Survey: What should I name my bakery? Should I name after myself?

Joined Mar 8, 2016
Hi All!

So, I'm in the process of launching my website for my bakery. After agonizing over it! I choose Sweetly Bakery as the name and registered it as an LLC and bought the domain name. But then I still have this nagging thing about it. I was told I should name it after myself. My name is Shanell and I think I have a pretty lovely name. So I was thinking Shanell's Bakery & Cafe or Sweetly Shanell's. But I am SO undecided. Because I read an article or two online that said naming a place after yourself is not a good idea. Some of the reasons listed were that I found particularly compelling to me:
1. It’s limiting. When you’re starting out, you don’t know where your company will go, or what you’ll love doing most, or what the best business model will turn out to be, so it’s a good idea to pick a name that keeps your options open. Right now, I run the company and do all the creative, which is likely not sustainable forever, especially if we keep growing. If at some point, I decided I wanted to bring on other artists or writers and function as a creative director, it would be a lot less awkward if my company was called Sunshine Industries. For example
2. If you ever want to sell your company and go do something else, your name goes with the company and belongs to the people who bought it. If those people start making incredibly hideous products with your name all over them, you can’t do anything about it. Except change your OWN name
3.. As you grow, “me” becomes “we.” (I realized as soon as I hired my first employee that it sounded weird to have her answer the phone “Hello, Emily McDowell!” because that’s not her name.
4. When you have a brand that’s your name, people expect you to BE that brand 24/7. Which makes total sense! But this can be an uncomfortable problem as you grow and sell products to/interact with an increasing number of people who don’t know you.


I have a vision for my bakery I am sure all Entrepreneurs do!
But I also thought what if using my name hinders me and I want to sell my business in the future or people EXPECT me Shanell to be there 24/7 since it's attached to me and my name.
However, I know that there are very successful food businesses with somebody's name attached to it. We may not know who that person is but their name is attached to it.
-Ruth Chris Steak house
-Sara Lee :)
-Benny's bakery (local bakery in my area no longer owned by Benny)
-My friend's brother owns three Jerry's grocery markets he bought from a Jerry
-Domique Ansel Bakery (But he was known before his cronut and bakery so he had a following)

I want my bakery name to be memorable but also not limiting my possible future endeavors.

So should I stick with Sweetly Bakery and Cafe or go with my name?

Let me know guys! Naming has been SO DAMN HARD! LOL!
Joined Jul 28, 2015
Go with your gut, it's gotten you this far. No reason to start doubting it now right?

And for what it's worth, I like Sweetly Shanell.
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Joined Oct 31, 2012
I'd have to agree. Call it whatever you want. Don't over think it. Sweetly Shanell is a fine name. If you get to the point where the name is a concern, you can always change it. Even big corporations have changed their name. Whatever you call it, put out a good product. 
Joined Feb 18, 2007
You're the one that gets to decide what to name your company (kind of like naming a child ;)

You can think about future implications but in the meantime, think about what your company name tells a prospective customer.  Having an exit strategy before you begin is a wise part of the plan. Going with a name that doesn't reference a person makes the sale of said company easier.  After you decide to leave, no one is going to ask "where's Shanel?"   Sweetly Shanel is a lovely name,  ... without a logo or tag line, I wonder, does this company make invitations? Confections? Cakes and baked goods? Freelance writer? Artist?

Sweets by Shanel narrows it down a little so people know you are making either baked goods or confections.  Or maybe it's because "sweetly" is an adverb and I'm far too literal ;) I'm not trying to be the grammar police, just offering an opinion.

Good luck!  This is a great adventure!
Joined Nov 28, 2014
Sweetly Shanel sounds like a particularly fine pastry. Do you have a unique pastry that you could call Sweetly Shanel? Just wondering. 
Joined Mar 8, 2016
Hi All,
Thanks for your detailed responses! I have narrowed down the name to two names Shanell's Bakery & Cafe or Sweetly Bakery. Please let me know what you think.

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