Planning ahead

401
10
Joined Oct 6, 2001
Meringues: nice light and classy

Mini Pavlova - ditto (would need some refrigeration.

Large Pavlova bases for summertime desserts (why it would be nice to have the minis as a marketing tool

It's a shame that so many people are scared of making meringues (of course, it's good for us!)
 
1,839
11
Joined May 29, 1999
summer could mean
fruit tarts
fruit pies
sorbet filled hollowed out fruits
ices
charlott russe
strawberry short cakes
whipped cream cakes
big lemon and cocoanut meringue pies!
do not forget cupcakes!!!!!

one word of advice, buy at auction some cold display units and freezer units. it will pay off in the end. grab the ben and jerry customers by offering beautiful cakes and light cool individual desserts shown in the front window. don't forget the gourmet coffees and your idea for the cheeses is a good one. set up a decoration table by the window and put on a show by decorating cakes and pastries in view of your customers.
KEEP THE SHOP VERY CLEAN AT ALL TIMES! Nothing turns me off more than dirty floors and counters. keep the displays clean, colorful and organized!!!! if you don't have a lot of product, fill the spaces with pretty ingredient containers or flowers.
Good luck, you are on the right track asking for help.
welcome to cheftalk.com you will find helpful answers to your questions and don't forget to visit our student section!
 
2,938
11
Joined Mar 4, 2000
Great suggestions..

Also, can you tell us more about the clientele, as well as the layout of the shop,meaning what kind of space and equipment you have in the kitchen and in the front of the house. What do you sell now?
 
7,375
69
Joined Aug 11, 2000
Kid centered food too, like cookies on a stick or dirt cupcakes if you get the kids you get the parents.

Picnic baskets with fruit, cheeses, smoked meats and breads, beverages....deposit on the basket that brings them back in....

Assorted bars.

Depending on your clientel....baby or weding shower platters with theme features....booties, pacifier, flowers etc...then promote them and people will come back for the wedding cakes.
Delivery to hospitals...then have fliers at the hospitals.

Small cakes are big in stores and I think most make a good return.

chop bread was big a while ago....dough chop in veg (spinach adn cheese etc...) then forn in a flat roundish loaf. Apple Pie bread is big at a bakery here....apple pie filling and spices in a buttery loaf....
Chocolate chocolate cherry bread got people excited just hearing the name.....
**I love bakeries.
 
332
10
Joined Jan 26, 2001
Hello everyone. I haven't posted here before, but I am a newly aspiring cook, hoping to go to culinary school in a year or two.

I just got a job at a small bakery, and one of the problems they have is summer customers. People want baked goods in the winter and spring, but when it turns hot and humid they aren't as appealing. (Especially with a Ben & Jerry's next door).

I've been trying to come up with ideas. This bakery generally does muffins, cookies, scones, cinnamon rolls, and breads. Here are the ideas I have. I would appreciate your input.

Summery baked goods (in my opinion)
Lemon bars
Fruit tarts
Baguettes (maybe we could sell cheese during the summer so people feel classy carrying a Baguette and cheese ;) )

We don't have a lot of freezer/fridge space, so a lot of cold things are not really an option. Do you have any other ideas? I want to present them to the manager so they have time to give it some thought. I want the business to improve rather than decline, but they'll need a slight facelift.

Thanks for your input! I just hope baked goods and summer are not inherent opposites.
 
1,640
12
Joined Mar 6, 2001
Hi,

I'm new here...picked up this site from one that I frequent regularly. Once I saw momoregs name here I knew I had to check things out!

Cookies or anything on a stick (cheesecake, homemade freeform suckers, etc...) is a MAJOR hit with kids. If an adult can't bring them-selfs to buy (something fattening) for them-selfs they will always feed their desire by getting something for the kids.

Put flower shaped cookies (or whatever design is seasonal) in a clay pot (you can decorate the pot also or just tie ribbon around it)filled with dried beans and a top layer of styrofoam. Then show it off in the front window or on top of your counter. It's a real eye catcher!

Summer ideas....look at Anna von Marburg's book "Happy Birthdays" new at the bookstore. She has some really terrific decorated cake with summer themes!!!!

Golfer theme that's made from brownies. Really easy to make and will be a huge seller!

Bee hive cakes (big hit at my job).

Cupcakes...she has a flower tree of them (you could display like that) them sell individual ones or trees for kids to take to school for their birthday treat. You could also look at some figure piping books for creative animals, etc...to pipe on cupcakes. You can pipe them out and freeze them in bulk then defrost and place on cupcakes as needed.


van Marburg has a cake "around the campfire" you could do a themed display around campfire type desserts like s'mores in your front case. Like the diner cookbooks what's old is in again! Takeout some older cookbooks and make what Mom made years ago...even layered jello dishes.

She also has a cake called "icecream feast" that's a great idea to compete with the icecream store. It's icecream cones sliced in half length ways and wrapped around a cake. For your display you'll have to use mashed poatoes (to simulate icecream) but it's very "summer" and more fun than any icecream cake from an icecream store.

P.S. I don't understand all my options below? ;)
 
332
10
Joined Jan 26, 2001
You asked what we sell now. Not a lot, really, but it's a very small place. Scones, vegan scones, muffins, cinnamon rolls, cookies, various breads, and sometimes brownies. Half of what we make goes to a coffee shop, and some of our breads go to B&B's in the area.

Your suggestions are good ones. What kind of cookies do you put on sticks? Popsicle sticks? In circles or squares?

Also, the manager is not willing at this time to put much money into it, as far as adding freezers, etc. It's unfortunate, but for a college town bakery, pretty typical.

You all are so creative! I have found the right place to call home.

Fueled by sconey goodness,
Shimmer :cool:
 
2,938
11
Joined Mar 4, 2000
Pies also go over very well in summer. Depending on the clientele, you may choose to make individual ones, vs. 10" . But summer means BBQs and picnics, which call for pies! Fruit pies and cream pies both go over very well.

Hi W. DeBord. I'm glad you found this place. I'm sure you'll enjoy coming here more than anywhere else online.
 
401
10
Joined Oct 6, 2001
Shimmer,

You said you were in a college town -- are you very near campus, attracting lots of college kids needing the sugar-caffeine buzz or do you get more of the professorial/academic type w/ kids? (yes, I do realize that those are not the only 2 types of people in a college town). That can really make a difference as to what kind of products you will need to provide.

I know your boss doesn't want to do a lot of upfront spending; but besides cheese, etc to go with the breads, can you add chocolate products? they always seem to sell well. Chocolates for your sweetheart, chocolate dipped spoons, chocolate fruits...a popular companion sideline.

If the place is very popular with the college kids, a signature deseert, muffin or scone with the school or mascot's name can go well (esp. if you can accomodate the colours...).

Keep us informed!
 
83
10
Joined Sep 5, 2000
With regard to lemon bars, I think they are better in the winter. 1) the fruit is in season, plentiful and cheaper 2) it gives a bright break from the dreary winter
 
64
10
Joined Sep 13, 2000
During college, my husband worked in a bakery and they always had thick, fudgy brownies, big cookies (plain ol' chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, etc), chocolate dipped shortbreads, linzer cookies, and on and on . . . They were always sold out by the end of the day. As for the lemon bars -- I just tried out a new recipe and people were freaking out about how good they were. I agree that they help to get rid of those winter blues.
 
1,640
12
Joined Mar 6, 2001
You can put almost any kind of cookie on a stick. Refidgerator type cookies work well....make your dough, and shape it into a log. The diamiter size should be large enough to fit your cookie cutter. After your dough is firm, slice off some dough (slightly thicker than usual) use cutter to shape each cookie, then place cookie on sheet pan and insert stick into the dough. I use craft popsile sticks (1000 sticks for .99 at the craft store). This kind of dough will keep for a long time in the refridgerator, just slice off and bake what you project in sales.


You should bake the cookies with the sticks in them. The stick bakes fine, no need to cover. You can also color you dough according to the shape your baking.

For instance, make sunflower cookies yellow. Then after baking either place chocolate chips in the center (to imitate the look of the sunflower seeds, do it while the cookie is still slightly warm they'll melt on) or pipe on chocolate frosting. Wrap a green ribbon around the stick and insert into a clay pot (also very cheap to purchase)on the counter.

I beleive college people are often looking for inexpensive gifts to give to each other for birthdays, etc...You could do heart shaped cookies and pipe "I love you" messages, balloon shaped cookied with "happy birthday", star shaped cookies with "good job" or "way to go", graduation time...do graduation caps with "congradulations" piped on them. You can wrap the cookies in saran and tie the base of the cookie with a curly ribbon. You should be able to get a couple bucks (like a card) for each cookie on a stick.

This is a very, very cheap, easy idea.
 
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