! And inspired the start of this blog. 🙂

I hope this has helped answer some of your questions, and inspired some of you to try it for yourself!

Again, if you have any questions, leave a comment and I will address those in a 3rd post on this topic!

How to Start a Home Baking Business, Part 1 Monday, Feb 20 2012 

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!

How-to can dry beans Friday, Sep 2 2011 

Here is a guest post by my friend, Samantha R! I want to start doing this soon, as it’s a great way to have quick beans for a recipe, salads, etc. I like to soak/cook my own beans, but I don’t often think of it ahead of time. Canning from dry like this is a great idea! Thanks for sharing it, Samantha. 🙂

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Canning Dry Beans:

 Ingredients for each quart jar you make:
1 1/4 cups dry beans to each quart jar (pintos, red and black work best)
1 tsp salt
Water

Things you will need:
Beans
Colander
Pot
Pressure canner
1-qt. canning jars
Canning lids and rings
Jar lifter
Timer
Towel

Clean/rinse your beans. Pick out any beans that are odd looking or discolored or just plain don’t look good. 😉 Add 1 tsp of salt per quart to the canning jars, if desired. Fill the jars with beans and water, leaving 1 inch of head space. Center the lids on the jars so that the seals are in contact with the rims. Screw on the lids to fingertip-tightness, being careful not to over-tighten.

Place 2 to 3 inches of hot water in the pressure canner. Using a jar lifter, place the filled, closed jars on the rack. Securely fasten the pressure canner lid while leaving the vents and petcocks open.

Place the pressure canner on the largest burner and heat on the highest setting until steam flows freely from the vents. Continue to allow the steam to flow for 5 minutes, then place the weight on the vent port or close the petcock.

Set the timer for 90 minutes when the recommended pressure (15lbs) has been reached. Turn off the heat after the timer goes off, and remove the canner from the heat source.

Allow the canner to depressurize. Open the petcock or remove the weight when the pressure is at zero. Allow the canner to sit and cool for 10 minutes before unfastening and removing the lid. Be careful as you remove the lid, and divert any steam away from yourself.

Remove the jars from the canner with a jar lifter. Do not tilt the jars when moving them. Set them on a dry towel to cool. Allow the jars to cool for 12 to 24 hours before testing the seals.

Some people don’t recommend canning dry because they are worried about too much expansion and thus the pressure popping the lids off later on. However, if you are careful to not put more than 1.25 cups, all should be well. I don’t even soak mine the night before, and I’ve never have had an issue.

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Samantha R is into photography, and takes beautiful photographs! Feel free to check out her sites, to view her pictures as well as the options to purchase some of them:

How to make Bread – video tutorial Monday, Jun 6 2011 

You’ve asked, you’re receiving. 🙂  I asked Josiah to video-tape the process as I made a loaf of bread. I didn’t share the recipe as I added ingredients (other than saying what I was adding) because it’s the same process with whichever recipe you use! I usually make my bread with a Bosch mixer (more on that in another post), but for this video, I made the loaf by hand. It still tasted great. 😉  hehe

The tutorial is broken in a few small chunks, here we go!

If you are using traditional yeast, you will need to proof your yeast first. If not, then there is no need as you can simply add it into your bread at the same time than your flour. If you’re not sure, then go ahead and proof it as it won’t hurt! 🙂 I personally use instant since it’s one less step in the bread making process. Here is how to proof your yeast:

The next step is to add in the rest of your ingredients, knead 10-12 minutes until the gluten in your dough is developed enough. I show you how to check that at the end of this next clip:

After the first rise, you punch down your dough…

After the 2nd rise, you are ready to shape your loaf! This next clip shows you how to shape it. Plus, you get to see Korban (3 yrs old) shaping a loaf too! He loves being like his Mommy. 🙂

Once it has risen in the bread pan, you are ready to cook it! This short clip shows how the dough looks/feels once it’s risen enough to start baking.

How to check if it is cooked enough. Sorry for the shaky filming here, I was trying to film and one-hanndedly take the loaf out of the oven!!

So there you go! I hope that helps answers some questions! It’s hard to remember what to say when getting video-taped, hehe. Feel free to ask questions and I will do my best to answer!

I also wanted to share another youtube video that I found very helpful in my bread-making. She’s obviously a very experienced Mom!! She grinds her own wheat (as I do) and uses a Bosch similar to what I have, but she gives great tips even if you’re kneading by hand. Here is the first of the eight parts of her video tutorial.

Tear-apart bread Wednesday, May 18 2011 


I made this bread for my Mom when she went to a conference (manning a table). I divided the dough in about 50 pieces, rolled each into a little ball, and stacked them on a cookie sheet: 4 at the bottom, 3, 2, then 1 on the top layers. It looks kinda cool, plus it made it easy for her to grab a little ball (2 bites) between customers for a little food. It’s not so messy either, since you don’t need a knife to cut your bread.

Rainbow cupcakes Monday, May 16 2011 

Pretty cool, isn’t it! Well, guess what! Even though it’s on this healthy eating blog, it’s not healthy. hehe  Sometimes life gets in the way, or you want to do something out of the ordinary, and well, rainbow cupcakes are the result!

 

I made these for my son’s 3rd birthday. I cheated all the way. I used a cake mix from a box (I can count on one hand how many times I’ve used those!), and lots of food colouring, which resulted very happy children!

It didn’t work out exactly like I planned, but it was still a neat effect. Next time I think I’ll make less layers so that each colour is more distinct. How to make these? Well, it takes a bit of patience, cake batter, and food colouring. You divide the batter into several bowls, colour each bowl a different colour, and layer the batter (covering the previous colour completely) in a muffin tin. For more detailed directions, and guidelines on food colouring, check out this site.

I know someone who made these, then cut them up in chunks for a truffle! That would be so pretty too!

Kaiser buns Friday, May 13 2011 

Do you pay a lot for beautiful Kaiser buns? No more! Make your own! The above are made with multigrain spelt bread. It can also be made with the wheat bread dough! Tammy has an easy tutorial video here! Trust me, it’s an easy way to make buns/rolls look quite fancy. 🙂

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