Shop owner wannabe...How to start?

Joined Sep 27, 2010
Hi there, Im new to this forum and if you don't mind, I would just like to ask all of you a few questions.

Right now I am 22, have a Bachelors degree in BA and a highly paid job. However, like most people here, I have a passion for cakes, to be specific, a passion for cake business. My long term goal is to open my own bakery chain, or at least a franchised chain. I was fortunate enough to be able to travel to many countries around the world and tasted savory cakes from many places. However, in my country, there aren't many good bakeries except for the ones in 5-star hotels so I figured it's a very potential business idea.

So I really wanna ask those of you who actually opened your own bakeries, what does it take to start a business in this industry? Honestly, I have no knowledge or experience about baking yet. Should I go abroad for a proper education on Pastry (we don't have any good culinary schools where I live)? Or is there any alternative I could take? Again, I plan on becoming an owner, not a famous, highly skilled pastry chef.

My problem is I could only go for 1 year max, tuition and fees are not my concern, but would 1 year possibly be enough for me to acquire enough knowledge to become an owner?  Also, would you recommend going to Paris or America for school? Since I am willing to go anywhere as long as they offer worthy courses and within 1 year, any recommendation is welcomed.  

My knowledge about Pastry is very limited at the moment so if I said anything wrong, please be understanding and I am really looking forward to hear from all of you guys, people who are actually in the industry. 

Thank you!


Kitchen Dork
Joined Jun 15, 2006
Actually if you knew enough about the business of cakes and pastry, you probably wouldn't want to go into this industry...../img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif
Joined Dec 4, 2009

You sound like the perfect "business" partner to a baker.

In most successful businesses that I know, there is a technical mind (in this case, a baker) and a business mind.  Two different people.  It's extremely rare that a great baker would be a good business person and vice versa.  More importantly, a baker should focus on baking and a business mind should focus on, well, business.

Take the year to study the "basics" of baking so you'll at least have an appreciation and understanding of that end of it.  Then find yourself a great baker, someone you get along with and someone who you can sit down with on day one and decide who's going to do what and who's not going to futz in the other partner's end of the company (that is, YOU take care of "business" and they take care of baking).

The bakery business is no harder than most any businesses.  Define your vision and identity, be different and special, focus, don't be all things to all people, develop a good company culture, hire the right people, delegate, market the hell out of your service and product and as much as anything, be passionate.

Joined May 5, 2009
This is a fairly old thread but I'm going to reply to it anyway.  Your best bet would be to get a job at a bakery just be selective.  Try to find a  bakery that does the type of work you are interested in and see what it is like.  Also you if you can get in as a baker's assistant or working with the cake decorators as a base-icer you will get much better training for that than pastry school.  I can't speak with direct experience since I didn't go to pastry school and I would imagine there are some that focus more on cakes so keep that in mind.  The simple fact is that I have yet to see a recent graduate of any pastry school that I would hire to either decorate or bake cakes on their own.  It isn't something you can learn in a week.  I own six successful bakeries so I do have some experience with this.  In a nutshell, if you want to do cakes, get a job at a bakery and pester/beg and work your rear off to get involved in the baking and decorating.  Though an entry level job doesn't pay much it is a heck of a lot cheaper than going to pastry school.
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