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Diversifying Your Dough: 15 Income Ideas for Bakeries

By Business of Baking Blog posted 27 days ago


Did you realize that making money in your bakery doesn’t have to be restricted to what comes out of your oven? While selling fresh baked goods is timeless, savvy bakery owners understand that success can take many forms. In a landscape of rising food costs, changing tastes, and increased competition, innovative bakers have realized that diversification holds the key to long-term success.

Traditionally bakeries have often struggled due to relying solely on selling baked goods. However, the reality is that banking solely on muffins, cookies, and cakes might cause the business to fall short in achieving financial stability and growth. Approaching business with a fresh perspective might be what some traditional bakeries are missing. Therefore, in this article, I’m sharing 15 income generating ideas that go beyond the conventional bakery model while still remaining consistent with most bakery brands. These concepts will likely complement your core offerings while also leveraging your baking expertise. By incorporating a few of these ideas, you can carve a unique industry niche and navigate challenges with confidence.

15 Non-traditional Bakery Revenue Ideas

  1. Baking Classes: Offer baking workshops and classes for enthusiasts of all ages to learn different baking techniques, bread making, or even specialized skills like cake decorating.
  2. Custom Baking Kits: Create DIY baking kits with pre-measured ingredients and instructions for customers to bake their favorite treats at home.
  3. Healthy and Artisanal Breads: Develop a line of healthy and artisanal breads that cater to customers looking for unique and nutritious options.
  4. Catering Services: Provide catering services for events, parties, and gatherings where you supply a variety of baked goods to suit different celebrations and occasions.
  5. Sandwiches and Savory Snacks: Expand into offering sandwiches, quiches, savory pastries, and other non-dessert items to cater to customers looking for lunch or light meal options.
  6. Wholesale Distribution: Supply local cafes, restaurants, and shops with your baked goods, serving as a wholesale bakery supplier.
  7. Subscription Boxes: Launch subscription boxes that deliver a curated selection of baked goods to customers' doorsteps on a regular basis.
  8. Bread Subscriptions: Offer bread subscription services where customers receive fresh, handcrafted loaves of bread regularly.
  9. Event Space Rental: Utilize any available space to host baking-themed events, workshops, and gatherings, providing an additional stream of income.
  10. Gift Baskets: Curate gift baskets featuring a mix of baked goods and complementary items, suitable for holidays, corporate gifts, or special occasions.
  11. Coffee and Beverage Sales: Pair your baked goods with high-quality coffee, tea, and other beverages to create a cozy café experience for customers.
  12. Cooking Ingredients and Supplies: Retail a selection of high-quality baking ingredients, tools, and supplies for home bakers to purchase. This can also include party supplies for customers with last minute party needs such as greeting cards and candles.
  13. Online Cooking Courses: Create an online platform where customers can access video tutorials and guides for baking and cooking various recipes.
  14. Seasonal Offerings: Introduce seasonal specials that align with holidays and festivities, attracting customers seeking unique baked items for celebrations.
  15. Partnerships with Local Businesses: Collaborate with local businesses, such as florists or gift shops, to create joint promotions or packages that include baked goods.

Remember that your bakery's identity doesn't have to change when diversifying (or adding) income streams. Instead, these strategies can become an extension of your brand that will enrich the customer experience. From baking workshops that inspire to catering services that bring your delights to events, the possibilities are endless.

The key to expanding your business model beyond baking is to infuse your passion into new (yet complimentary) avenues. Hopefully, these ideas can serve as inspiration. Experiment, adapt, and find combinations that align with your bakery's brand. Then, pay attention to customer feedback to create a business model that serves your financial goals and continues to cater to your clients’ needs.

Cyd N. Mitchell
Business Blogger, Retail Bakers of America

Cydni N. Mitchell (aka Cyd) is a Bakery Consultant and the Sweet Business Coach behind Sweet Fest®. Based in Atlanta, GA, Sweet Fest® is an online company that supports the business needs of the Sweet Community in the areas of professional development, marketing, branding and web design.

By trade, Cyd is an accountant & financial analyst with a Masters from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the Founder of the Sugar Coin Academy, an online business academy for business owners in the baking and sweets industry, and she is also the organizer of The Ultimate Sugar Show, Georgia’s Largest Annual Baking and Sweets Expo in Atlanta. She is also the Business Blogger for the Retail Bakers of America.