Baked goodies are morning staples for many New Yorkers, and opening a bakery, either opening one on the streets or starting one at home, is one of the most popular retail business ideas in the city.
People who dream of opening a bakery in NYC are overwhelmed by the idea of turning their passion into a business because starting any kind of business comes with its share of challenges. For individuals considering opening up a bakery in NYC, before you start baking, it’s important to be aware of the following essential steps:
Research your business idea
Before you take any steps in opening up a bakery, it is important to do your homework. This means researching the industry, what type of baked products and drinks you want to sell, what price points you want to hit, what kind of customer base you are aiming for, and understanding the competition. Doing this initial research will help give you an idea that starting a bakery is the right move for you.
Choose a name for your bakery
Coming up with a name for your bakery is one of the most delightful parts of starting a business, but it’s also an important decision. When choosing a name, be sure to keep in mind that it should be unique, memorable, and representative of what you sell.
You’ll also want to make sure that the bakery name has the right keywords, is available as a domain, is easy to search for online, and is unique.
Secure the proper licenses and permits
To operate a bakery in NYC, you’ll need to obtain several permits and licenses from the city. This can include registering your business with the state, getting a federal and sales tax ID, zoning permits, as well as health permits. It is crucial to begin this process as soon as possible, as it can take some time to receive all the necessary approvals.
It is also important to decide beforehand the kind of business structure you will have for your bakery. These are the different types of business entities in NYC:
- Sole Proprietor
- DBA – Doing Business As
- S Corporation
- LLC – Limited Liability Company
- Non-Profit Corporation
Research bakery insurance coverage
Running a business comes with many risks. That’s why having proper insurance is very necessary. For example, depending on your type of business, it might be needed to have general liability. You will also need commercial auto coverage if you think of offering deliveries. Make sure that your policy can cover your assets, including your building, equipment, and supplies, in addition to personal injury claims from customers who are harmed while visiting your store.
Decide on your bakery’s hours of operation
Bakery hours are important to determine because they will help you figure out when you need to be open in order to capture the most customers. Generally, most bakeries in NYC are available from 7 am-7 pm, but there may be some variation depending on your target customer base.
Get familiar with New York City’s Health Department regulations
To operate a bakery in NYC, it is crucial to be aware of the Health Department’s regulations. This means ensuring that your bakery is up to code with things like proper food safety measures, hand washing procedures, and employee hygiene. It’s important to know the regulations to be prepared when opening and running your bakery.
Find the perfect bakery space to rent or lease
Choosing the right location for your baker is crucial in determining whether or not your business will be booming. When choosing a space, think about proximity to potential customers and those areas with high foot traffic. In addition, you’ll want to make sure that there’s enough room for equipment, storage, and display racks, and don’t forget plenty of parking.
Other bakers lease commercial kitchens to prepare their baked goods. These spaces come equipped with ovens, work stations, storage areas, and large sinks and shelves for dry ingredients storage. This is where most of the baking magic happens. The cost of renting out kitchen space can vary depending on what part of NYC you want to start your bakery in.
Equip your kitchen with all of the necessary baking supplies and equipment
To start selling your baked goods, you’ll need to stock up on restaurant supplies and ingredients. This could include everything from flour and sugar to cake pans and frosting tips, as well as packaging boxes and takeaway bags. It might be helpful to create a budget for what you think you’ll need, as this can help avoid any surprises down the road.
Market your business
Once your bakery is up and running, it is important to start marketing your business. This could include creating a website, social media pages, printing and distributing flyers in your neighborhood. Don’t forget that word of mouth is one of the best forms of marketing, so make sure to provide excellent customer service to keep your customers coming back for more.
Opening a bakery in NYC can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it does come with its share of challenges. By following these steps, you’ll be on your way to starting a thriving bakery in the Big Apple.