Your plans for opening a bakery have been set in motion. You've baked all your life and your family and friends have always been impressed with the baking skills you possess. But if you want to produce an income from your talent, you have to inevitably dive into the world of business.

One of your first decisions as a business owner is deciding what type of bakery you should open. This is no light task and should be given a lot of thought. To help give you some ideas, read through our guide of different types of bakeries and bakery serving styles.

Types Of Bakeries

The first step in this process would be to choose one of two types of bakeries, wholesale or retail. Choosing between these two types determines the way your business will function and how big of a budget you will need. Here are some key differences between these two business models.

Retail Bakery

This type of bakery sells directly to consumers. They are storefront bakeries, where goods will be on display and customers can pick what they want to purchase. You will have to provide excellent customer service and hire front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house staff. Take these pros and cons into consideration:

Pros

  • Lots of customer interaction
  • Freedom to choose theme and store design
  • Lower startup costs
  • Goods are attractively showcased

Cons

  • Inconsistent revenue
  • Marketing costs
  • High rent

Wholesale Bakeries

Instead of selling to walk-in customers, wholesale bakeries sell to businesses such as restaurants, hotels, grocery stores, coffee shops, and other bakeries. They don’t have storefronts and solely concentrate on producing baked goods. Consider these pros and cons:

Pros

  • Consistent revenue
  • Stable customer base
  • Flexible rent locations

Cons

  • No front-of-the-house maintenance
  • No front-of-the-house equipment
  • Transport large amounts of food

Bakery Service Styles

Your bakery service styles will largely depend on the types of baked goods you plan to sell. There are many serving styles to choose from and to determine which to pick, you’ll want to ask yourself a few questions.

  • What type of foods do my target customers prefer?
  • What will make me stand out from the competition?
  • What are my baking strong suits?
  • What type of food do I want to sell?

If you’re still having trouble deciding on a style, take a look at the following service styles which are popular among bakers.

Cafe Bakery

A cafe bakery sells pastries, sandwiches, and other quick bites along with a variety of caffeinated beverages. You can choose to give table service or simply have customers pick up their orders at the counter. The only difference between a coffee shop and cafe bakery is that coffee drinks will be the featured selling item rather than cakes or cookies.

Bakery Food Truck

Mobile bakeries or bakery food trucks are a great option if you’re seeking to serve an on-the-go clientele. For this type of business model, you will have to focus on making handheld pastries and cakes. You will also have to find locations, such as business districts or parks to take your truck in order to find customers.

Home Bakery

Home bakeries allow you to bake goods from the comfort of your own home. Keep in mind that you must seek the appropriate permits to start a home bakery, so it’s important to research everything you need before setting up your business. This type of establishment functions best as a wholesale business type, where you’ll be servicing corporate institutions or restaurants.

Bread shops

With bread shops, you can choose to establish a traditional bread shop or commercial bread shop. A traditional bread shop will use time-honored techniques for baking and always has fresh bread available. On the other hand, commercial bread shops will have popular types of baked goods such as muffins, cakes, cookies, bread rolls, and frozen bread.

Wedding Cakes

This type of bakery field is very competitive but can be highly profitable if successful. As its name states, you will be primarily creating wedding cakes for couples on their special day. Many couples prefer to customize their cakes which means you will be able to set your own special pricing.

Before You Decide

Remember to keep things like your budget, location, and target clients in mind before you decide on a type of bakery. Also, don’t be afraid to get creative and come up with a unique idea. For instance, there are bakeries that make treats especially for pets and there are even drive-through bakeries. As stated before, take your time as this is a big life decision and investment.