Cakes With a Whisk

This is a carousel. Use Next and Previous buttons to navigate, or jump to a slide with the slide thumbnails.

How to Start a Baking Business

Whether you’re passionate about creating decoratively frosted cakes or artisan sourdough loaves, you must create an action plan for turning your passion for baking into a business. Discover the steps of opening a bakery below.

Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.

Sydney Watson/Taste of Home

Whether you’re a new baker or an experienced one, you’ll need some essential gear to stir up your favorite recipes. See what essential baking supplies our Test Kitchen and editors love to use, whether they’re making one-bowl baking recipes or tackling all-day baking projects.

Whether you dream of opening a donut shop or a boulangerie, starting a bakery allows you to serve niche markets and express culinary creativity without taking on the financial burden of opening a restaurant. You can even start your bakery business from home before investing in a commercial space. While bakeries are comparatively accessible foodservice businesses, they present unique challenges. From writing a bakery business plan to getting funding and filing for permits, we walk you through each step of opening a bakery.

Shop All Bakery Supplies

Jump to a specific step of opening a bakery:

Baked with LOVE. designed with FRIENDS.

Cakes With a Whisk is Metro Detroit’s new favorite custom bakery and the perfect place for date night or girls night out with our guided cake decorating classes.

2242 Auburn Road Shelby Township, MI 48317

Custom CAKE and guided DECORATING classes

Looking for something new and fun to do? We have you covered! Cakes with a Whisk is the perfect place to host your next date night, birthday, team-building event or just a night out to socialize. Our classes require no previous cake skills, just bring a good attitude and we will take care of the rest!

At Cakes with a Whisk we are a bakery and more. Place an order for your custom cakes and goodies or register for our step-by-step guided decorating classes. After all, our cakes are baked with love and designed with friends.

Custom Cakes

Step-by-Step Guided Classes

Mini Desserts

Hi! I’m Miranda, the owner and baker at Cakes with a Whisk. If you are here, reading this right now, let me tell you, I am so glad you’ve stopped by! It has always been my lifelong dream to open my own bakery and workshop and I can’t believe it’s finally happening!

Whether you’re ON A DATE WITH YOUR BOO or it’s a NIGHT OUT WITH THE GIRLS, we have something for YOU!

View our calendar schedule to plan your next night out!

Omg. the cake was AMAZING!! Everyone was loving it and I probably got asked 100 times who made it. I’ll definitely be reaching out again! Thank you so, so much!

When starting a bakery, there are many costs that you’ll need to consider, such as leasing a commercial space, getting insurance, outfitting your space with equipment, hiring and training staff, stocking your kitchen, and paying for utilities. As a result, you’ll need to have a significant amount of money available to cover these costs. Additionally, it may take a few months after opening for your bakery to become profitable, so you’ll need cash on hand to cover costs for several months after opening.

If you’re wondering how to open a bakery with no money, you’ll need to take out loans. There are three common ways business owners get funding: commercial loans, business lines of credit, and small business loans.

Cost to Open a Bakery

Bakery startup costs range between $10,000 and $50,000. The vast startup cost price range reflects the diverse array of bakeries. How much money you need to start a bakery depends on its location, equipment, staffing requirements, and menu items.

Back to Top

Trolley Stop Bakery now features Trolley Track Cookie Co. and six other bakers’ creations. Each baker has a specialty, Wood notes, and customers often leave with items from several bakers.

Wood reels off the list of mouth-watering items that customers can find at Trolley Stop from Tuesdays through Sundays: The Tipsy Goat macarons, Delectable Dough strudel, Mama Boogie cheesecake and bread pudding, Broyt Baking croissants and danishes, Gooey Louie gooey butter cake, and Lefty’s Bagels, which plans to open its own brick-and-mortar location soon.

“This is a great place for bakers to start their business,” Wood says. “They can move from a home kitchen to a regulated, commercial environment where they can produce larger quantities to sell to local grocers. We work with the bakers here at Trolley Stop to help them learn how to scale up their recipes and teach them about making their products most appealing to customers and marketing them appropriately. So this is really an excellent jumping-off point for aspiring bakery owners.”

Wood coaches the other bakers at Trolley Stop, helps them troubleshoot challenges, and leverages her previous business contacts when opportunities arise—all the while continuing to bake. In fact, Wood stocks more than 30 dozen cookies per week and regularly bakes batches of several thousand individually wrapped cookies for corporate clients and holiday orders. She recently produced 3,000 cookies for Washington University’s commencement, for instance, “and I’m not the only baker at Trolley Stop producing that kind of volume,” she adds.

Wood hopes to open additional Trolley Stop retail outlets as early as next year and would like to welcome a baker specializing in decorated cakes and cookies to the Trolley Stop family. “The camaraderie is remarkable, and the customers benefit from the synergy that we have here,” she says, adding that she plans to expand from two to four commercial kitchens to include more bakers and remain flexible with baking time.

Wood, an avid home baker and cook for decades, created Trolley Track Cookie Co. in 2012, when she baked 600 cookies for her daughter’s wedding. After selling her insurance IT business in 2013, she realized the cookie business was her next act. “I really started the cookie company as a retirement project,” she says.

Wood soon needed a commercial kitchen, however, to produce cookies for her growing customer base, which expanded via word of mouth until Wood had several corporate clients who purchased her cookies for special events and gifts.

Trolley Track Cookie Co. got its name from the “trolley track” marks on the bottom of Wood’s chocolate chip cookies, created by the racks on which the cookies cool. “My kids and their friends spent a lot of time at our house when they were younger, and I always had cookies available for them,” she recalls. “The warm cookies were still a bit soft when I took them out of the oven and put them on the cooking racks, and the kids looked for the soft, gooey one with the ‘tracks’ on the bottom.”

After joining a local baking co-op, Wood knew her business experience could combine with her baking passion to continue growing her own business while helping other fledgling bakers develop thriving businesses of their own. She offered to buy the co-op. Within a month, Wood was the new owner.

The co-op provided an outlet for her cookies, along with all of the other baked goods coming out of its ovens. “Several other bakers were using the co-op facilities, and I wanted to make sure they could continue baking while also answering any questions they might have about the business side of things,” she says.

Do You Need a Culinary Degree to Open a Bakery?

You don’t have to have a culinary degree or a bachelor’s degree in business to own a bakery. However, having hands-on experience or academic knowledge of both the baking and business management aspects of owning a bakery will help you succeed. Having a formal education may help you attract investors and banks to garner the startup capital you need to open your bakery. Consider getting a certification from the Retail Bakers of America (RBA). The RBA certification verifies your knowledge, skills, and abilities without the hefty time and financial commitment of culinary school.

Layout Your Bakery

After securing a location and deciding what equipment is needed to start your new bakery, you can plan your bakery kitchen organization. If your bakery has a front-of-house area, you will need to design a floor plan. Learn how to lay out your bakery kitchen and storefront below.

Commercial Bakery Kitchen Layout

Every bakery kitchen requires four sections: cleaning, storage, food preparation, and meal cooking. Bakery cafes and bakeries with a front-of-house area will also have a service station, where they deliver food to customers. The ideal bakery kitchen layout is determined by the space and the placement of water and gas lines. Organize your bakery kitchen so the four sections flow together and measure your space to make sure you have enough room for your bakery equipment before finalizing your kitchen plan.

You will want to lay out your kitchen based on the logical flow of food through the baking process. This starts with the storage area and then goes to the food preparation and meal cooking sections. Once you’ve prepared your baked goods, you can serve them to your customers, package them for display, or ship them to online customers. Finally, your dirty dishes, pots, and pans will end up at the cleaning station.

Commercial Bakery Storefront Layout

Some bakeries will have a front-of-house area where customers can browse their selection of baked goods. Optimizing your bakery floor plan for ideal product placement and customer comfort prompts purchases.

Bakery Layout

There are four main bakery layouts, each with its own unique benefits.

  • Straight Bakery Floor Plan – Your bakery display cases are organized in straight lines to make it easy for customers to browse.
  • Angular Bakery Floor Plan – This floor plan uses curved displays to create an upscale presentation.
  • Diagonal Bakery Floor Plan – A diagonal floor plan allows customers to flow through your bakery.
  • Mixed Bakery Floor Plan – Maximize your space by using a combination of all the bakery floor plans.

Market and Advertise Your Bakery

Before you open your bakery to the public, you must conduct some marketing and advertising campaigns to get the word out and create buzz. You can break your bakery marketing strategy into five general steps:

  • Write a market analysis. Your market analysis is a summary of your market research, and it should go in your bakery’s business plan. It should include information such as the average income level in your area, discretionary spending among your target market, and your competitor’s prices.
  • Determine how you want to advertise your business. There are many ways you can advertise your bakery and each has its benefits. If you’re in an urban area, using signs is a great and affordable option. Consider traditional advertising tactics, such as newspaper advertisements and flyers.
  • Create a social media presence. Social media marketing is a great way to interact with your customers, create buzz, and advertise your grand opening and other events. Additionally, many people will look for your bakery’s website and social media accounts before deciding if they want to visit, so make sure that you have an active online presence.

Many of these tactics apply to retail bakeries, but marketing tactics differ for wholesale bakeries. Wholesale bakeries should focus on competitor analysis and research where local restaurants and grocery stores source their baked goods. Then, they can reach out and try to make a deal.

Order Bakery Equipment

The equipment that your bakery will need depends on what type of baked goods you will be preparing. For example, you may need specific pastry supplies to create French pastries. While the specific equipment may change depending on the size and type of your bakery, there are several purposes you need to fill:

  • Dough Preparation – This includes equipment like commercial mixers, work tables for kneading, dough dividers, dough sheeters, and dough scales. You may also need holding cabinets, proofing cabinets, retarder/proofer combos, and refrigerators to prepare your dough.
  • Storage – Storage is important for keeping your kitchen organized. Your bakery will require shelving and storage racks. If you’re working with bulky bags of flour and sugar, you should invest in trucks, dollies, and carts to move large bags around your kitchen.
  • Baking Equipment – Convection ovens are a great all-purpose piece of bakery equipment because they provide dry heat and bake evenly. If you’re preparing a lot of artisan bread, you may want to choose a deck oven to give your products a crispy base. Wholesale bakeries may be looking for high-output ovens, such as roll-in rack ovens or revolving ovens.
  • Display and Sales Equipment – Choosing the right display cases for your baked goods can help boost your sales. You can choose self-service or full-service cases, and there are refrigerated and unrefrigerated options, depending on your needs. In addition to your display cases, be sure to also choose stylish boxes and packaging for your baked goods.
  • Cleaning and Warewashing Supplies – A 3-compartment sink is the centerpiece of any cleaning station. You must also order hand washing stations for your employees, disposable gloves, cleaning chemicals, sponges, scrubbers, and other essential cleaning items.

Bakery Smallwares

In addition to your large equipment, you must stock your bakery with smallwares, such as mixing bowls, storage boxes, whisks, bread knives, and aprons. We compiled a list of essential bakery equipment to ensure you don’t forget anything.

You can download the opening a bakery checklist PDF below:

Download Baker Smallwares Checklist PDF

Choose a Bakery Style

While there are many bakery business models, they all fall under one of two umbrella categories: retail and wholesale. Retail and wholesale bakeries make similar products, but they have different needs and customer bases.

Opening and Operating a Retail Bakery

Retail bakeries are the most common type of bakery; they sell baked goods and loaves of bread directly to customers. Retail bakeries come in many different forms, and they often specialize in a particular type of baked good. They require both front- and back-of-house space.

Types of Retail Bakeries

Discover the most popular retail bakery business models below:

  • Bakery Cafe – This type of bakery is a combination of a bakery and cafe, and they typically sell baked goods like bread, pastries, and cookies. They also pair their baked goods with coffee and tea. Bakery cafes typically have a dining space where customers can sit and eat.
  • Counter Service – While counter service bakeries have a front-of-house, most do not have a dining space. Instead, they have a counter where guests can order freshly baked goods to take home.
  • Bakery Food Trucks – Rather than using a brick-and-mortar store, food truck bakeries sell their products from a mobile truck. Due to the small space, many bakery food trucks do not bake in their truck, instead opting to bake their products ahead of time in a commissary kitchen or home bakery.
  • Specialty Bakeries – A specialty bakery typically focuses on one type of baked good, such as wedding cakes, cupcakes, or gluten-free items. This type of bakery can excel because they offer niche products that customers either cannot find elsewhere or that are better than the products offered at less-specialized bakeries.
  • Home Bakeries – This type of bakery is becoming more common, especially because you don’t need a lot of startup capital or culinary experience to open a home bakery. Home bakeries typically market their products online and then ship them to customers. Many home bakeries are also very niche or offer twists on classic baked goods.

Opening and Operating a Wholesale Bakery

The other main type of bakery is a wholesale bakery. Rather than selling their products directly to customers, wholesale bakeries market their baked goods to businesses like grocery stores, restaurants, delis, and cafes.

Because wholesale bakeries have to meet the demands of commercial customers, they are typically larger than retail bakeries. Wholesale bakeries don’t need to have a front-of-house or a desirable, high-traffic location. However, wholesale bakeries must produce high volumes of baked goods. This requires a large space and lots of baking equipment, resulting in higher startup costs.

Showing The Love

” Finally, after hearing about Fran’s from my neighbors, I strolled into this wonderful place in Fairfax. I was in heaven. Talk about a kid in a candy store (No pun intended), I could have just moved in. It will take a few trips to see everything they have. Can’t wait to go back.”

Offset Spatula

We love a good multi-tasking tool in the kitchen. A good offset spatula is a go-to for frosting cakes, spreading batter into pans and even leveling off flour in your measuring cup.

The Whole Kit and Caboodle

If you’re truly new to baking (or just looking for a refresh of your essential baking supplies), try Taste of Home’s new line of bakeware. This 10-piece bakeware set includes all the pans you need to make our best baking recipes.

Dough Scraper

Pick up one of the baking supplies that grandma loves to use! A dough scraper is a must-have for dividing portions of dough, roughly chopping fruits or nuts and ensuring every last bit of your bake ends up in the pan. By the way, these are the secrets to perfect pie crust.

Cookie Cutters

Once you’ve secured funding, you can start looking for a commercial space for your bakery. The type of commercial space you need depends on the type of bakery you’re opening. For example, if you’re opening a food truck bakery, you’ll need to purchase the truck and you may want to look into renting space in a commissary kitchen.

Retail bakeries will want to look for a space in a central location close to their target demographic that also has a front-of-house area. Because wholesale bakeries sell their products to businesses rather than customers, they can be located farther from the city center or populated areas.

Best Place to Open a Bakery

  • Demographics
  • Accessibility
  • Proximity to Suppliers
  • Competition
  • Size and Space Requirements
  • Health Regulations and Zoning
  • Safety and Crime Rates

Once you’ve found a suitable location for your business, you can hire a lawyer to draw up and negotiate a lease with the landlord. To protect yourself from any potential issues when negotiating a lease, be sure to specify the length of the lease, any raises in rent that might be included, who will pay for potential renovations, and any utilities that are covered.

OXO Baking Container Set

Store essential ingredients, like sugar and flour, in these clear baking containers. Much like our other favorite storage containers, this set from OXO keeps your pantry tidy and organized while keeping your ingredients fresh in its airtight container. This set also includes 1/2 cup scoopers so you can measure out your ingredients easily.

Running out of space to store all your baking essentials? The bakers rack is a perfect fix.

Measuring Spoons

Turn to a good set of measuring spoons to get the right amount of baking powder, vanilla and other ingredients in your recipes. Our editors recommend these magnetized spoons. They stick together in your drawer, plus the different spoon shapes mean you can dip into any size jar.

Dry Measuring Cups

Chances are one of your first-ever baking purchases was a set of measuring cups. Of course! They’re essential for making any recipe. A good set of measuring cups (not just any ol’ set) is a worthy investment. These stainless steel measuring cups are easy to clean, plus the set includes some extra measures, like the 2/3-, 3/4-, 1-1/2- and 2-cup scoops.

Set of Mixing Bowls

The type of bowl you use to mix up your batter matters. Opt for glass over plastic as it’s microwave-safe and won’t cling on to past flavors. Be sure to snag a few sizes to suit whatever recipe you’re tackling. Our editor’s pick is this set of mixing bowls from Anchor Hocking. If those aren’t your style, check out these other mixing bowls for all your kitchen needs.

French Rolling Pin

Whether you plan to whip up blue ribbon-worthy pies or a big batch of cinnamon rolls, a rolling pin is a must-have tool. We’re particularly fond of French rolling pins for their easy-to-use (and easy-to-clean!) design. Ready to go beyond the basics? Check out these gotta-have pie and pastry tools for home bakers.

Kitchen Scale

Bakers know that their craft is just as much science as it is art. As such, you should try to be as precise as possible in baking. A great set of measuring cups and the proper measuring technique will get you close, but measuring ingredients by weight is the most accurate method. Invest in a kitchen scale like this OXO kitchen scale for spot-on measures. The pull-out screen is a game-changer when you’re using larger bowls. Don’t forget to bookmark this page for common volume-to-weight conversions.

Cookie Scoop

Cookies need to be the same size to bake evenly, and this handy cookie scoop will get the job done. As an added bonus, you can also use the scoop to place perfect dollops of frosting on cupcakes!

Silicone Spatula

Don’t waste any batter when you bake with a good silicone spatula. This spatula from GIR can help scoop out every bit of batter or dough from your mixing bowl. The heat-resistant silicone is great for stirring up anything you’re heating over the stove, like gooey, salted caramel.

Mesh Strainer

A set of mesh strainers might sound odd in our list of baking essentials, but these versatile tools will come in handy. You can use a large strainer to sift flour and other dry ingredients—a must for clump-free batters. Use a smaller one to dust powdered sugar over the top of any bake—one of Mary Berry’s signature baking tips.


Need to mix your dry ingredients together? Make a smooth custard? Stir up a great ganache? You’ll need a good whisk to do the job. A classic balloon whisk is our Test Kitchen’s go-to, but flat whisks are winning some of our editors over.

Obtain Bakery Licenses and Permits

The foodservice industry is heavily regulated on a federal, state, and local level, and there are some bakery licenses and permits you need to start your baking business. The types of permits you’ll need will vary depending on your location, so be sure to check your local laws and regulations to see if there are any specific laws that apply to your new business.

Write a Bakery Business Plan

The first step in opening your new establishment should be to write a bakery business plan. The business plan is an integral part of starting a bakery business because it lays out what type of bakery you want to open, how it’s going to be structured, what sort of products you’re going to sell, marketing strategies, and financial projections. There are seven main sections to a bakery business plan:

  • Executive Summary
  • Company Overview and Description
  • Market Analysis
  • Business Offerings
  • Management Plan and Ownership Structure
  • Marketing and Advertising Strategy
  • Financial Projections

Your business plan serves as the foundation for your business, and a strong plan can help you get funding and make the process of opening a new bakery easy.

So Mod(ular)

Short on space? You can nest your Bakers on top of your Oven Pan to maximize storage. Just remember to line your Oven Pan with the Mat to prevent scratches.

Ovenware Set

Host a Grand Opening

The final step in opening a bakery is to host your grand opening and welcome customers to your business. A successful grand opening can get your new bakery off to a good start and help generate loyal customers. You should advertise your grand opening to create interest and alert your target audience that your bakery is open for business.

One great way to get customers in your bakery for your grand opening is to offer discounts and specials. For example, you can offer discounts for the first 100 people to visit. Another option is to give customers who order a dozen cupcakes one cupcake for free. You can also offer free samples to encourage customers to make purchases and expose them to more of your products.

New Products

  • ChocolateDiscover all our chocolate molds, coloring, candy melts and flavoring 🍫Shop All Products
  • DecoratingDiscover our decorating products for all of your special occasions!🍬Shop All Products

Since 1982, Fran’s Cake and Candy Supplies has been a cornerstone of the baking and candy-making community of Northern Virginia and the Washington DC metro area, offering high-quality Baking, Cake & Cookie Decorating and Candy Making Supplies. We also offer fun-filled, decorating classes led by professional cake decorators for new and experienced bakers!

We offer Cake & Cookie Decorating and Candy Making Supplies for all of life’s celebrations including weddings, birthdays, graduations, baby showers and other special occasions. We’ve been celebrating with our local community for 40 years and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to celebrate with you!

Griddle Me This

The Oven Pan works on electric and gas stovetops as a griddle! Just place it over two burners on low to medium heat and cook up some naan, quesadillas, bacon, pancakes, and so much more.

Hire and Train Bakery Staff

The size of your staff will depend on the scale and style of your bakery. A locally owned and operated bakery with just one location is likely to have a short chain of command. Retail bakeries must hire and train front-of-house staff to take orders and work the cash register. However, most of your bakery staff will work in the back-of-house, preparing your baked goods.

Your bakery should have at least one or two employees that have formal training or bakery experience to oversee the actual baking process. You may also want to hire unskilled workers for washing dishes, mixing ingredients, packaging products, and doing other tasks that don’t require previous experience or expertise.

Some bakeries will also need professional pastry chefs and personnel to complete delicate and specialized tasks. For example, bakeries that bake wedding cakes should look for experienced cake decorators. Bakeries that offer artisan breads should consider hiring someone who specializes in bread baking.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *