Starting a Bakery and Using Pre-Owned Equipment

Part 1.

I am constantly amazed by the number of e books and other so-called bakery specialists on the internet who are trying to convince real entrepreneurs that the bakery, is a hard business or that the best way to get into business is via a home bakery.

The bakery has been my employment for the better part of 53 years. And, yes, there have been times when to satisfy a wife and family I have tried other types of employment. I have made side-wall hovercraft out of fiber-glass. I have built vehicle parts also from fiber-glass and I have been a welder as well as made rainwater pipe.

If you asked me, “Did I enjoy that employment”? The answer would most definitely be a very resounding NO!The work was dirty, smelly, and as far as I was concerned, a monkey could do it. It was boring!

The bakery does not pay a high wage, and that is very unfortunate. However, it is a steady employment and that beats working out in the bush three months a year under some harsh condition, or working in a car manufacturing plant like a zombie.

The bakery is not a place where an uneducated person can survive for very long. It does require attention to detail

It requires math type skills, as well as English or some other language reading skills. Without a reading skill you cannot know what is in a recipe. There are health regulations to understand and be able to read and follow.

Apart from being able to read there is the fact that every worker must follow certain hygiene specifics. This not only means neat and tidy appearance but it also means that personal hygiene must be addressed too.

Some of these people trying to convince you that the bakery is hard or trying to convince you that their e book is the best in your situation are doing a very disservice to the industry as a whole, because they really have little or no idea how a bakery works. That’s because a lot of these e books are nothing more than a compilation of generic information on how to start any business.

I was about to say that very likely most if not all have never even been inside a real bakery, but that would be wrong and make me out to be just like them.

I have, as I said, been working in the bakery trade since 1955. That is over 53 years. I started when I was fourteen years old by making Hot X Buns for family members and delivering them on the back of my bicycle on a trailer that I also built myself. My efforts made over twelve dozen in my mothers kitchen. That was before I really learn to make bakery products in a professional setting.

I can go on blowing my trumpet and giving you trade names and positions I have been employed in, but where does that get me?

All I will say is this: to really learn how to be a baker. Go to a collage school that offers bakery training. If they only offer a three month course the likelihood is that it will only offer a small portion and very likely be on just one very small subject. So you will need to enroll in a number of these type short courses.

Try to find a course that offers at least 10-12 months training. That training should be a combination of both practical bakery production as well as written bakery methods.

Of course there are also schools that just want your cash. There are also schools with poor instructors, as well as schools with some of the best bakery skills around who are trying to teach people who are merely trying to keep their unemployment benefits going too.

There are people who call themselves Chefs. Some of these people have no idea on how to make a bakery work.

Please do not get me wrong here, some chefs are really great cooks, especially when it comes to fillet steak or fondant potatoes or ice cream deserts and can operate a kitchen where one or two plates of food need to be served in a short space of time.

But most chefs that I have known, have very little or no idea on how to operate a bakery where numbers can run in the hundreds and have tight production times. I am not putting the chef down. In a kitchen they can have that job. It isn’t for me! In a bakery many are up a creek without a paddle.

Part 2

Now I started writing this article because I am amazed at the way some people are misleading you into thinking that it is easy and the best way to get into business is by starting a home bakery business.

The truth is…

… Starting any business from home is not always an easy task!

Starting a bakery from home is even harder to accomplish!

I’m sorry! I did not mean to burst your bubble and enthusiasm. I just plan on telling you the way it is.

Starting a bakery is a GREAT idea and you ought to push on with your endeavor. It is one of the best ideas you might have and it certainly is a great way to reduce your taxes or at least be able to write off certain taxes that you at this moment cannot.

I am NOT telling you starting a bakery from home will be easy, because it is not an easy task.

If you were going to start a bricks & mortar business in your local super market or corner store, then you will find it is a lot easier to do than trying to start your bakery from home.

The local authority has a number of problems allowing home based business with operating licenses. Those problems in the past have caused them to refuse permission to almost every kind of home based business in today’s market place.

Here are just a few that I know about:
o Noise pollution
o Extra traffic
o Garbage pickup
o Rodents
o Health related issues
o Fire emergency problems
o Accidents
o Parking issues
o Building permit issues
o Water consumption
o Storage
o Failure to maintain a clear access

There are others and only your own local authority can address the issues you face in starting your own home bakery.

I did say that it is easier to start a bakery in a bricks & mortar building in a supermarket or corner store and I mean that. But, you still have to operate with the permission of your local authority. You MUST obtain the proper licenses and comply with all building codes, health regulation, parking permits and storage. There should not be any rodents, bugs or health related issues.

In most food related business here are a few of the concerns you will need to consider…
o Building codes
o Plumbing issues
o Grease Traps
o Water uses
o Fire Codes
o Access
o Garbage Issues
o Health Regulations
o Parking
o Leasing ownership issues

Again the only way to address these concerns is to talk with your local authority.

After saying every thing above, about the difficulty of starting your bakery at home, there are places where bakeries have been started at home. There are places where bakeries can be started at home. These might be out in the country where there are no super markets or some place where the area is a rural community. Or it might be in an area that is governed by a religious community.

The only way to assess any of these facts is to pay a visit to your local authority. Once you have spoken with these people you will be in a better position to continue with your business plan and will then know where to situate your bakery business. Columbia Gorge Gluten Free

Part 3

Although I hadn’t expected to make this article a three part information piece, it has turned out to be just that.

Actually it will very likely be a four a five part article by the time I’ve finished.

People will always try to purchase as cheap as they can.

Now cheap does not mean bad and neither does it mean good. There are good and bad items of equipment on the open market.

In a bakery whether you are starting a home bakery or you are building or buying into a bakery. One of the first piece of equipment you will need is a mixer.

I have worked with bread mixers that are over 100 years old. They work almost perfectly for making bread dough. They are so simple that they will very likely continue to work for another hundred years.

Another type of mixer is a high speed. One that can mix dough’s in three minutes or less

But, these types of machines will never lend themselves to making a cake batter.

Will a machine that can make a cake batter work to make bread dough? Absolutely, yes!

Will it be perfect for both types of product? Well, yes it can do both but you will be required to change the mixing utensil.

Another major piece of equipment that will be required is an oven. Now there are several different types of oven. They will all bake your product, but in different ways. So you really need to understand that what you make will decide how you bake.


Leave a Comment