Setting up Your Artisan Bakery Business

Fresh bread is big business in the United States. According to Information Resources, a market research firm based in the Midwest, fresh bread sales across the country top out at over $9 billion annually. That equates to some 3 billion plus loaves of bread sold.

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Artisan bread is the hottest trend in the fresh bread sector. Consumer demand for quality, artisanal products is growing across multiple categories. Delicious loaves of freshly baked bread evoke a time when things were simpler and better. The local corner bakery, once forgotten, is now making a comeback. 

Things to Consider When Starting Your New Business

There are a lot of important considerations when starting an Artisan Bakery business. Experts recommend writing a business plan and seeking financing for your venture. In addition to immersing yourself in the art of baking and developing and fine-tuning recipes, there are a host of administrative tasks necessary. You will want to make sure you have systems and procedures in place for payroll, and hiring a bookkeeper at the start will help make your business manageable.

It’s also critical to understand your market and do the market research necessary to help you determine demand and product price points. Labor is typically 30% of the cost of the bread so you will want to price your bread or manage your labor accordingly. And remember, starting up an artisan bakery is lots of hard work! More than one new owner reported baking 24 hours a day and sleeping on the office floor in the beginning.

Equipment You Will Need for Your Artisan Bakery

Initially, you will need to outfit your new bakery with all the equipment needed to prepare and bake your bread. The most important purchase decision you will make is to decide on what oven to buy. A deck oven is typically the best type oven for baking artisan bread. Deck ovens use both conduction heat and radiant heat to cook your loaves of bread. They provide consistent heat throughout the chamber and allow you to bake many loaves of bread perfectly at the same time.

In addition to purchasing an oven, you will need proof boxes that allow the bread to rise at the correct temperature. Experts recommend mobile proof boxes for smaller bakeries. You will also need racks, baking sheets and counter mixers and dough mixers. When it comes to work tables, buy the sturdiest and best quality tables you can afford. Remember to check the table heights and make sure they are at the right level for how tall you are. 

Purchase a chiller for you cold items, and look for one with a stainless steel work surface on top that will give you extra prep space in your bakery. Last but not least, you will need multiple sinks per health code requirements. Set up a three section sink to wash, rinse and sanitize items, a small sink to wash your hands and a separate mop sink.

Opening an artisan bakery is a step by step process, but by laying the right starting foundation you can enjoy many years of success. And seeing happy customers who love your delicious bread come back for more is a reward for all of your hard work.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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