If you're a librarian or someone with excellent research skills, then How to Start a Home-Based Bakery Business is not for you because in a matter of minutes you'll discover the information you seek. But if you're like ninety per cent of wannabe bakers and don't know where to begin your research into the ins and outs of a home-based bakery business, this is the book for you. If readers can get past the red-tape aspects of working out of their home and complying with rigorous guidelines, then they'll be well on their way to success after absorbing wisdom shared in this book.
Detra Denay Davis shares her twenty-five year's of experience in this practical guide to getting your rolling pin in the door in the home bakery business. She lives in Atlanta now, but specifically cites North Carolina laws since she operated in that state for most of her career. Most of the business basics like writing a business plan, financing, and marketing, are easily found in any guide to small businesses. But Davis shares information specific to bakers such as cakeboss and how to locate kitchen incubators.
Because, let's face it, after reading this book, would-be bakers may decide they don't want to start a home-based bakery in their home, but may want to rent time/space in a commercial kitchen. It's not like everybody wants "the man" traipsing through their home, inspecting the bathrooms, etc. And then there's product labeling to consider.
Davis talks generalities about setting your prices. She poo poohes the practice of charging two or three times the cost of ingredients, which seems to be the standard advice given to newbie home-based bakers. She touches on social networking as an aspect of your business as well as offering information about establishing an online presence allowing customers to order products securely. She mentions, several times, how some bakers operate "under the table" in that they aren't cleared to bake and sell potentially hazardous items like cheesecake. She thinks they'll get caught someday and advises operating your bakery business above-board, by the book. Further, she writes about recipe development and marketing your products to a niche, such as sugar-free, gluten-free, etc.
The first place to start, after finishing How to Start a Home-Based Bakery Business, is to check with your local SBA. They are familiar with foods start-ups in your area and can save time. Cottage laws vary from state to state, as do the particular departments, whether it be Agriculture or the Health Department that your business operates under. Davis points out that often these agencies are unaware of restrictions and guidelines of each other and can give would-be bakers conflicting advice. Check out your SBA office first.
After reading How to Start a Home-Based Bakery Business I'm not sure I'm up for all the problems described with having a home-based bakery in my kitchen. Keeping ingredients, utensils, appliances, etc. separate sounds like a hassle, especially for those with small kitchens and storage space. I'd be more likely to go whole-hawg with a bricks-and-mortar bakery, or rent time/space in a commercial kitchen. Too, I have dogs, and Davis was pretty explicit in saying that, for the most part, home-based bakeries must be animal-free.
Good luck to you in your home-based bakery business. Reading the materials covered within How to Start a Home-Based Bakery Business will undoubtedly convince you one way or another whether this endeavor is worth attempting. This is an excellent resource. The only improvement I'd make would be to include more interviews with home-based bakers. There was one. Showing multiple paths to success is the best model to follow and would have strengthened the book.