On the Line / Menu + Food / How to Choose Which Types of Bakeries Will Inspire Your Business

How to Choose Which Types of Bakeries Will Inspire Your Business

There are tons of different bakery categories to model yours around. Read on to learn what you want in your new or existing bakery.

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DISCLAIMER: This content is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal, accounting, tax, HR, or other professional advice. You are responsible for your own compliance with laws and regulations. You should contact your attorney or other relevant advisor for advice specific to your circumstances.

There’s nothing quite as good as a freshly baked loaf, cake, or tart. Even in the age of the frozen toaster pastry, bakeries continue to attract customers from far and wide with heavenly baked goods.

Of course, not all bakeries are the same. There are a variety of kinds with their services and delicious treats.

This article has all you need to know about different kinds of bakeries, guiding you through their unique demands and logistical hurdles. And, we’ll provide advice on how to list your bakery in ads and online!

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Bakery business models

Before exploring the types of bakeries, you need to know the two bakery business models: retail and wholesale. Sometimes, owners blend the two, depending on the needs of their community.

Retail bakery

The primary focus of retail bakeries is making cakes, pies, cookies, truffles, and other decadent treats for customers. The bulk of orders for retail bakeries is baked goods for clients’ birthdays, weddings, or office celebrations. 

Retail bakeries often keep a storefront open for walk-in customers to indulge in their baked-good dreams. Some offer cafe staples - like soups and salads - to pair with their bread and sweets, creating a cozy space for their community to gather.

Wholesale bakery

Wholesale bakeries sell their goods to other retailers. Think cafes, coffee shops, and restaurants that don’t have the space or equipment to produce fresh bread and pastries in-house. Wholesale bakeries produce large volumes of products with a high level of consistency, requiring a large commercial kitchen and lots of skilled labor.

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What are the different types of bakeries?

As a bakery owner, you can decide what you want to sell and how you want to sell it. Yet, knowing how to talk about and market your bakery is critical, especially through online media outlets. Consider these categories to convey your bakery’s specialty to customers.

Bakery cafe

The versatile bakery cafe is a perfect business model for bakers who want to curate an atmosphere embracing customer demands for convenience. Bakery cafes bring it all under one roof, producing baked goods and operating a full kitchen for soups, salads, and sandwiches. In the right area, bakery cafes attract a community of loyal customers who enjoy having a space to get together over a cup of coffee and a fresh scone.

Gourmet bakery

Gourmet bakeries honor ancient traditions with their unique visions to create specialty pastries, cakes, and treats. They devote their businesses to consistently producing perfectly flaky croissants and crusty sourdough loaves.

Some of the most popular bakeries focus on quality rather than the atmosphere. However, quality and comfort aren’t always at odds. The attention to detail bakers give to their pastries can parallel an impressively designed bakery layout.

Wedding cake bakery

Wedding cake bakeries don’t just make a wedding cake – they make orders for special occasions. These cake shops create gorgeous, intricate designs that are worthy of celebration. They also create an array of other sweet treats perfect for any event or occasion.

Bread bakery

Bakers that devote themselves to crafting perfectly crusty baguettes and soft, pillowy ciabatta are in a league of their own. Bread bakers most often find success as wholesale enterprises, supplying the area’s farm-to-table and high-end dining scene.

Bread bakers can also open their shops to the local community, and the foodies in the neighborhood will rejoice. But, when shoppers can pull a loaf from any supermarket or bodega shelf, having a storefront can be difficult. Keep this in mind when designing your bread bakery business model.

Cupcakery

Americans seem unable to resist the appeal of a hand-held, highly-decorated, cake-based confection. Cupcakes captured the creativity and imagination of a generation of eaters and continue to be in high demand today.

Pastry shop

Pastry shops require innovative minds and steady hands to produce the intricate delicacies for which French patisseries are renowned. A carefully layered pastry is one of the finest things in life, and pastry shop owners should search for the right market and customer base for such a luxury.

Bakery food truck

Food trucks are loved for their mobility – allowing you to bring your bakery brand to new customers. While tight spaces and a lack of temperature control present challenges for even the best bakers, there are advantages. Limited menus - such as focusing on cupcakes or donuts - can be a winning food truck strategy. Or, if you already have a successful brick-and-mortar bakery, taking it on the road can be a piece of cake.

How to categorize a bakery

How you talk and write about your baker is critical. Whether through word-of-mouth or marketing channels, where your bakery fits into the market will influence the customers who seek it out.

Price point

The price of your products says a lot about your bakery – prices indicate the quality of ingredients and the time and care put into your products. Many bakeries negotiate prices for large orders with clients based on their needs. And, the price of loaves and sweets will determine how often customers feel they can indulge in them. 

Pricing is often determined by the customers you want to serve, your expenses, and the quality of your goods. Gourmet bakeries can set high price points to attract a specific customer base, while other bakeries carefully balance the quantity and quality of sales.

Atmosphere

When you’re building the brand of your bakery, decorating the space, crafting the menu, and creating marketing materials, think about the experience you want to offer. Is it inviting and cozy, invoking homemade qualities, or stark and industrial to signal high quality and consistency?

Service and presentation

Bakeries must prepare for a myriad of service situations – customers in the shop, clients who place large orders, and wholesale deliveries all require a different approach. Each interaction is an invitation for customers to learn more about your business. Choose packaging and service supplies that speak to your brand and make sense for your bakery’s budget. Don’t forget to consider accessibility in each step of service, from the design of your baker’s storefront to the restrooms.

No matter where you are in your bakery journey, it’s important to know the type of bakery you’re hoping to set up. This decision will determine your business model, setting you up for sweet success.

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