How to Open a Bakery. Expectations vs Realities. 11 Things that Sometimes don’t turn out as you would like.

How to open a bakery in many places is dependant on how good you are at jumping through hoops (the bureaucratic kind). AND, Let’s face it there are quite a few to jump though. As always, expectations and realities are two completely different things. Ask any entrepreneur, maybe you have experienced it yourself.

Ok, let’s look at all the initial things you SHOULD be doing before you open a bakery.

The First Task: Check out the Local Food Laws!


Just visit your local authority get the guides and maybe some advice.

A woman walking along a hallway looking for an office. Used in the article How to open a bakery.
Which office? Image Pixabay

The Reality

You spend all day walking lonely aisles in 5 different buildings before you located the relevant knowledgeable person.

Key take-away.

Next time just download them from Google and forget about visiting bureaucracies. For asking questions use your phone. 😉

Next: Check out the Cost of Bakery Equipment.

Your Expectations:

You will no doubt get your equipment from more than one supplier.

Maybe even go to some auctions.

A new bakery oven showing freshly baked bread on the shelves. A sign saying Auction Bargains In red text above a hand with a lot of coins. Used in the article how to open a bakery.
Anticipating getting a bargain at an auction.

The Reality:

A case of money and an old stove with a sold sticker on it Used in the article How to open a bakery.
It works!

You needed a suitcase full of $100 dollar bills for an old oven.

More Investigative Stuff to do: Get Prices for Bakery Ingredients.

Expectation matches the Reality:

Like the equipment, this will take some shopping around.

A ledger book with neatly written descriptions of items and expenditure.Used in the article How to open a bakery.
ledger book. Image: Pixabay.

Check the Labor Laws and Pay Rates for Hired Staff.

The Expectation:

You only anticipate having a couple of employees so you should be able to manage it yourself.

The Reality:

It looks like something that will do your head in, so you ring a few Bookkeepers and Accountants to get their charges.

A cartoon of a large white page with arms and legs and TAX written in black text across the top of the page chashing a business woman in a white top and black dress. Used in the article How to Open a Bakery.

Look at the Cost of Leases in Good Locations.


Not much.

Really at this point you only want an idea of the costs of leasing so you can complete a business plan.

You can either ask other businesses in the vicinity or visit your friendly local realtor.

If you find a good position you may be able to sign up “Subject to approval of business finance” just so it is held for you until you complete your financing arrangements.

Cost of a Shop Design and fit-out, Gas and Power Connections.

The Expectation.

It will cost a fortune.

Inside a well stocked bakery with a big price board. Used in the article How to open a bakery.
How much for the priceboard? Image: Pixabay

The Reality:

Well it may not be as bad as selling bread on the side of the road, but keep your options open.

Two old refrigerators on the side of a road, one with the word bread stencilled down the door. used in the article how to open a bakery
Bruny Island Bakery
Two old refrigerators one with the door open showing loaves of bread wrapped in grease proof paper.Used in the article How to open a bakery.
Images: Celeste Mitchell.

Create a Business Plan.

Now that you are armed with all that information go ahead and create a business plan.


Should be a cinch.

A woman working with an Apple computer, a cup of tea beside her and a book with notes an a pen beside her elbow. Used in the article How to Start a Bakery
WTF do I start? Image Pixabay.

The Reality:

What does “Validating a business” mean?

So you downloaded a business plan from the internet.

A sliced loaf of bread on a white background with bread bakery business plan in Nigeria.
Image: Bread Business Nigeria.

Next: Apply for a loan.

The Expectation:

Should be a piece of cake (pun intended). Business plan done, credit history ok.

The Reality.

Shocked emoji. Used in the article How to open a bakery.
Image by Bill the Cat

He couldn’t understand how you validated your business plan with an email from a Nigerian Prince.

He asked for your 2 year and 5 year business plans, culinary school certificate, business course certificates, previous business experience, copy of your most recent tax certificate, what the insurance premiums are? How much it is going to cost to fit the store out? Are you going to register as a LLC? what does your father do, and what crimes have you done time for?

Happy Days. You Got the Loan

A cartoon of a bank manager with a loan approved sign in the background. Used in the article How to Open a Bakery.
A gleeful emoji. Used in the article, How to o[en a naekry.

Your father had a friend at MI5 give the bank manager a call.

One more painful thing to do before you can start (if you are still enjoying the argy bargy).

Well, maybe two, but the Relator should not be too much of a hassle.

He may even buy you a coffee. ?

Submit the Application for the Required Licenses and Permits.

The Expectation:

Another day wondering waiting in long queues.

I need coffee…

A meme of an unhappy looking chicken with Bureaucracy in white text written above its eyes ans Seriously, this is my happy face in black text written across the bottom  Used in the article How to Open a Bakery.
Image: Pinterest.

The Reality:

Matched the expectation.

You need more coffee:

An angry red haired puppet with Need Coffee Now written across the top of the meme. Used in the article. How to Open a Backery.

Go and Visit the Relator and Sign the Lease.

That is all the fun stuff done. Now you can start doing.

Running a business can be challenging, especially in the baked goods industry.

It can be hard to compete with big chains, which causes a lot of bakeries to shut down after only a couple of years.

Often it is not about competing with big chains or being the best baker in town, but the one with the best service, or the best unique style of bread or some other unique speciality.

Often these days bakeries include a coffee shop.

Good Luck.

You can see more bakery stories here.

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