Making money baking from home is a dream of so many, but actually building a successful business takes hard work. For those of us who love to bake, it is the perfect choice. Baking to make money is something that up until recently was prohibited in most states. Cottage Food Laws are now making it possible to legally bake your specialties and sell them directly to the public.
That opens the door for home bakers, but there is a lot to running a successful baking business. I recently told you about Anna-Marie. She and I have been corresponding since I first contacted her about featuring a story about her here on my blog. She has generously agreed to write a guest post offering you advice from her experience baking under Cottage Food Laws. So I want to turn this blog post over to her.
Dough Raising Mom – what a great website to learn about home-based business and the
Cottage Food Industry! Good job, Grace – thank you!
I have always been fascinated with the US economy. When the economy changes some businesses close and others get started under those unique circumstances. How exciting to find ourselves pioneering a new industry – home bakers under the various Cottage Food Laws passed across this great
nation! How exciting is to know there are many other bakers pioneering along with me.
I have learned a lot over the past year getting the home bakery going and growing. Some customers return and some don’t, that’s normal for any business. It’s important to be loyal to the repeat customers and always look for ways to bring in new ones.
Of course, you can find new customers the old-fashioned way by handing out business cards and samples of your product but also be available and knowledgeable to those interested in your business or your goods. Contact local news outlets to make them aware of this new industry. Learn about the Cottage Food Law in your state and use those guidelines to take your passion and dream of home baking as far as you can.
Pricing is a Delicate Balance
I bake gourmet biscotti, a low fat, low sugar cookie infused with healthy nuts, spices and fruits. The product has to be good, but the price also has to be profitable for the owner and affordable for the public. A couple things to remember when you price your product;
- You are baking because you enjoy it (maybe even passionate like me!)
- You are also baking to earn some income.
- The other thing to remember is that your customers are people that usually don’t bake themselves but often buy from bakeries or grocery stores. Most home baked goods are much better than store bought. Customers realize this and will pay a good price for homemade baked goods.
In our bakery the packaging has been adjusted several times. About 6 months into the business we finally settled on packaging we are happy with and our customers love. I think many of our customer sthought, because the bakery is in a home kitchen, the biscotti would come in a Ziploc Bag. Albeit there are some cute Ziplocs out there, we never did that.
Presentation Makes a Huge Difference
The Gourmet Biscotti from Anna-Marie’sSpecialties come in a white bakery bag with a window, a large label on the front with our logo and a large ingredient label on the back with our logo along with a cute hang tag. During the holidays so many customers were buying our Biscotti Family Bags for gifts, we decided to add a cute hang tag permanently and find customers now buy them through the year as gifts. Whatever product you make in your home bakery, find nice, food safe, professional packaging and then add something unique to make it your own (like our hang tags).
Nice packaging is a smart investment that takes your home kitchen to a Home Bakery. If you want to succeed in this Cottage Food Industry, take it seriously as a business and be passionate about your products.
“Be sweet to someone—share some Biscotti!”
A Big Thank You
First of all, thanks for your kind comment at the beginning of your blog (and no, I did not bribe her). I just think it will help all of you realize that this is doable for you now. As you can see, Anna-Marie is really developing a business that has the potential to grow. If she wants to, in the future, she will be able to expand beyond the Cottage Food laws. Her business will be able to support her growth decisions. I don’t know if she wants to grow it that much, but doing things the right way from the very beginning will give her choices she may not have otherwise.
If you live in a state that allows you to bake and make money at home, do your homework. I gave you an example of what an application from the state of Washington looks like. If you don’t know what states have these laws, you can read which states currently have Cottage Food Laws .
Anna-Marie and I would love your comments and questions, so please feel free to leave a comment.