Is being a pastry chef, or any kind of chef, worth it when businss is involved?

Joined Nov 21, 2015
Im just wondering... is taking cullinary arts worth it if your taking business classes to open up your own shop one day? Im in school now as i speak and i decided to do a duo major and take business classes along with cullinary arts classes.. i have  3 small children (ages 6 & 4) and they just love helping me in the kitchen..and just like with my mom , i let them help me. The reason for me wanting to do cullinary arts and to become a pastry chef was to be able to open up my own pastry shop, my kids being the inspiration. I absolutley LOVE baking especially during the holidays... i love to cook to so it made it kind of dificult to decide did i want a pastry shop or a resturant...or have it biggest question/concern.. because ive seen blogs and other articles about how it isnt worth it unless you love working long hours and holidays blah blah, is, is it worth it if you plan to open up your own place?
Joined Aug 21, 2004
If you have to ask, probably not.

I became a chef/owner and have no regrets. If I never had, I would have regrets, but that is me. With me, there was never any question, it was something I had to do. I had conviction in spades.

In one sentence you mention that you love to bake especially around the holidays, then in another sentence you are wondering about having to work the holidays, to me that seems kind of incongruous.

Not everyone is cut out to be an owner or a chef, which is the way it should be, the key is to match the peg with the hole.
Joined Oct 11, 2014
I would definitely suggest to look at alternative business choices like ETSY or your local Farmer's Markets. These are good testing grounds for your products, business savvy and your commitment to baking as a business. It lets you 'put your toe in to test the waters' so-to-speak. You have a small family and it takes a tremendous amount of time and energy to run a business let alone brick and mortar one. Take a good look into what I have mentioned above as I believe this will be where you do well./img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
Joined Jun 27, 2012
Catering is also a good place to test the waters.

Especially this time of year...lots of temporary and part time spots available.

If you pay close attention you may catch some financial tips as well.



Kitchen Dork
Joined Jun 15, 2006
All I have to say about this is, baking at home, and baking as a profession, are TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THINGS. Get yourself some kind of part time job or internship in a bakery/pastry shop FIRST.......then you will have your answer.
Joined Feb 18, 2007
Culinary school is fine for learning the fundamentals; you get what you put into it (the education).  If you have never cooked/baked professionally, it is an entirely different thing from baking at home.  At work, you have deadlines, you have to produce X amount in Y time with no errors and very little waste.It can be fun to make two or three dozen decorated cookies at home.  It is less fun making 200 dozen. 

Does your school program have an internship requirement? Or a placement office?  Find out who's hiring for the holidays and dive in.  This is the busiest time of the year in the food business so you will have a baptism by fire so to speak.  I, as the owner and working pastry chef of a bakery, am there before anyone else, and I leave after everyone is gone.  I come home to two hours of paperwork, and another hour of responding to inquiries and following up with clients.  I will not see much of my family until the first week of January, and the game at our house is to see when during Thanksgiving I will fall asleep - will I conk out during dinner? or before, during, or after dessert? 

Work for someone else for a while; learn from them.  Let someone pay you while you learn the ins and outs of the business. Even if you are merely the cashier at a bakery, you still have a great opportunity.   It won't be much, but don't think just in terms of the hourly wage.  Think of it as a chance to learn about what works, and what doesn't, about owning a business.  You have all the benefit and none of the risk by working for someone else for a while first.
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