For many home bakery owners, they know when they open up their shop that they do not want to simply bake treats to order forever, but want to branch out and grow their business as large as they can possibly handle in their kitchen.
It takes time to learn the ins and outs of running a business from the home, and it can be tricky enough to learn how to order supplies and tools that you need to bake things for one order at a time.
However, once you as the owner gets a handle on this part of the business, it is highly recommended that you consider beginning to sell your stuff at wholesale. Wholesale orders can really take your income earnings up a notch and give you something consistent to make every week.
Once you decide to expand your home bakery in that way and start baking things wholesale to put out at convenient places like coffee shops, it is then time to learn how to actually get that done.
How do you get small coffee shops and other businesses to open up and allow you to sell your goods there?
How do you keep up with supply and demand?
How do you deliver all of the products to the coffee shop?
With the opportunity of being able to put all of your products in coffee shops also comes a lot of questions that need to be answered.
Below is a guide to everything you need to know so you can get started on expanding your business and selling your homemade baked goods in small businesses and coffee shops.
How do you find a coffee shop to sell to?
When you start thinking about expanding, before approaching any coffee shop in your area start by doing some research. Find a coffee shop that sells items that align with your home business.
For example, if you sell all-vegan treats, find a coffee shop that only sells vegan items as well. Make a list of all the possible shops that you would like to approach and then get ready to go talk to them.
How to reach out to the possible businesses
Once you have narrowed down a few places you would like to approach, it is then time to approach them and ask to sell there.
The best way to do this is to create a professional email template to send to them.
Start your email out by introducing yourself and telling them about your fully licensed home business. You should then express that you want to work with them and how your two brands complement one another. Attach a menu of everything and offer to bring them samples of your items.
Make sure to end your email by asking for a time to meet with them and include all of your contact information. This is a great template to work with and engages a small business so that they are prompted to reach back out to you quickly!
Many home bakery business owners have even found that once they get their foot in the door with one or two different coffee shops or small businesses, several others tend to reach out and ask to work with them and sell their products as well.
You will have to do the initial footwork to get in the door, but word of mouth is a powerful advertisement tool that will help your business expand faster than you ever thought it would.
Make sure that you can legally sell to coffee shops and other small businesses
There are particular laws in every state when it comes to running your home bakery. There are some states that do not allow home bakeries at all while other states allow home bakeries but only allow them to sell out of their homes.
Still, other states do not allow you to sell your items at wholesale in coffee shops and some say you can sell out of coffee shops but you can only sell a few items in particular such as cookies or cupcakes.
Meanwhile, other places say that as long as you are a fully licensed home bakery, you can sell your goods out of any coffee shop and it does not matter which goods you sell as long as they are cooked safely.
It is vitally important to make sure you can legally sell home baked goods out of another business, or the entire point of reaching out to businesses will be moot.
Make sure you have a high-quality product that tastes good when made for wholesale
Your products may taste great when you bake them a dozen at a time or one cake at a time, but how does your product taste when you start pushing it out in bulk numbers?
How do your baked goods look when you start baking them in bulk?
How do they taste when you start taking the recipe and baking your products at huge quantities?
Do they taste and look good enough to be displayed out in a display case at a coffee shop or a small cafe in your area?
Do they look good enough to entice people to buy based on what they see so the coffee shop continues to partner with you?
Before you start selling, practice baking your chosen products in large quantities and have people test them out and tell you how you can improve upon them.
It is also important to make sure you choose to sell products that have a long sheld life so they stay fresh-tasting for at least a week and make sure the products that you choose to appeal to a lot of different types of people.
Bring samples of all your chosen baked goods to the potential businesses you want to work with so they can see what you can offer
You can talk a great day and sound like you know what you are doing, but ultimately a small business that is considering partnering with you is not going to make a move until they physically see and taste exactly what it is that you can bring to the table.
You can show them exactly why your product is worth selling at their shop by bringing them sample packages. The sample packages will have a few of your best selling items for them to taste.
It is always best to email or call the coffee shop you are interested in partnering with first and make sure there is an interest there.
When putting together your sample package, focus not only on the taste of your products but on the presentation as well.
Ultimately, the eating experience starts with the eyes. No one will buy your products if it does not look like it is going to taste good. Make sure you present your product in a beautiful way and, of course, that it tastes just as good as it looks.
Even if the business that you send your samples too is not interested in creating a working relationship, you will still be bringing awareness to your bakery and putting your products in front of more eyes which can drone up potential individual future business.
How often should you take your baked goods to the coffee shop you are working with?
Once you create a working partnership with a coffee shop or a small business or cafe, the next step is to decide on the frequency in which you will bring your products to their store for them to sell.
The best way to do this is to speak with the business owner and set up a schedule based on what works best for them.
You will probably go through a few trial weeks where you will be bringing more or fewer products to the business based on the number of customers who are buying your product.
It will be a guessing game for a few weeks until you find the perfect standard order based on what products are selling well and flying out of the display case and which products are taking a while to sell.
This standard order will be what the business or coffee shop orders from you every week. This will mean that it is a standing order so you do not have to communicate unless something major changes.
Many times, a holiday will bring around changes where you might have to make more cookies and other pastries than you normally would as people are buying things for presents and parties, etc.
After the standard order is figured out, the coffee shop should only contact you if there is a major change in your standard orders, though every business is different so you may partner with a business owner who wants to stay in constant contact and put in a different order week to week.
The key is to stay flexible and be ready to give the owners exactly what they want!
How to deliver such large quantities to the coffee shops
The first thing that your home based business will need to do is establish a strict, consistent delivery time in which to bring your pastries.
It is typically best to deliver your product as early as you possibly can, right when they open up for the day or before. This gives your products the best possible chance to sell throughout the day and helps to guarantee freshness.
If you are just starting out in your partnership with a coffee shop, you may want to stay away from a delivery fee as they are more likely to continue using you, then charge a very small delivery fee after about a year of being partners.
Deliveries typically take a lot of time to do and takes away from your time when you could be baking in your kitchen which means you should not short-change yourself and price your products appropriately.
Use the cake pricing calculator to find out what to charge.
It is important to keep in mind that the very first coffee shop or small business that you approach may not want to partner with you, and not get discouraged by that. Keep reaching out and providing the best baked goods that you can and you will be sure to find a coffee shop, cafe, or small business that will be more than eager to work with you!