Baking is a skill that many people enjoy, but not everyone will want to do it as a full-time job. Many people according to our 2021 UK Homebakers survey said it was something they did part-time or on the side.
Maybe you’re just looking for ideas. Some people in our survey said that they were considering starting. Over lockdown, many people started a business. There is certainly a market for home-baked goods as buying food online is more popular than ever.
We’ve collated some of the ideas you might consider if you’re looking to try a baking business setup at home – a home baking venture.
Bake for weddings and other special occasions.
If you love creating custom cakes, you could make a good side income baking for weddings and other special occasions. The best way to get started is to do tell your friends and network with local caterers and event planners who can refer you to clients.
Because speciality cakes are more expensive than your standard sheet cake, they can bring in a lot of revenue. You can price them by the slice or by the cake, with some bakers choosing to charge extra for fondant icing or other decorations. Make sure to provide the customer with a tasting and consultation so that they feel confident that their cake will be exactly what they want.
Be a caterer for lunches, brunches and afternoon teas.
There are more events than this, but you could start a catering business with a unique selling point of doing afternoon teas, wedding buffets, office functions or parties.
Depending on your target market and the scale of catering you want to offer, you could sell desserts/drinks only or a full menu. You could offer a buffet service or set up a sit-down service for people who want food delivered to their tables.
Become a personal chef.
A bit more of an all-round cook, but an option for food entrepreneurs nonetheless.
A lot of people do not have time to cook dinner and would rather have someone else prepare it for them. Personal chefs can either work part-time and prepare meals for a family or work full-time and travel from home to home cooking meals. All you need is an agreement with the client, some good recipes, and a passion for cooking!
Bake for cafés and coffee shops around you.
Whether you are new or you are looking to expand, this wholesale opportunity is a good one.
You could offer an assortment of pies, cakes, cupcakes and cookies for sale at cafes and restaurants in your area. The owner might charge you a commission or allow you to sell them on consignment (in which case you don’t get paid until the goods are sold).
To get started:
- Make contact with cafes and coffee shops around you. Explain that you are a baker and would like to supply their shop with baked goods. Bring them samples of your work to help convince them that they should stock your product.
- Think about the limitations of your kitchen. If you don’t have the capacity to bake large volumes, be open and honest with cafe owners so they know what they can expect when ordering from you. On the other hand, if you’re confident in your abilities, set goals and aim to build your brand locally.
- Consider what it takes for you to produce a certain quantity of baked goods each week or month – how long does it take and how much does it cost? You’ll want to factor in all costs (including ingredients, time spent baking, equipment used, etc.) before setting a price per unit so that you can get the best return on investment possible. For example: “I charge £X per dozen cookies because it costs me £Y per dozen.”
Cater to dietary requirements in your area.
You can cater to different dietary requirements by baking vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free bakes.
There are also many other dietary requirements such as nut-free, soy-free and egg-free that you might want to add to your list of options.
Specialising will help you when starting out to stand out before you try and grow to a full-scale bakery or market to everyone.
Make baked goods based on local ingredients.
Another great way to stand out as a home baker is to use local ingredients that reflect your region. Your baked goods can be delicious for two reasons: one, the quality of the ingredients, and two, their local character, which will make them feel more authentic and exciting.
The best thing about using local ingredients is that they’re usually fresher than non-local options (and thus tastier), plus they’re usually cheaper too, not to mention more sustainable. Bonus points if you’re able to get your hands on organic ingredients! Using locally sourced ingredients in your baked goods can also help you build close relationships with community members who share similar values – which can help in getting your first customers!
Create baking kits and food gifts.
A baking kit is an assortment of tools and ingredients a person needs to bake something delicious. For example, you could create a cookie baking kit that includes the flour, sugar, spices, extracts and chocolate chips needed to make the perfect batch of cookies. Others might include the ingredients for a cake or maybe even pancake mix!
You can also create food gifts by creating gift baskets full of delicious treats such as cookies and brownies.
Both baking kits and food gifts can be sold online, at local markets or sold wholesale to other businesses.
Some examples are BakedIn or Gousto.
Start an online store
Selling online gives your business a wide reach and plenty of opportunities, though it can be competitive.
Here are some things you should keep in mind:
- Find the right platform for selling your baked goods. You have many options for selling baked goods online, such as Etsy or eBay. Or you can use an e-commerce solution and set up a store on either Shopify or on WordPress with Woocommerce (using this method will also allow you to build a website from scratch).
- Use social media and forums to promote your products. As soon as the world finds out about how awesome your cakes taste, trust that orders will start pouring in! You can advertise on Facebook and Twitter or even participate in discussion forums where people talk about food; this way, people might stumble upon your delightful treats while they’re looking for something else entirely!
Offer baking classes to the public.
If you’re a whiz in the kitchen, consider teaching others how to bake. Baking classes are a great way to make money while sharing your passion with other like-minded enthusiasts.
If you want to teach baking classes but feel too shy or unsure of yourself, consider assisting in a professional bakery first. This will give you the chance to hone your skills before striking out on your own.
Ready to host your own baking class? First, figure out where and when it’s going to be held. If you don’t have much space in your own home, look for local community spaces that can be rented out at an affordable rate. Next, decide on a menu and how much each class will cost (don’t forget to account for ingredients as well as overhead costs). Lastly, advertise! Offer free tastings at farmer’s markets and set up flyers around town.
Remember you can also teach baking online on sites like Skillshare or Youtube.
Hopefully this will give you some inspiration. Once you have an idea, you’ll probably going to need a channel to build up your customer base or a platform to sell on. Here’s 18 places you can sell to UK customers.
There are many opportunities, so be creative!