Baking Together is designed to be a community, a hub for resources, interesting reads, recipes and media. Originally I was going to call this site Bake With Steve and share my research and experience on starting a home-baking business as well as my own bakes and recipes. However, I saw a need to create a larger baking community beyond just my own thoughts and experiences particularly due to the changes brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
Back in the summer of 2020, there were reports of a boom in home-baking businesses in the UK being started, however, a lot had failed to register with their local authority as part of the Food Standard Agency requirements. This is something that many may not realise when starting it out, so I thought it helpful to have a knowledge hub for those thinking of starting a baking business.
It is mandatory for a new food business or one starting to produce food to registers 28 days before opening with their local authority. Business must also follow food and hygiene principles, having a plan in place based on HACCP which should be monitored and recorded. I hope to go further into the steps and requirements of starting a baking business in later posts. It also depends on the types of food being prepared and where you intend to sell your creations. Back in 2018 I was selling handmade chocolates at a local market, whilst it wasn’t intended to be a business I decided to follow the same procedures which was above what was needed. If I were to continue selling on a regular basis I would need to register and have hygiene inspections from my local authority.
The boom in home-baking businesses may be as a result of some being out of a job or looking for another source of income, those looking to fill their time at home with a productive enterprise or those simply wishing to realise their dream or monetise their well enjoyed baked goods. I hope this blog will be helpful and a go-to for those in this position, I also want it to be a sharing and collaborative community with opportunities to help each other grow. I have started a new Facebook group for those wishing to join the discussion, or feel free to leave a comment or contact us.
The rise in home-baking businesses is evidenced by the large amounts of baking supplies being sold, this wasn’t just the 113% increase in spend on flour from supermarkets. Professional suppliers were struggling to keep up with demand from the surge of individuals seeking supplies. The baking industry had to adapt in order to stock grocery shelves as well as invest in e-commerce to facilitate online shopping and low order quantities. The Economist also reported a huge increase in Instagram posts mentioning #homebake and a rise in Google searches for baking ingredients and supplies. Some suppliers reported over 100% increases in web traffic to their site and recipes. There are many suppliers of baking ingredients and supplies out there, more than I initially realised when starting out, many are hard to find with some not catering for small home bakers yet. I hope to build up a list of these suppliers on this site and build partnerships with them to enable you the reader to succeed in your enterprise.
Lastly, for now, I want this blog to inspire people, and help people enjoy the hobby whether as a business or not. I was inspired to be a chocolatier when I was 17, though I only did sell at a couple of markets, watching chocolatiers inspired me to make a big batch of chocolates for my family and friends each Christmas which were thoroughly enjoyed, and I enjoyed the experience of learning and creating them, as well as branding them in fancy boxes. What inspires you to bake? Let me know in the comments.