How to Know if You’re READY to Start a Home Bakery

How to Know if You’re READY to Start a Home Bakery

How to Know if You’re READY to Start a Home Bakery

Starting a Home Bakery Business has become a super attractive idea and topic over the last few years!

In this post I’m going to be brutally honest with you about the awesomeness AND the reality of starting a Home Bakery.

Here’s what going on; MANY families around the world have lost their jobs due to Covid-19…

If that’s happened to your family, I’m deeply sorry for the difficult time you’ve been going through.

Know right now that your story is not over yet! God loves you way too much to ever let anything happen to you without GREAT reason.

It might be a very difficult season for you now.

A Home Bakery Business can certainly help with the practical struggles you’re facing – like providing for your family. YES, it does work and it CAN help you and your family.

But I’m not promising that life’s going to be “perfect” a few years down the line. I’m not promising that a Home Bakery will “fix everything” for you.

This world we’re in places a LOT of emphasis on dreams and how fulfilling them will finally give you joy and contentment. Let me save you the suspense and tell you right now that no earthly thing has the power to do that.

No matter how shiny that dream is, it just won’t fulfill you. I’ve experienced this first-hand.

I believe and have seen that only Jesus Christ can fulfill you – because we were made by him and for him. If a car is made to function on diesel, no amount of petrol will EVER make it go.

Over time I’ve learned that if you’re not content WITHOUT your dreams being fulfilled, you won’t be content WITH them being fulfilled (email me if you want to chat about it).

If you expect a Home Bakery to fulfill you, it will become a HEAVY BURDEN instead of a delight. A new business struggles to grow well under such pressure.

A home bakery can absolutely be a wonderful thing! Truth be told, it’s certainly changed my life.

RELATED: How Starting a Home Bakery has Changed My Life

If you’ve been brain storming ideas of how to make an income with the baking skills you DO have, you’re totally in the right place!

And now I’m guessing you’re also here because you’re not sure if you’re truly READY to start a Home Bakery Business…

Are you wondering if you’re skilled enough? 
Prepared enough? 
What it’s going to take to build a successful home bakery? 
What are the first steps to start a baking business from home?

These are the type of questions I’m covering in this post.

Want to use your home baking to make an income for you & your family? Maybe you've been thinking about it for some time. But how can you know when you're truly READY to start a Home Bakery Business? Here's how to know if you're ready to it! #baking #homebaking #bakingbusiness #homebakery

 

I’m going give you all the specific checkpoints you need so you can judge for yourself if you are ready to start a home bakery business.

This blog post is here to give you more clarity – especially if you haven’t started a home bakery yet.

But even if you have started your business (that’s struggling to make profit) this post will help you tremendously! You may recognize some of these checkpoints that may have been holding you back.

Through this blog post you’ll understand how to overcome them so your business can start growing.

If we haven’t met yet; hi! I’m Aurelia Lambrechts. I’ve been a full-time home baker in Cape Town, South Africa for 6+ years.

Now it’s my mission to help flavor-obsessed home bakers to get the confidence and business skills they need so that they can confidently share their baking gifts with the world.

If you want to become a confident & successful Home Bakery Business owner, I’m here to help you make it happen!

Let’s get to it 😊

 

How NOT to Judge if You’re Ready

First, we need to go through some common misconceptions of how people judge their ready-ness to start a home bakery.

Here’s how NOT to judge your ready-ness.

1. “I need to have more baking experience and confidence in my knowledge before I am ready to start selling my baked goods to people.

I hear this all the time and I just want you to know that this is NOT a sign that you’re not ready.

When I started out, I literally baked one batch of cupcakes as an experiment just because I felt like some cake and it tasted great, and about a week or two later I was selling them.

That was the extent of my baking experience. Here’s a photo of how amateurish my bakes looked when I first started selling them.

Do your recipes & baked goods need to be "perfect" before you can start selling them? Actually, NO!! Not at all! Many home bakers assume they need to be a super experienced baker that develops their own recipes before they can start a Home Bakery. And it's a total LIE! Here's the truth about what it takes to start a Home Baking Business... #homebaker #baking #bakingbusiness #homebaking #homebakery

 

Sure, I baked a bit earlier in university and as a kid, but really just in the same way any normal girl bakes in her life. I didn’t have masses of baking experience or whatever.

Truth is, you need very limited baking experience before you can start a Home Bakery.

When I baked brownies for example in university, we had to raise money for charity. Baking treats was my go-to when I had to raise money for ANYTHING.

Sure, the brownies that I baked back then weren’t perfect, but they were still VERY delicious!

The brownie recipe I’m using now I’ve been tweaking and tweaking through the thousands of times I’ve made these brownies. But it doesn’t mean those first brownies were bad. They were still pretty darn tasty!

If your baking TASTES good then you’re good to go. You’re ready. It just has to TASTE delicious. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

Your baking doesn’t need to be the “most mind-blowing goods” you’ve ever had in your life or whatever. That’s not necessary. It just has to taste good and then you are ready.

Because baking experience, confidence and knowledge are things that you can LEARN. You can learn them on the go. You don’t need to have it “all figured out” before you’re ready to start a home bakery business.

 

2. “I need to have a spacious kitchen and fancy appliances before I can start.

I’m going to give it to you straight. This is a total LIE. A complete and total LIE.

We see spacious kitchens and fancy appliances on social media ALL the time, right?

We see bakers with these fancy KitchenAid mixers – some even have like three of them! We see bakers with like twenty spatulas and a massive commercial oven.

The BIG mistake we then make is to assume that we’d need all that fancy kitchen gear TOO before we can start a home bakery. But it’s so NOT true.

I started my side-hustle home bakery while I was working as an architectural technologist. I had a tiny salary and a heap of student debt, so there was NO WAY I could buy fancy appliances!

Back then I was living in a student house and the oven in the kitchen was unfortunately broken.

So, I would drive to my boyfriend’s (now husband) house to make my bakes there. After everything was baked, I drove back home and finished my bakes there – slicing brownies, frosting cupcakes, packaging everything.

Here’s the honest truth; I know life often doesn’t feel fair and it feels like other home bakers have it easier than you… But where there’s a will, there’s a way. You can MAKE this work.

If you don’t have a lot of space in your kitchen, that’s fine too!

After my first year of baking on the side, we got married. Then I decided to scale my side-hustle home bakery into a full-time one. For the first year and a half of full-time baking we lived in a tiny one-bedroom apartment and the kitchen was three square meters. I kid you not. Here’s a photo of our little kitchen.

I had two little counter tops and the oven in the middle and that was it. That was my entire kitchen.

In that tiny, 3 square meter kitchen I baked full-time for a year and a half! So, I repeat; you can MAKE it work.

Whatever your kitchen setup looks like, you can make it work. And if it seriously can’t work in your kitchen then ask a friend or family if you can bake in their kitchen once a week.

You don’t need a spacious kitchen to start a home bakery.

In my tiny kitchen I even baked for a massive event called the Good Food and Wine Show. In that tiny space I baked 1000 treats in four days. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

You don’t need heaps of resources to be successful. Success isn’t reserved for people who have an “easy life” or bottomless resources. Success goes to the people who use effective business strategies, are determined and work with what they have.

That’s what it takes to be successful.

So, whatever your situation is right now, you can make it work. Don’t let your kitchen size or lack of fancy appliances hold you back or determine whether you’re ready or not.

Your resources (or lack thereof) are NOT a sign of your ready-ness at all.

 

3. “I need to create my own recipes & they need to be perfect before I’m ready.

I already covered this a little bit in point number 1.

The very first brownies I made and sold weren’t perfect at all, but they still tasted really good! They weren’t the “ultimate chocolate brownies” that I bake now, but they were still pretty darn tasty.

Your baking does NOT have to be perfect before you’re ready to start a home bakery.

No-one is going to ask for your baking qualification or whatever. No-one cares. If it tastes good then people will buy from you. Your recipes don’t need to be perfect. Your baking just needs to taste good.

There are loads of amazing recipes online. You don’t need to develop your own recipes before you can sell your baked goods!

You can just find a delicious recipe online from Baker by Nature, Cleobuttera, Sally’s Baking Addiction, Brown-Eyed Baker or whoever else has a recipe with a high star-rating.

There are so many amazing baking blogs out there with stunning recipes. Always look at the star rating of the recipe and then make them. Make them, follow the recipe to the T and then taste it, if it tastes great then start selling them.

This is not a copyright infringement at all. If you started a blog and you copy their recipe and claim that it’s your own, that’s not okay. That would be illegal.

But, you may bake whatever recipes you find online and sell them. That’s totally okay and legal.

Of course, if you post that bake on social media it’s just good manners to tag the recipe’s creator in your caption. Please always do that.

 

4. “I’ll feel ready (not scared) when I’m ready to start a home bakery business or when it’s time for me to start one.

This is so not the case.

You see, our brains are very interesting things. Have you watched The Croods? It is such a great example!

It’s about this family of cave people and the father has this rule in their household that anything new is BAD. He’s so set on this rule that anything new is BAD because that’s how their family has survived for years and years. NOT avoiding new things is the reason why all their neighbours have died.

This is exactly the way many home bakers approach something like starting a home bakery!

Your brain will ALWAYS make you scared of things that are NEW.

Fear is NOT a sign that you’re not supposed to start a Home Bakery.

Fear is NOT a sign that you’re not ready. It’s just a sign that you’re HUMAN, that’s all. Don’t let the feeling of nervousness and fear make you assume that you’re not ready to start a home bakery.

 

Now that we’ve discussed how NOT to judge your ready-ness, let’s go over the ACTUAL signs that you’re ready to start a home bakery.

The 3 Signs that You’re READY to Start a Home Bakery Business:

1. You’re not looking for a “get-rich-quick shortcut” but you actually LOVE baking.

During Covid-19 people’s eyes have been opened to the benefits of a home bakery business.

You get to be at home – which is mandatory during quarantine and lockdown. You get to make money from the comfort of your own home and you’re able to be there for your family.

There are so many benefits to a home bakery business.

And now during Covid-19 I’ve received so many e-mails from people saying; “my wife and I are at home and we realize we have this time, let’s start a baking business!”

That’s great and all but you need to realize that if you’re going to start a home bakery you’re going to be baking – A LOT.

If you don’t love baking, you’re going to have a very tough time having a BAKING business! A home bakery is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It’s not a shortcut to quickly make money.

You’re going to have to grow. You are going to learn how to be a business owner.

In the beginning you’ll be baking after hours as you build up a side-hustle home bakery. Are you willing to make that commitment?

And then, when you’re baking full-time, you’re going to be baking about four to five days per week. Every week. Do you love baking enough to do it five days per week?

If you do, then that’s GREAT! Then you’re ready to start a Home Bakery.

If you only want to make a heap of money quickly then a home bakery business is not right for you. But, if you want to make an income AND the idea of baking on a very regular basis excites you, then you’re ready for a home bakery.

You LOVE baking and the idea of starting a baking business from home has been lingering in the back of your mind... But how can you know if you're really READY to Start a Home Bakery? If you've been doubting whether you're prepared enough, skilled enough, talented enough, experienced enough, etc. This post is for YOU! #baking #homebaking #homebakery #cakebusiness #homebusiness

2. You’re open to learning new things for the rest of your life.

Being open to learning new things is VITAL for the success of a home bakery business.

It’s fine if you feel like you don’t know enough. It is fine if you don’t have enough experience and knowledge right now and you don’t feel confident in your knowledge, that’s fine.

It’s only a problem if you don’t want to learn new skills or grow them.

Because learning new skills and growing them is the ONLY way you’re going to become a successful business owner.

A] You’re going to need to grow as a person.

Here’s a quote from small business expert Michael E Gerber (from his book The E-Myth Revisited): “Your small business will always be nothing more than a distinct reflection of who you are.”

Here’s what he’s saying: YOU are the center of your baking business. YOU are the person making all the decisions. And therefor your business will magnify YOUR weaknesses and strengths.

Every single business decision will be made in your mind. You are the person that makes those decisions.

So, if you’re very un-confident and insecure and doubt yourself then that’s going to come out in your baking business. It’s inevitable. It just happens.

I saw that in my own business and that’s why I had to grow so much as a person.

But once again, if you’re just OPEN to learning and growing and changing, then you are going to be totally fine. Then you’re ready to start a home bakery.

 

B] You’re also going to need to grow as a business owner.

School was a wonderful thing, I’m very grateful to have gone to school.

But you need to understand that school was created during the Industrial Revolution. It was a different time. School was intentionally designed to produce docile factory employees – someone that works for a boss.

The way you think, the way you function, the way you make decisions; ALL of it was shaped by the traditional schooling system.

Right now, you’re functioning like an employee that works for someone else. It’s not your fault. It’s not a bad thing. It’s just what school trained you for. That’s a fact.

But now that you want to become a successful business owner, you’re going to need to learn how to become an ENTREPRENEUR. That’s a totally different ball game.

The Employee mindsets, employee beliefs, employee ways of doing things (which you were taught in school) do not work when you’re trying to become an entrepreneur. Employee-thinking won’t help you when you want to become a successful business owner.

But once again, you just need to be OPEN to learning about entrepreneurship.

You just need to be open to learning new entrepreneurial skills and how to think like an entrepreneur, how to act like an entrepreneur.

Great news is that ANYONE who is open can learn how to be an entrepreneur!

It’s not something that you’re “born with” or not.

Anyone who is open can learn entrepreneurship skills. They are very simple. They are very straightforward and they can be taught. It can be learned.

You just need to be open and willing to learn; then you are ready.

 

3. You don’t have it all figured out. You’re scared but you’re ALSO excited!

I want you to imagine something for a moment. Picture yourself with a thriving home bakery. You are fully booked for this week and next week in advance.

You are baking full-time. You’re baking about four to five days per week.

Now, I want to ask you; does that thought make you feel tired and overwhelmed? OR does it make you feel nervous, but ALSO giddy and excited?

That’s how you know you’re ready to start a home bakery! If the thought is scary but it ALSO excites you.

In summary; what makes you ready is NOT the knowledge and experience you have. It’s NOT about feeling ready. It’s not about having a massive kitchen with fancy appliances.

None of those are signs that you are ready.

THE SIGNS THAT YOU’RE READY TO START A HOME BAKERY ARE:

  1. You’re in love with baking,
  2. You’re open to learning new skills and
  3. The thought of a home bakery makes you feel nervous and scared, but ALSO very excited.

 

I’m READY! What do I do Next??

And now, if you’ve just realized you ARE ready to start a Home Bakery Business, I’d love to show you HOW to do it 😊 Yay!

Remember how I told you need to learn how to think & act like an entrepreneur – not an employee?

Well, here’s an entrepreneurship TRUTH you need to know: Home Bakery success doesn’t happen by accident or luck or talent alone. Success happens with STRATEGY.

Even if you’re one of the best bakers in your town/city, you’ll still need to grow beyond being a baker and LEARN how to become an ENTREPRENEUR.

Because a successful baking business is 30% great baking and 70% great Business Strategy. That explains why commercial bakeries are so successful. Their baking doesn’t taste as good as yours, but their business strategy is on point! Make sense?

Imagine how far you could go if you had the business skills to MATCH your delicious baking!

Here’s how to get consistent sales every week:

Learn about ENTREPRENEURSHIP and learn about how CLIENTS THINK before they buy (in other words, learn about Marketing). Invest in a proven STRATEGY to get clients & sales every week.

If you want a home bakery that gets consistent orders and a stable income; you need a proven STRATEGY to get you there.

So, come join me in my next, free Home Bakery Masterclass to learn my exact system for creating a fully-booked baking business.

I can’t wait to see you there! 😊

Aurelia

Got a question? Something to add? Let’s chat in the comments section down below! (I respond to every single comment)

The 5 Best (and cheapest!) Resources to GROW Your Home Bakery Business

The 5 Best (and cheapest!) Resources to GROW Your Home Bakery Business

The 5 Best (and cheapest!) Resources to Grow Your Home Bakery Business


Honestly, I should have written this post AGES ago!

In this post I’ll share the BEST resources I’ve come across that have actually helped my Home Bakery to GROW. This post is ideal for you if you’ve already started your business and want to GROW it into a part-time or full-time gig.

Over the past few years I’ve been sharing these resources with bakers in emails when they ASKED for it. But it somehow never occurred to me that there are probably thousands of home bakers who have these questions too, but never ask them.

Questions like:

>> “I know my baking tastes really good, but I’m struggling to get clients consistently! How do I get more clients & sales?”

>> “I’ve had a few sales! I feel very excited, but I also feel totally overwhelmed… What am I supposed to do next to grow my business?”

>> “I’m working 24/7, but I’m barely making enough money to cover my expenses. What am I doing wrong? How do I grow my income?

 

This post is here to answer such questions and point you to resources that will help you to reach Home Bakery Success FASTER.

Please note: This post has affiliate links. This means that if you purchase some of these products I get a tiny commission – but at NO extra cost to you. I’m super proud to recommend these resources to you because they’ve completely transformed my Home Bakery Business!

1. Pricing Calculation System

This is probably the most important part of a baking business, but home bakers often don’t realize how serious this is.

You can have the best website in the world and be the best baker in the world – that doesn’t guarantee a successful Home Bakery.

Even if you can have the best recipes in town and have a massive client base… Even if you’re fully booked for months in advance it does NOT guarantee a successful Home Bakery!

We bakers often forget that a baking business is in fact a BUSINESS.

It’s super easy for us to get wrapped up in the BAKING part of it, but a successful Home Bakery is actually only 30% great baking and 70% great BUSINESS strategy.

That’s why large commercial bakeries with average baking are so successful. They KNOW that their BUSINESS strategy matters more than double as much as the quality of their baking!

They may score low on their baking quality, but they’ve got their business strategy down! They’re great business people and therefor their companies thrive.

I’ve told you all of this as an intro to the ONE most important business strategy tip you need.

Here’s my top tip: Businesses need MONEY to stay alive.

It’s not about being greedy at all. Just like plants need water to stay healthy and grow, businesses need money to stay healthy and grow.

If your Home Bakery doesn’t make enough money, it’s going to die. Simple as that. It’s a fact.

Yes, it’s super forward of me to say this so straight. And honestly I wish someone told me things so straight when I first started out!

The MAIN source of income you have is selling your baked goods. That’s where the money is at and it’s VITAL to your success that this part of your business functions properly!

If you undercharge for your baked goods or give all your family’s orders to them for free, you’ll need to address this as soon as possible.

Remember, your business needs money to stay healthy and grow.

If you struggle with undercharging and pricing in general you can check out this blog post >> 6 Steps for Pricing Your Baked Goods with Confidence.

You can also get my Pricing Calculator when you subscribe to my FREE Resource Library! It’s a super nifty PDF file that calculates the recommended selling price FOR you based on your ingredient costs, time spent, etc.

When you have your pricing system in place, your business will make the money it’s supposed to make.

When you price correctly you’re setting your Home Bakery up for growth and success!

2. Marketing for Beginners

Some of the best advice I can offer you is to start educating yourself on MARKETING as soon as possible!

The best products don’t get the most sales. The best MARKETING gets the most sales!

Marketing is ALL about learning how to make strangers realize that YOUR baked goods are exactly what they’ve been looking for.

Bakers tend to view business in a very outdated way. I did too at first!

They believe that there are 2 things you need to do to build a successful Home Bakery Business; bake great treats and advertise them. This strategy may have worked in the 80’s, but it’s not enough anymore!

I’m sure you’ve been experiencing this reality first hand and that’s why you’re here looking for answers.

Down that path the inevitable happens… We believe we just need to “bake great treats and advertise them” but no matter how hard we try, we just DON’T get more clients and sales.

It sucks!

And we start assuming that the reason why it’s not working is because we:

A] Aren’t “good enough” bakers or
B] Aren’t spending enough money on advertising.

This is TOTAL GARBAGE my friend. You’re a victim of totally outdated information!

First of all I want to tell you that businesses don’t struggle because their products aren’t good enough. They also don’t struggle because they don’t advertise enough. And they definitely don’t struggle because they don’t spend “enough money” on advertising.

Want to hear a shocking fact?

For 4 whole years I didn’t need to spend a single cent on advertising and my Home Bakery was fully booked every month! And it’s all because of this ONE thing – Effective Marketing.

Truth is that if you’re not getting clients you have a marketing problem. NOT an advertising problem.

Advertising and marketing isn’t the same thing.

Here’s the difference between Advertising and Marketing:

Marketing is about all the things you do to ATTRACT people to your business.

When you understand marketing and apply it effectively to your business you’re essentially turning your biz into a high-intensity MAGNET that attracts your ideal clients to you on autopilot.

Advertising on the other hand is like deep sea fishing… You go OUT and hope to find clients. It’s stressful. It’s risky. And most of all it gets expensive very fast! I’m sure you’ve felt that with your advertising efforts!

The honest truth: My Home Bakery has been fully booked 98% of the time (sometimes for 3 months in advance) with ZERO advertising.

When I started out in 2013 I DID TRY advertising and I didn’t get any business from it whatsoever! But investing my time in learning about MARKETING has made all the difference in my business.

And the great news is that marketing doesn’t need to be this super expensive mission to learn! It’s actually super cheap and effective to learn from books! That’s what I did and it works 🙂

You don’t need to go to an expensive university to understand marketing. YOU have the power to take control of your education.

I picked up my first ever marketing book I highly recommend that you start with the book just after my baking biz lost a HUGE client and hence 70% of my income – overnight!

I picked up a book (thanks to my legit husband), studied it, applied everything I learned, and a year later my Home Bakery was booked solid for 3 months in advance.

This book is a fantastic introduction to marketing in a small business and it’s called The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau. It changed everything in my Home Bakery!

Get it as soon as you can. Read a bit of it every day. Apply what you learn and I promise you – your Home Bakery Business WILL grow.

3. An Effective Website

As a home baker I totally get how daunting it seems to set up a website!

But the website building world has CHANGED drastically in the past few years. Don’t be scared off by the technological aspect of website building my friend. It’s really not a big deal at all.

Since I built my first, super embarrassing website back in 2012; some amazing, USER FRIENDLY software has been developed to help non-techies like us to build beautiful websites in no time!

But before we get to the “how?” of building a website, it’s essential that we cover the “why?”.

Why do you need a Website?

A] It’s professional:

Home Bakeries are all about approachability and connection. But when it comes to your website, it’s the one place you really need to be super professional.

According to a survey done by CNBC, a staggering 45% of small businesses don’t have a website!

And the fact of the matter is that today’s consumers LIVE online – so you need to be online to reach them.

Having a website communicates to clients that you take your Home Bakery very seriously and that you take them and their needs seriously as well.

If you don’t have a website, there will also be confusion over your availability to bake for them. If you only have, say a Facebook page, it may seem to them that your Home Bakery is just a casual thing you do for friends and family.

Having a website communicates to people that you mean business!

And lastly, to be honest, NOT having a website in this online era will ONLY damage your business’s perceived value.

The very first thing people do when they are interested in a business is to check out their website.

The last thing you want is for someone to be interested in your bakes, but then dismiss your home bakery as sub-standard because you don’t have a website.

Think of a website as your 21st century business card.

Have you ever been in a conversation where you tell people about your baking biz and then they love it so much that they ask for your business card, but then you don’t have one?

It’s such a sucky and embarrassing feeling isn’t it?!

Well, NOT having a website is the 21st Century equivalent of that!

You absolutely need a website to get business and sales to grow your business.

 

B] A Website Increases your Business’s credibility & reach:

As soon as your business has a website, it’s seen as a LEGIT business. It’s like having an online office/shop address.

A Website provides an opportunity for SEO (Search engine optimisation). This sounds complicated, but it’s really simple. SEO is about strategies that websites use to communicate to Google that you are a high quality bakery in your town/city/suburb.

This makes it easier for NEW potential clients to find your business on Google search which means more sales and profit for you!

Without a website, Google unfortunately and literally can’t recommend you to people searching for bakeries online.

 

C] A Website is an Opportunity to Exhibit What You Do:

See your website as a portfolio of what VALUE your Home Bakery has to offer.

If you fail to communicate online WHAT exactly it is that you do and how people can benefit from that, you are losing out on sales – BIG TIME.

Your home bakery essentially has a “job interview” with every single client that’s considering to order from you. And not having a website is like not even showing up for your job interview! Shocking!

 

D] A Website Saves You Time:

It does take some time to set up a website in the beginning, but it’s the most valuable time investment you’ll ever make.

On a website you can put ALL the details about your business and services out there for clients to see. It brings them up to speed with your business workings.

This means that you won’t spend hours answering the same questions over and over again every time someone wants to order from you.

Questions like: Do you bake for weekends? How many people does your 9 inch cake serve? Is there corn flour in your gluten free bakes? Do you deliver?

Prospective clients usually check out your website first before they will actually order from you. If they can find all the answers to their questions on your website, that means clearer communication for them and less work for you.

Even if your home bakery is just starting out as a part time venture, build a website as soon as possible. I built mine when I was just baking once a week! And it has been a backbone of success in my business.

 

HOW to Build a Website:

If you haven’t built a website yet, I strongly urge you to use Wix. They make it SO EASY to create a website – for free!

My very first website was on Wix, but my cousin offered to help me build me a website on WordPress because she knew WordPress very well. When I became more serious about my blog I bought a super expensive WordPress theme that has helped my blogging endeavours in particular.

But if I had to choose a platform for my HOME BAKERY’S website today, I’d absolutely choose WIX. I bought that ridiculously expensive WordPress theme because I was ignorant – to be honest.

I had no idea that Wix had become so incredible.

Squarespace is nice as well, but Wix’s free website themes & templates are better in my honest opinion and Wix is WAY more user friendly and cheaper than Squarespace.

Wix has this very nifty “Wix ADI” which is built in software that creates a whole website FOR YOU based on the information you provide! So awesome!

What’s also great about Wix is that they have a built in SEO program. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. When your SEO is good, then Google will give you a higher ranking which increases your chances of being seen when people Google bakeries in your town/city.

SEO usually takes a lot of time & effort and it’s a steep learning curve to master it. Knowing that Wix takes care of all that will preserve your sanity.

So, my friend, even if you are technologically challenged, you will be able to get the results you want without breaking a sweat.

Another wonderful perk is that lifetime technical support is included! This means they have a team of people online 24/7 to assist you if you get stuck during the website building process.

Click here to start building your website on Wix. With their amazing templates you could be DONE creating your website in like 4 hours max!

And here’s a YouTube tutorial to help you build your Wix website.

4. Build a Story Brand for Your Home Bakery Business

For the first 5 years in my Home Bakery Business I always positioned my Home Bakery to “impress people”. I thought that’s what you need to do to get people’s attention. You need to IMPRESS them.

Maybe you feel that way right now in your business?

But people don’t buy because they’re impressed.

They buy when they clearly (and quickly) see that you UNDERSTAND their problems and can help them to overcome those problems.

Here’s the most shocking truth of why businesses fail: They position themselves as the hero of the story. They make the story all about them and how amazing their company is.

But meanwhile all clients are only interested in ONE story – their OWN story!

Here’s a practical example:

We all tend to think we are Daniel LaRusso at the end of the Karate Kid movie.

On our social media and websites we parade around with our trophy trying to show people “Look! My home bakery it legit! Look at the delicious things I make! Look at the list of organic ingredients I use! Come over here and read my life story that’s all about me!”

I did this too. It’s how we all start out and there’s no shame in that because it’s what we see so many other businesses do.

But if you want your Home Bakery Business to GROW, you’re going to need to start to approach your business’ story DIFFERENTLY.

Truth is, my dear friend, we are NOT the hero of the story.

YOUR CLIENT is the hero.

Your business’ story is about guiding your client to success.

You’re Mr Miyagi!! You are the GUIDE, not the hero.

A successful business is the one guiding Daniel (your client) and helping him to overcome his problems and reach success.

When your business is all about YOU, it won’t attract new clients.

But when your business starts to revolve around your clients’ success, they start flocking to you automatically!

Believe it or not this is just ONE of the SEVEN steps that Donald Miller teaches you in his best-selling book – Building a StoryBrand.

When I started positioning my Home Bakery Business as the GUIDE and the client as the hero, things in my biz totally transformed!

Building a StoryBrand is THE BEST book on Marketing I’ve ever read. Period.

The strategies in this book are a bit more advanced though. This book will only be beneficial to you once you’ve already got a website and have worked through the book The $100 Startup already.

Building a StoryBrand has changed my life! You can also check out their podcast which is free and incredible >> Building a StoryBrand Podcast. But start at EPISODE 1! Don’t skip ahead and miss all the gold!

5. Curated Home Bakery Business Training

I’ve shared a lot of valuable resources with you in this post.

Personally I had to digest all these resources and at least 100 others – I’m talking more books, endless podcast episodes, expensive online courses and more.

Then I had to spend years TESTING & TWEAKING all this info to see what works specifically for a Home Bakery and what doesn’t.

I’ve already gone through this effort, so that means you don’t have to figure it all out by yourself! I’d like to invite you to my next free Home Bakery Masterclass where I’ll share my top Home Bakery Business Secrets with you.

Click the button below to join the wait list for my next FREE Home Bakery Masterclass.

That’s it for this post 🙂 I hope that you’ve enjoyed discovering what resources I’ve used to get my Home Bakery Business to where it is today!

Dive in and take control of your own education. Apply everything you learn and I guarantee you that your Baking Business WILL GROW.

Cheerio

Aurelia

Got a question? Something to add? Let’s chat in the comments section down below! (I respond to every single comment)

REAL Home Bakery Heroes – Pie, Pie My Darling (Chicago, USA)

REAL Home Bakery Heroes – Pie, Pie My Darling (Chicago, USA)

REAL Home Bakery Heroes: The Inspirational Story of Pie, Pie My Darling

The first time I encountered the wonders of Pie, Pie My Darling on Instagram I was MESMERIZED…

Firstly because ALL Heather’s cakes on her feed were just BEGGING me to eat them!! In a world of “pretty cakes” (brimming with overly sweet, flavourless, plastic, “edible” crap), it makes the kid in me instinctive leap for joy when I find baking that’s sole purpose is to BE and LOOK completely and utterly DELICIOUS.

Secondly, because it was so rare to find a home baker with an engaged following of over 50 000 people on their Instagram Account! People literally queue in lines up to 100 people, waiting to get their hands on her magical bakes. She ALWAYS sells out – even up to 2000 treats – at her pop up stores.

 

For a couple of weeks I kept going to back to Pie, Pie My Darling’s Instagram account… Endlessly scrolling and gawking at all Heather’s bakes…

There was a coherent effervescence of nostalgia…

A clear insight and conviction of the ROLE that baked goods fulfill in people’s lives…

A mutual belonging, devotion, care, loyalty and love between Heather and her clients… Her fans… Her people.

And that’s why I’m so honoured and excited to share this interview with you today!

Pie, Pie My Darling embodies the message of AUTHENTIC Home Baking to me. She’s a REAL Home Bakery Hero!

I’m confident that her story will comfort you, excite you and above all – inspire you.

 

Here we go!

 

For those who don’t know you; who are you, where do you live and what do you do?

My name is Heather and I’m the owner of an all vegan bakery in Chicago called Pie, Pie My Darling!

REAL Home Bakery Heroes: An Honest Interview with the sensational Vegan Bakery Pie, Pie my Darling in Chicago, Illinois, USA! Heather shares about her childhood, developing her unique style and building her amazing vegan bakery from scratch with no formal qualifications. Click through to read this incredible interview! #veganbakery #homebakery #bakingbusiness #piepiemydarling

Where did you grow up and what were your childhood experiences of cakes, desserts and baking?

I grew up in a little town about an hour west of Chicago called Oswego.

My mom was a health food hippie so everything in the house was all natural, refined sugar free, etc. I have memories of making carob brownies and sugar free apple crisp with her… but for the holidays sometimes we would get store-bought cookie dough or brownie mix.

I remember the one day I looked forward to all year was my birthday, because I got to have a super rich and super unhealthy chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and sprinkles. Best day ever.

 

Who first exposed you to baking?

I would say probably my mom, though again, we didn’t do much of it and it was suuuuuper minimalistic. As a teen/young adult I didn’t bake or go anywhere near my kitchen at all, so even though I’ve now been baking for several years, it’s still a fairly new thing in my life!

 

What were your school years like; how did you feel about yourself, about life and about other kids?

I hated school; hated every minute of it. I was bullied pretty bad by both the teachers and other students and would often fake sick so I didn’t have to go. I ended up graduating early and finishing my last semester from home because I just didn’t want to be around people anymore.

It was a really dark time for me and I’m just so glad to be past it and in a place in my life where I finally feel safe and accepted.

 

Did you always plan to be a baker or did you have other career plans at first?

Totally wasn’t in my plans at all! I always wanted to be a therapist, or a writer. Went to school for both and ended up dropping out because I just couldn’t focus. I was dealing with a lot of social anxiety that kind of spilled over from middle school.

I think in a way baking became an escape for me because I can do it alone and just kind of get lost in my thoughts and forget about all of the things that make me distressed or anxious.

 

Do you have any baking or business qualifications from a college or university?

Nope, totally self-taught and totally winging it! I considered going to pastry school at one point but never followed through with it. Everything I know was learned via trial and error & reading tons and tons of baking books.

RELATED: Library of FREE Resources for (aspiring) Home Bakery Owners

 

What happened that made you consider to bake for a living? What was that “oh wow! I could DO this!” moment for you?

I think the moment was at my first market when I baked a bunch of pies and they sold out within the first hour! I was just amazed and truly hadn’t expected that kind of a demand.

The next week my inbox was flooding with orders and people reached out with positive feedback and it just really made me feel like for once I had something to be proud of, something worth exploring.

 

How did Pie, Pie My Darling Start?

When I was 20 I worked at Whole Foods, had just dropped out of college, and felt really aimless and uninspired.

I started baking from home whenever I had a chance and bringing treats in to work for my co-workers to try, not really thinking much of it. It got to a point where I was baking so much and so often that my house was literally bursting with more treats than I could eat myself or share with friends/co-workers, so I decided to try selling them.

I went online and found a local market, picked a name for my business based on one of my favourite Misfits songs, and the rest is history!

RELATED: 5 Tips for Selling your Baked Goods at Food Markets

 

Were you scared to start your baking business and how did you deal with that?

Totally. I had no idea what I was doing and didn’t know what to expect.

I had major anxiety before my first popup. In my head it was like what if I make all these pies and literally no one buys them or cares? What am I even doing? There was so much doubt but I didn’t really have anything to lose by just trying it out once, so I went for it.

 

How did your family and friends respond to your desire to bake for a living? And how did you deal with that?

I think at first they were definitely a little skeptical, especially since I hadn’t ever really shown an interest in baking previously. But at the time I had been in a psychological rut for years so I think they were just happy to see me doing something positive with my time instead of being self-destructive.

More recently my dad grabbed lunch with me and told me how proud he was to see me owning my own business and calling the shots and just being creative and happy, and it really meant the world to me.

REAL Home Bakery Heroes: An Honest Interview with the sensational Vegan Bakery Pie, Pie my Darling in Chicago, Illinois, USA! Heather shares about finding herself, developing her own unique style and building her amazing, sold out vegan bakery from scratch with no formal qualifications. Click through to read this incredible interview! #veganbakery #homebakery #bakingbusiness #piepiemydarling

What were  the first bakes you ever sold? To whom did you sell them?

The first popup I ever sold treats at was this little market called Vegan Vortex in Chicago. It was super small and super affordable—just pay $40 for a table and you’re in.

I remember it was a Halloween market and I made 5 different flavours of mini pies in 6” and teeny little bite sized 3” tarts too. I think the flavours were pumpkin, apple, lemon cream, sweet potato, & chocolate cream.

 

How did you feel once you made your first sale? And how did it influence your life & plans?

Selling pies at that first little market was honestly life-changing for me.

I was so anxious and made all these little mini pies and didn’t know anyone there and was SO shy, but to my surprise I ended up selling out in the first hour!

People were asking me for my info so they could place orders and making posts about my stuff… it was crazy. I had just made my Instagram page a couple days before and had less than 10 Instagram followers. It was incredibly validating and made me think like wow…I could really make this a thing.

 

You have such a unique, stunning style. How did you find your baking style & voice?

Aww, thank you! I think in a lot of ways my baking style is influenced by the sheer fact that I’m not a professional, I’m a home baker at heart, and that reflects in my decoration choices.

I never learned how to make fondant or scrape a cake till it’s 100% smooth and perfect and pristine (and honestly never wanted to), so instead I chose to cover my cakes in colorful sprinkles or cookie crumbs or ganache drip.

Childhood nostalgia is the main inspiration for my baking—I’m not looking to impress necessarily—I want to make something that makes the kid in you squeal with joy. I want to make the treats my mom forbade me to eat when I was little 😂

 

How did you grow your baking skills to this level?

Lots and lots of practice, failure, and trial & error!

It’s interesting to look back at my photos from years ago and see how the growth was pretty organic. Like when I first started my ganache drip was a bit messy and frosting was more sloppy, and over time after doing hundreds and hundreds of cakes things just kind of naturally progressed.

 

How long did it take before you could bake full-time?

I think it took about two years! For the first year I had a full time job and baked on the side, and then towards the second year I went down to just three days a week, then two, then just one until things got so busy with PPMD that I just knew it was time to take the plunge into doing it full time.

 

Which books, podcasts, blog posts, videos or online courses helped most to grow you as a business woman?

To be honest, I haven’t read up much on how to run a business and even still to this day feel like I’m winging it and have a lot to learn!

For my baking influence, though, I give so much credit to Isa Chandra and all of her cookbooks + her website post punk kitchen. Her books not only made me feel like I could be vegan and still bake amazing treats, but they also made me feel like I can be myself and not some perfect cookie cutter cookbook model and still make it in the industry.

 

You have such a loyal group of utterly devoted fans. Why do you think people resonate so much with you and your brand?

I think some people may resonate with me and my story because I’m just an ordinary girl, you know?

I didn’t have any fancy training or schooling and I’m not above others in any way. I’m just a home baker who stumbled upon a passion and was lucky enough to make that passion into a career.

I’ve also been told by many customers/followers that my choice to share a lot about myself and my issues with mental illness, addiction/recovery/etc. brings me closer to them because they’re seeing the real me and lots of them can relate.

My customers are like friends to me, and actually many of them have become friends in real life! I feel incredibly lucky to have so much support and to feel like I finally found my people.

 

What are the 2 best decisions you’ve made in your Baking Business?

  1. Breaking ties with other business owners who were toxic and
  2. always staying true to myself and my passion/morals/aesthetic/worldview no matter what.

 

What are the 2 worst mistakes you’ve made in your Baking Business?

  1. Mistaking business relationships for friendships i.e.: expecting the other businesses you work closely with to care as much about your business as you do and have your best interest in mind.
  2. Overworking myself to the point of burnout.

 

What are the 2 most valuable lessons you’ve learned about running a baking business?

  1. Quality over quantity—you will never be able to please everyone, and there will always be people who want more from you than you are able to give.
  2. It’s OK to say no. The people who actually respect you and your work will always understand.

 

What are the 2 most valuable lessons you’ve learned about yourself in this process?

  1. I’ve learned that I’m stronger than I ever would have imagined, and that I’m not worthless, and do have value.
  2. I’ve also learned the importance of taking breaks and just stopping every now and then for self-care instead of constantly working myself into the ground. There is a lot of pressure to constantly be creating and I’ve learned that my mental health and sanity is worth more than that.

 

What are the 2 most valuable lessons you’ve learned about people/clients in this process?

  1. You can’t please everyone and for every person who will scold you for not being perfect/not giving them whatever they want when they want, there are 10 more people standing by supporting you, loving you, and caring for you.
  2. I love my customers so much and consider many of them to be my friends. I think as business owner you have the ability to teach people how to treat you, and if you let people step all over you there will always be a constant imbalance. The whole process is so much healthier when there is mutual respect on both ends.

RELATED: 6 Easy Steps to Deal with Difficult Home Bakery Clients

REAL Home Bakery Heroes: An Honest Interview with the sensational Vegan Bakery Pie, Pie my Darling in Chicago! Click to read this incredible interview! #veganbakery #homebakery #bakingbusiness #piepiemydarling

What are your plans & dreams for Pie, Pie My Darling going forward?

I would really love to make a storefront happen this year 🖤 It’s been a dream of mine for a long time and though there have been many, many roadblocks over the years, I’m never giving up on it. I would also like to let go of control a little and hire some full time bakers so I can grow and keep up with the demand.

 

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start a Home Bakery, but feels they aren’t “good enough”?

YOU ARE SO GOOD ENOUGH!!

I know this sounds corny but seriously, if I can do it, you can do it.

I literally started from nothing with no business or baking experience, no following, and a tiny little gas oven in my home kitchen and now it’s my full time job. All you need is the passion and drive and you can totally do it.

Remember to be yourself and make an effort to create things that are your own instead of trying to be like other bakers. What you’re looking for is inside you.

RELATED: 4 MYTHS that are Delaying you from Starting a Home Bakery

 

If you are lucky enough to live in Chicago, you can check out Pie, Pie My Darling’s website to order.

The rest of us will have to stick to licking our screens on Pie, Pie My Darling’s Instagram Account!

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us Heather! I’m sure your story will bless all the other Home Bakers just as much as it has blessed me.

 

Do you have any Home Bakery Heroes you would like me to interview?

Let me know in the comments below and I’ll try my best to make it happen!

 

Chat soon

Aurelia

POPULAR BAKING TIPS

Don't throw out your split chocolate ganache! You can save it and make is 100% smooth & shiny! :D Click through for all the tips you need to fix and prevent split/oily/grainy chocolate ganache. #chocolateganache #splitganache #bakingtips #bakingtipsandtricks
Want to get that thin, super shiny crust on top of your brownies? Great news is, you don't need to drop your favourite brownie recipe in search of a shiny-top brownie recipe! You can use this simple baking tip to get a shiny crust on ANY brownie recipe that contains dairy and sugar! Click through to get the step by step method for baking brownies with a shiny crust on top... #baking #bakingtips #brownies #homebaking #bakingtipsandtricks

POPULAR POSTS

How much income is your home bakery missing out on every month because you keep undercharging for your baking? It shouldn't be this way! You deserve to be paid well for your hard work! In this post you'll learn how to stop feeling guilty for charging customers full price. Then you'll get step-by-step tips for raising your prices so you can start earning more income from your home baking :) #homebakery #homebakerypricing #cakebusiness #homebakingbusiness
Struggling to find time for yourself and your family in your home bakery business? These AMAZING time management tips from a 6+ years full-time home baker are exactly what you need! Learn how to use what you've got to get your baking done faster. Learn how to prioritize and plan effectively so you are in charge of your schedule, make a great profit, and don't burn out in the process! #homebaking #homebakery #athomebakery #cakebusiness #cupcakebusiness
How do you price home baking? What if you charge too little for your home baking and don't make enough income? What if your home baking's prices are too high and no customers want to buy from you? In this post you'll learn how to do your baked goods pricing the RIGHT way, so you can make more profit and even turn home baking into your career! #homebakery #bakerypricing #bakingbusiness #cakebusiness

Do you dream of starting a home bakery, but then thoughts of self-doubt like these start flooding your mind… “People aren’t going to think my baking is worth it. All the other bakers are better than me. I’m not good enough.” Truth is pretty much ALL home bakers get these thoughts! You’re not alone! In this post you’ll learn how to beat self doubt so you can be free to pursue your baking business goals. Click through to get the tips now… #homebaking #selfdoubt #homebakery #bakingbusiness #baking

POPULAR BAKING BIZ TIPS

Want to start a Home Bakery Business? Or maybe you have a business but you want more customers and consistent orders? Here's a free library full of resources, tips, tools, secret recipes and ideas to grow your Home Baking Business. Click through to access the free library! #homebakery #homebaking #bakingbusiness #cakebusiness
You absolutely DO NOT need to make fondant cakes to have a successful Home Bakery Business! Learn how I've been baking, full-time, for 6 years without EVER touching fondant! Click to learn how you can do it too... #homebakery #bakingbusiness #cakebusiness #homebaking #baking
One of the BEST ways to make your home bakery business stand out from your competition, is to pick a business name that actually attracts customers! In this post you'll get a behind the scenes look at what customers look for in a business name. You'll finally understand which types of business names attract them to a baking business, and which types of names put them off or bore them. Click the post to get the tips now! #homebakery #bakingbusiness #businessname #baking #homebaking

Got a question? Something to add? Let’s chat in the comments section down below! (I respond to every single comment)

4 Lies Home Bakers Believe about Opening a Storefront Bakery

4 Lies Home Bakers Believe about Opening a Storefront Bakery

4 LIES Home Bakers Believe about Opening a Storefront Bakery

**Guest content further down by Tina McJunkin from Cautiously Optimistic Kitchen**

 

This 2 PART SERIES I’m starting today is probably the most important one I have shared with you to date. It’s not a fun one, but it is ABSOLUTELY necessary.

The reason why it isn’t going to be fun for you to read is because it will address a BIG and sacred dream you probably have. I know you have this dream because I had this dream too for 5 long years.

For 5 years I used to pin beautiful images to a Pinterest board I named “If I had my own little bakery“.

MANY (in fact MOST) of my readers confirm for me every week that this is a home baker’s ultimate dream…

To own your very own storefront bakery.

 

This dream in itself CAN BE a good dream to work towards, but honestly we all have unrealistic pictures and expectations in our minds about what this kind of life looks like on a day to day basis.

Over my years as a full time home baker, I’ve been through a lot and the ideal of my own retail bakery started to lose its glossy veneer. I can honestly say that I absolutely LOVE being a full time HOME BAKER.

It feels like having your own retail bakery is the ultimate GOAL in baking. A heap of my clients, friends and family still ask me: “WHEN are you going to open your own Retail Bakery??”

My immediate, content answer is “No, thanks” 🙂

Because I am truly happy where I am as a full time HOME Baker.

And a lot of this perspective came from reading a post by Tina McJunkin from The Cautiously Optimistic Kitchen.

SO I ASK OF YOU TODAY TO BE OPEN AND LISTEN TO TINA’S STORY BECAUSE SHE HAS BEEN THERE AND DONE THAT! 

Here’s what Tina has to say about her baking journey. She was a Home Baker, just like you and me, but for the whole 2 years she baked from home, she always dreamed of owning her very own retail bakery.

 

Here is Tina’s TRUE Story

Most every home baker dreams of having their own retail bakery. It’s something you start thinking about the very moment someone loves a cake you baked for them!

On television and online you see the financial industry, business card, credit card, and website designer commercials showing all of the smiling business owners talking about how great it is to have their own store.

You see the Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube pages, videos and posts all touting how it’s the way to go and you won’t regret your decision if you go for it!

Want to have your own Retail Bakery? This is the side of the story that no one else is talking about. Most every home baker dreams of having their own retail bakery. Here is the TRUE story and the realities of owning your own retail bakery - because I want you to make INFORMED DECISIONS.

But is it really all it’s cracked up to be?

Well… that’s going to be for you to decide. But for me, the short answer was NO.

Today I’m going to share my experience with you. This is the side of the story that no one else is talking about.

 

I Decided I was Ready for My Own Retail Bakery.

After nearly two years of baking from home I was ready to open my very own retail bakery. I had built a pretty good clientele of loyal customers and felt my skill level was up to par (haha!).

All my days and nights I spent dreaming – obsessing about what I would name my shop, how I would decorate the front of house, what my logo would look like, and how customers would come strolling in one after the other from opening time until closing time.

Although, the biggest dreams I had were how much money I would make, how much room I would free up in my home, and all the extra time I would have to spend with my family! <sigh>

Boy was I wrong! About most of it anyway. There is so much more to having your own retail bakery than you realize.

 

**I want to say right now, this is the story of MY experience. So many others have opened their own retail bakery and loved it. In such cases it was the absolute right decision for them. My goal is NOT to bring you down and stomp on your dreams.**

I am only here to share the realities of owning your own retail bakery with you because I want you to make INFORMED DECISIONS.

It can be the greatest experience you’ve ever had, but it can also be heart-breaking. A Retail Bakery can be exhausting and it is absolutely challenging.

 

There are many people with a mind and spirit made for business. I unfortunately realized I was not cut out for this type of thing. I made a lot of mistakes and my biggest mistake was my IGNORANCE about HOW to actually operate a retail business.

So here’s my story. Please read it with an open mind.

I will share my story in light of 4 Misconceptions I had about owning my own retail Bakery.

 

1. I Believed a Retail Bakery Would Make More Money

The truth is I paid every penny out to others.

I did not profit a single cent even though we “made” six figures the first 9 months we were open. Yes, 6 figures. But NONE of it was in my pocket. It cost us several thousands to open the bakery plus the huge burden of overheard.

The electric bills alone were $500-800/month in the moderate size unit we were in. I also had to hire employees (please don’t think you can do this alone!). Paying sales taxes, unemployment taxes and insurance, and salaries (now the employment laws are getting even crazier), advertising, liability insurance, and credit card processing fees took huge chunks of money every month.

I needed to constantly add new items and run promotions to keep walk in business, as people are bored very easily, and it’s exhausting!  ALL food businesses do it so don’t expect to be the exception.

Even if you opened a CAKE shop like I did, people will expect you to be a full service bakery.

It was the right thing for me to open my own retail bakery because I was obsessed with the thought. OBSESSED I tell you. I couldn’t think of anything else. I thought this was what I was meant to do and had total misconceptions of the "storefront bakery dream"... #homebakery #bakingbusiness #retailbakery #cakebusiness

 

With all the new orders I had to buy more ingredients/packaging to keep up which was more money out the door. You will probably need to add something to bring customers in if you aren’t a full service bakery, like an ice cream parlour, lunches, or even sell merchandise in your store.

 

There are busy seasons and slow seasons in the cake world.

I didn’t take into account that the summer and winter would be so slow!

I never had any issues before booking up in my home bakery during these times of year. But I also only needed a fraction of the business to operate.

When you have employees and overheard you need steady orders and walk in traffic ALL year long! Take advantage of busy times (Valentine’s Day, Graduation and Wedding seasons) and promote lots of specials.

It is an absolute MUST that you raise your prices drastically from what you are charging at home. Don’t be surprised when your loyal customers aren’t happy about that.

Not everyone realizes how much money it takes just to keep the lights on and they will not understand why you raised your “great” prices from back when you were the “cheap” cake lady!

 

2. I Thought Customers Would Be Kind

I have to be completely honest with you.

I didn’t want to deal with people EVER again after I closed my shop.

Even though there were many, many, many more satisfied customers I dealt with than unhappy customers, those very few unhappy ones made a huge impact on my view of the world. People change as soon as you have a store front.

People expect WAY more from you and are not afraid to tell all of social media about when they are not happy about anything.

Want to have your own Retail Bakery? This is the side of the story that no one else is talking about. Most every home baker dreams of having their own retail bakery. Here is the TRUE story and the realities of owning your own retail bakery - because I want you to make INFORMED DECISIONS.

They will even expect refunds for their own mistakes that they made while ordering. They become much pickier.

They become hateful and quick to judge without giving any thought to the fact that this is how you feed your family. It is just fact that not every single customer will be happy and love your work. I completely understand that. I am a consumer too!

But so many people forget that you are just a woman chasing her dreams and rather than speaking with you about any issues they will just run your name through the mud instead. That’s the reality of this digital world we live in today.

When I did have a customer approach me with an issue it was ALWAYS dealt with. You cannot ignore unsatisfied customers. You MUST take every measure you possibly can to turn the situation around. People remember the single negative review and will scroll right past the 1000 positive reviews you may have.

I was sure to be quick with a sincere apology (even if it wasn’t our fault) and I offered a refund as well as a replacement for the product. When customers came to me unhappy I can gladly say they left with a changed attitude and I nearly always saw them back in my shop as a repeat customer!

I unfortunately wasn’t always given the opportunity to make things right and that really got to me. It really hurt when people chose to be negative and stir up conflict without ever addressing the issue with me.

Not only was this difficult to deal with, but I lost the personal encounters with my customers.

They just became an order form that my employee filled out. And I had to hope they got all the info and wrote everything down correctly. I also had customers that refused to deal with any of my employees and only speak with me because they were long time clients.

The thing is, I didn’t have time to deal with customers personally because I was busy running the business end of things.

 

3. I Thought I Would Have Much More Free Time!

Except in my own retail bakery, I was now the boss. I was not only responsible for my own quality of work but I was also responsible for my employees quality of work and customer service.

Finding good, reliable employees can be extremely challenging! No one cares about your business like you do.

 

Even when you have a good staff you will still work

EVERY.

SINGLE.

DAY.

I worked 80+ hours a week and had no time for my children.

Want to have your own Retail Bakery? This is the side of the story that no one else is talking about. Most every home baker dreams of having their own retail bakery. Here is the TRUE story and the realities of owning your own retail bakery - because I want you to make INFORMED DECISIONS.

I kid you not, I missed an entire year of my children’s lives. I cleaned out some boxes awhile after we closed our shop and found so many school papers and order forms for school pictures I had never seen before!

I wasn’t able to take time off or go on vacation. I had to worry about bad weather and not being able to be open during winter. Winter and Summer are extremely slow times of the year for bakeries.

You also can’t just not take orders or not go to work because you are tired or don’t feel up to making cake that day – which is something you can always do in a home bakery setup!

 

4. I Thought I Had the Right Mind & SPIRIT for Business

Owning a business is so, SUPER stressful – especially a busy and successful business.

I was STRESSED OUT WHEN…

  • We were so busy that I didn’t go home on Friday nights because we had to get orders finished for Saturday morning.
  • We sold out of cupcakes in our case every day the first week we were open and had to disappoint customers.
  • Every time a customer picked up a cake because I was terrified their order may not be right or they may not like it. If they didn’t like it I was stressed that they would run straight to Facebook and let the masses know without ever telling me.
  • My other decorator needed to take off work frequently.
  • I couldn’t take even a Sunday off because I had to buy supplies for the following week from a local store.

I WAS STRESSED.

ALWAYS.

The bucket loads of STRESS eventually took a toll on not only my relationships but also my health.

Thank the great Lord above for giving me a truly amazing husband. Most relationships probably wouldn’t have made it through the effects of the stress we endured, but my husband not only hung in there, he carried me through. He is my rock and I learned to love him in a completely new and deeper way.

 

It took another year and a half after we closed up shop for my mind to begin to heal. My body on the other hand decided to blow its adrenals and damage not only my thyroid but it’s entire endocrine system. That is a battle I’m still fighting.

I clung to God like I had never done before.

My spirit was broken and I prayed NON STOP.

That’s not an exaggeration. If I was awake I was talking to Him. He pulled me out of the lowest place I had ever been and He brought me back to life. I got to know Him like I had never dreamed possible. I promise you, He is there for you. Don’t blame Him when you are in a bad place, turn and RUN to Him!

Realizing my mind, body and spirit couldn’t handle the stress any longer (I was truly on the verge of a nervous breakdown) and after operating a storefront for nearly 2 years, we closed up shop.

I wasn’t sure when we closed our doors if I ever wanted to bake another cake. The plan was for me to completely quit and I was going to return to the work force.

I was actually called and offered a job I hadn’t even known existed. After much prayer and lots of discussion we decided that I would decline the position and stay home. But that meant continuing my cake business. I realized in that moment I wasn’t finished.

With God’s help, I knew my mind would heal and I would be able to love my work again.

And I do.

 

There Was a Silver Lining Though

I can’t say that it was all bad.

I learned how to bake/ice/decorate a cake in less than a few hours as opposed to an entire day! I tweaked my recipes until they were just right. I learned how to bake a dozen cakes and only dirty a few dishes in my kitchen instead of messing my entire house!

Want to have your own Retail Bakery? This is the side of the story that no one else is talking about. Most every home baker dreams of having their own retail bakery. Here is the TRUE story and the realities of owning your own retail bakery - because I want you to make INFORMED DECISIONS. #homebakery #retailbakery #storefrontbakery #bakingbusiness

 

I did gain new loyal customers.

Most importantly I learned that I would much rather work from home and pick and choose my customers.

I would much rather be home working all night instead of across town until 3:00am to only be back at 7:00am.

I learned that sometimes you already have all you need right where you’re at doing exactly what you’re doing.

So that was my experience.

 

Here’s My Advice

Do what God is leading you to do.

I know that it was the right thing for me to open my own retail bakery because I was obsessed with the thoughtOBSESSED I tell you. I couldn’t think of anything else.

And the Lord knew that if I didn’t see all of these things on my own I would never stop thinking about it. That I would never learn the valuable lessons I learned and I’d always wonder if I could have or should have done it.

So He let me do what I thought I wanted and find out that I already had what I wanted. Let’s say, I had to learn things the hard way…

I hope that my story has helped you take a closer look at what it means to have your own retail bakery.

Tina

 

Thank you so much Tina for sharing your priceless story on Philosophy of Yum!

DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO OPEN YOUR OWN RETAIL BAKERY?? In my next post you can discover the truth for yourself 😉

RELATED: Do You Have What it Takes to Open a Storefront Bakery?

I hope Tina’s story has brought some clarity, perspective and shed a lot of light on your baking journey – as it has done for me!

If you have any questions, please comment below and either Tina or I will respond.

Chat soon

Aurelia 🙂

Got a question? Something to add? Let’s chat in the comments section down below! (I respond to every single comment)

6 Ways to Stay Inspired & Motivated in Your Home Bakery

6 Ways to Stay Inspired & Motivated in Your Home Bakery

6 Ways to Stay Inspired & Motivated in Your Home Bakery

Ever heard that quote by Confucius: “Choose a job you love, then you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”?

Well…

He was lying.

He may have been a deep genius, but he was still lying.

Truth is that no matter what work you do, there are some days when you just won’t feel like doing it.

My high school Math teacher had this hilarious line she pulled out of her archives whenever we complained about our schoolwork: “Ons is nie in die hemel nie, ons is in Afrika.” Which translates to: “We are not in heaven, we are in Africa.”

But whether you live in Africa or not, ANY work will inevitably be difficult on some days. And some days are worse than others.

  • There are always random days when the inspiration is low and your pillow is just SO FLUFFY.
  • Then there are other days where you have energy, but just feel a bit “meh” and baking doesn’t seem so great and before you know it it’s 3 hours later and you STILL haven’t started (because you just keep scrolllling and scrolllling on Instagram – like me)!
  • And those days a client asks you for something new and NOTHING comes to you.
  • If you’re like me, you may even have had weeks where you just keep steam rolling on, FORCING yourself to keep going… Please tell me I’m not alone?

So even if you work on a rose plantation, some days just aren’t that rosy.

Today’s post is all about sharing practical tips to help you on such days to get you out of Baker’s Block and restore your baking inspiration!

Warning: Some of these tips may be quite confrontational and intense (especially the first 2), but I’m sharing what has undeniably worked for me.

Freedom and Inspiration usually involves laying down our pride in one form or another.

More often than not, baking inspiration returns after applying tips number 1 & 2, but I’ve included 4 others as well for desperate times 😉

So here we go 🙂

 

1. Rest and W(h)ine

Because we are bakers and we overwork ourselves (more often than not), I simply HAVE to start with this tip.

When we are tired and worn out, we can’t push ourselves to keep going for too long. It’s so weird, but over time, society has started branding REST as “laziness” or “idleness”, but that is completely false.

I read this amazing article by The Guardian about rest and productivity.

Alex Soojan-Kim Pang wrote a book about the importance of rest and its power to actually BOOST productivity beyond belief! Here’s a quote from the interview that hit me straight between the eyes!

’More hours equal more productivity.’ This is an assumption – a mistake – that we’ve been making for a very long time. And now there’s more than a century’s worth of research that OVERWORKING ourselves is bad for people, organisations and also BAD FOR PRODUCTIVITY. It’s something that can be sustained for periods of a few weeks but after that you start creating more problems than you solve.”

When we are overworked, there is zero inspiration.

Important note: Intentional rest is not watching Netflix or playing Xbox. Stay away from screens. Research has shown that physical hobbies help our minds to recover from exhaustion much faster.

Due to my physical reality, I am not able to do any exercise, but talking a leisurely walk in our neighbourhood does WONDERS for my mind and mood! Barefoot is even better!

When I take a walk, I also try to focus on what I SEE, rather than what I think.

I’ll focus on the delightfulness of the breeze, the beautiful singing of the birds, the movement of the trees in the wind, etc.

If I stay inside my head for the whole walk, I don’t feel any better by the time I get back to our apartment.

Other options can be reading a good novel, playing cards or a board game with friends/family (laughter is the best rest!), a picnic, a nap, playing with your cat/dog, drinking a glass of wine while listening to your favourite music, a walk in nature or even just in your neighbourhood…

If you have more ideas, please share in the comments below!

 

2. Processor (Mind) is Overloaded

I’m busy reading a psychology book called “I’m ok, you’re ok” which deals a lot with our thought patterns about ourselves and others. (I’m quite a nerd yes, but bear with me – I promise I have a point!)

Dr Harris likens our minds to computer processors. When there’s too much for our minds to process (conflict in relationships, harsh self-criticism, bitterness, unforgiveness, overwhelm of emotions) then we LITERALLY CANNOT BE CREATIVE. It is impossible, because there’s no processing power left at all.

In fact, we can actually only be efficiently creative and inspired when there’s nothing negative and overwhelming for our minds to process.

Tips to get your creative juices flowing again in your baking and restore your inspiration!

You may have noticed that I’ve been totally absent on my Instagram Account the last 2 weeks. It was not intentional at all. I just had some conflict going on with a friend.

This conflict was occupying my mind 24/7! Constant analysis – back and forth on repeat. As soon as it was sorted out, I had the ability to start experimenting with my baking again and resuming my writing and posts 🙂

Bottom line:

  • Sort things out with your loved ones. Forgive.
  • Have grace for yourself in every area of your life – let your thoughts about yourself be kind.
  • Journal, take a walk, talk to a friend or do whatever you need to do to PROCESS your emotions and not ignore them.
  • Our emotions don’t magically disappear, we need to deal with them in order to free up our minds’ processors for creative productivity.

 

3. Listen to Success Stories of Other Entrepreneurs

Before I dive into this tip here’s something CRUCIAL you need to know about your inspiration & motivation…

As business owners we no longer have the luxury of WAITING for inspiration to strike. It’s our responsibility to make sure we stay inspired and motivated.

In our business journeys we need to GIVE and CREATE a lot, which drains our inspiration very fast.

The longer you carry on with your Home Bakery, the more inspiration and motivation you’ll need. And if you wait for it to “come to you”, it’s like you’re waiting for a warm day in the middle of winter! It’s just NOT going to happen.

Don’t let yourself (and your business) be at the mercy of random inspiration and motivation.

Take responsibility to keep yourself inspired and motivated – EVERY WEEK!

And here’s one of the best ways:

Now, even though I’m personally not aiming to be a millionaire or have a GIANT business, there’s so much value to glean from the successful entrepreneurs who have gone before us.

The “How I Built This” Podcast has transformed my perspective of what’s POSSIBLE for unqualified entrepreneurs like you and me.

When we see what’s POSSIBLE, we start looking at our circumstances very differently.

I’ve made a habit of listening to one episode of the How I Built This podcast one specific night per week while I cook dinner. Podcasts are cool like that because you can listen to them on the go!

Even if I think “nah, I don’t need inspiration this week”, I STILL listen to an episode and afterwards I’m ALWAYS grateful I did.

So, whenever your inspiration/motivation meter is low, listen to an episode of this podcast.

Better yet, commit to listening to an episode on a specific day and time every week. This way you’ll STAY inspired and avoid hitting a “low”!

You’ll leave with gleaming eyes and a heart BURSTING with excitement and courage for your own business journey!

 

4. Go Eat your Favourite Dessert

Weird little fact… I hardly ever eat anything I bake. Sure, I taste the cake scraps (which is not much since I figured out how to bake perfectly level, flat, cake layers), or a bit of left over ultimate frosting. But I sell all my goods in batches so there are never extras.

And on top of that, things just taste better when someone ELSE makes them for you, am I right? 😉

When I’m in DESPERATE need of inspiration (because I’m super frugal and don’t like spending money when I can make something myself), it does wonders to go and eat one of my favourite desserts that remind me why I’m baking in the first place…

For people to experience the euphoria of sensational FLAVOUR & QUALITY.

Struggling to stay inspired and motivated in your Home Bakery Business? You're so not alone! It honestly happens to every Home Bakery owner. Here are 6 things you can do when your motivation meter is on empty... #homebakery #homebaking #bakingbusiness #cakebusiness #bakingtips

 

In general I’m more into simple bakes, done exceptionally well. Unless it’s a cinnamon doughnut… I’ll eat it ANY way I can get it. (Fresh and warm is obviously best, but fortunately I’m obsessed with them so even yesterday’s cold cinnamon doughnuts will still make me happy. I’m cheap like that and it’s fine by me!)

So my go-to favourites in Cape Town are Pasteis de Nata by Hoghouse Brewing Company (totally mentioning it first for a reason!!), Flourless Chocolate Cake by Fork Tapas & Pincho’s Bar, a fresh croissant by Woodstock Bakery or Rosetta Coffee Ice Cream by The Creamery.

Every once in a while we need to spoil ourselves with an amazing treat that makes us SMILE involuntarily. It tends to spark our inspiration back into flame!

 

5. Watch Unique Sweets

I’ve mentioned Unique Sweets a hundred times before and I’ll mention it another hundred times! You seriously cannot be an Artisan Baker without watching this show at least every 2 weeks.

There are few things that make me as excited about baking as Unique Sweets does.

Every episode inspires me so much! There are always such unique eateries on the show with the most amazing passion, ideas and creativity.

I always keep my notebook handy when I’m watching an episode because I know that I’ll be inspired with at least 10 new ideas – without a doubt!

Of course it’s also inspirational to watch bakers that are inspired themselves. It’s so contagious!

 

6. Go Buy Amazing Seasonal Ingredients

We all have our best-selling bakes. There’s nothing wrong with that at all, but baking the same things over and over and over again can definitely throw a wet towel on our inspiration.

I bake for 3 local coffee shops every week, so I play brownie-brownie quite a lot in my kitchen. Needless to say, it does become a bit monotonous at times.

The best antidote for this inspiration sucker is to go out and buy amazing, fresh, seasonal ingredients. Go to the grocery store; take a good look at all the seasonal fresh produce. Pick one type of vegetable/fruit and commit to baking something with it.

An even better idea is to go to a local farmer’s market (WAY more inspirational than a grocery store!) and chat with the vendor.

They’re SO passionate about their fresh produce! By the end of the conversation you’ll be excited off your rocker to bake something with the fresh blackberries you just purchased.

New, fresh ingredients bring back the wonder of baking in moments.

 

7. Bonus Tip! Stop & Smell the Cookies (Gratitude)

This is a tip I try to apply every single day – even when I’m not lacking inspiration.

It’s quite shocking how many days you can just carry on, on auto-pilot, without appreciating the incredible BEAUTY of BAKING. And when that happens, our joy and inspiration quickly flies out the window.

Fellow Home Bakers, let us never forget how profoundly blessed we are to be ABLE to bake.

Let’s not take it for granted; whether we bake full time, part time or just as a hobby. We are BLESSED to be able to enjoy the wonder of baking.

Whenever I forget this and start complaining about the long list of things I have to bake on a particular day, I try to intentionally focus on the beauty of baking.

Like that moment you pour the thick, gloopy, shiny brownie batter into the pan.

Or the moment that chocolate ganache comes together and you realize that there isn’t anything else this luscious on earth!!

Another favourite is the sound that baked goods make when they come out the oven.

And the aromas we get to inhale… All day… Come on… WE ARE SO BLESSED!!

Name another job that satisfies all of our 5 senses on a daily basis? We get satisfied on every level: sight, sound, smell, touch and taste.

Whenever I turn into a spoiled, ungrateful brat in my head, I just remind myself of these facts and focus on them throughout the day.

It doesn’t take long at all for the inspiration to return when I start paying attention and being grateful.

 

Those are my favourite tips for maintaining my Inspiration & Motivation in Home Bakery 🙂

Let me know in a comment if you have a favourite tip or any other tips that have helped to restore your baking inspiration!

Chat soon

Aurelia

Got a question? Something to add? Let’s chat in the comments section down below! (I respond to every single comment)