To Bake or Buy - that is the question....

Joined Mar 29, 2004
Hi all. I am in serious consideration of starting a dessert cafe. However - since I am just starting, I would love to keep things simple, but of course want to be cost effective and offer fresh great quality desserts.

So, my consideration is whether I get a larger location, buy all the baking equipment and hire a dessert/pastry chef to bake all my goods (with the possible future venture of wholesale goods), or find a good dessert wholesaler in my area and just buying my goods.

I assume I would have to pay a starting dessert/pastry chef in the neighborhood of 20-25k.

From my internet searches, I have not been able to find wholesale cakes/pies for less than $20-24 per. I kinda feel that is too high.

I am hoping to open in the Los Angeles area.

Any thoughts on this?
Joined Mar 4, 2000
Hello, jl
You may have a hard time finding qualified help in the 20-25 range. I suspect that if that is all the funds you're able to dedicate to tha area, your decision may be easy. Look around and see what pastry chefs in your area make. Are you willing to train a less qualified person, so you can pay them a lower wage?

If you're planning to sell by the slice, you still can make a decent profit off of a 10" cake at $20. If you're selling whole cakes, the profit could be less.
Joined Apr 28, 2003
Definatly a hard decision to make jl9564

I myself would go 1/2 and 1/2. Produce half of what I sell and purchase the other half from a pastry wholesaler. Items like cakes and pies, from what I've scene, is becoming increaingly competative. Larger chain grocery stores can sell nice decent cakes for cheap and for a small bakery to compete with that is quite difficult. But I like to keep my options to alter my products open say if I find a cheaper supplier of ingredients or replace an ingredient with something totally different. I'd like for something of mine to be unique with other bakeries, something I can call my own and is only sold by my shop (not sure if you're the same). My $0.02

good luck on your venture.

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