An enthusiastic home baker turned into an entreprenuer. Gail Wells believed that there is no need to study market demands before offering your delectable baked goodies to consumers as long they are fresh and good. Here’s an inspiring article / tips for those who are interested in making their home baking profitable.
At Home in the Baking Business
(source:Mother Earth News.com )
Do you make your own bread? If so, the delectable flavor and aroma of hot-from-the-oven loaves are familiar to you. There are many folks, however, who have never even tasted — let alone baked — homemade bread.
Well, you can introduce such people to the joys of “the staff of life” . . . watch their nostrils quiver at the irresistible fragrance . . . know they’re savoring all that whole-grain goodness . . . and make yourself a tidy part-time income to boot! How do I know? Because I do it . . . you see, baking and selling bread is something an “ordinary” housewife like me can do to fight the recession blues.
Some people do market studies, and investigate all manner of possibilities, before setting up in business. Well, I wish I could say that’s how I got started, but it wasn’t. The fact is that baking for profit more or less crept up on me. My enterprise actually began when a friend stopped by to visit one day as I was preparing our family’s bread. Well, she was so tantalized by the aroma that I insisted she take a loaf home with her.
Needless to say, her offer was tempting. After all, baking two more loaves a week wouldn’t make a lick of difference in my schedule, and a little extra money would certainly come in handy . . . so I agreed.
But the next thing I knew, her boss wanted a weekly loaf. Then her sister asked for one . . . her babysitter wanted two . . . and other folks began to get a “whiff” of my activities. In short, I soon figured out that there was a large — and largely untapped — market for homebaked bread, so I gathered my recipes and embarked on a new career.
My preliminary strategy session consisted simply of calculating what each loaf cost me. Then I listed a few of my favorite kinds of bread, together with prices that I thought were fair, and had that sheet copied. Finally, I took a deep breath and got a business license under the name “Gail’s Bread Alone”.
Since I was officially “in trade”, it was time to try to round up the customers. To begin, I gave a bread list to each of my friends and asked them to spread the word (and to buy a loaf or two). Next, I posted the sheets on every bulletin board I could find, and took copies into all the restaurants (a grand total of five) in our little town. Soon the orders began to come in.
When summer arrived, I rented a space at the Saturday farmers’ market in a larger town nearby. The modest $2.00 weekly investment paid off handsomely . . . I was able to pocket between $50 and $60 nearly every weekend.
Furthermore, the farmers’ market introduced me to the delights of barter. One Saturday I parted with a dozen cinnamon rolls and two loaves of bread in return for a ferocious banty hen and her nine chicks! Other friendly swaps kept me well supplied with such luscious local fare as blackberry honey, eggs, and sweet corn. I was sorry when the farmers’ market closed in the fall . . . but my home-based enterprise continued — and continues — to grow.
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