What does it take to start a bakery? Resources, equipment and costs

Prior to open a bakery, there are several important decisions to make. First, you must determine how you want to get started. You will have to decide how you will sell your baked goods. Will you sell through a cafeteria, with tables and chairs, or by delivering your products to stores and restaurants?

What should you know before starting a bakery business?

Many bakeries start out as “home-based” and grow little by little. The benefit to this is that the overhead and start-up costs are lower. However, limitations include space and capabilities, as well as complying with local laws for Health and Food Safety. For example, in the state of Texas It is against the law to make any food for distribution unless the production and storage areas are completely enclosed from the living and sleeping areas.

Also, consider the style of your bakery. Common types of bakeries include patisseries, muffin and bagel bakeries, large commercial bakeries such as:

  • Roman food
  • Panera Bread Co
  • Gluten-free bakeries
  • Dog treat bakeries

These bakeries fulfill different roles and require different amounts of money to start.

Skill set:

  • Menu planning
  • Ingredient orders (flour, eggs, yeast, etc.)
  • Preparation work (mixing ingredients, raising bread, preparing the oven, etc.)
  • Baking and cooling
  • Glazing / decoration
  • Display of baked goods
  • Cleaning of tables, counters and cabinets (if applicable)
  • Cleaning of equipment and work areas
  • Deliveries (if applicable)
  • List of common business skills

General hours of operation:

This will vary, if you serve breakfast style pastries and the cafe may open as early as 6:00 am and may close as early as noon, while a franchise such as Panera Bread® can be open from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm

Before and After Care Time – Preparation First

Begin your prep work very early in the morning. Many recipes require several hours to prepare. Recipes that require that the preparation of the bread begins several hours before the entrance of the first customer. On the other hand, large bakeries can operate 24 hours a day.

Lastly, after the store is closed to the public, prepare to spend a few hours cleaning the kitchen and all the cooking utensils, as well as the prep work for the next day. Preparation and closing work, it could take a couple of hours depending on the recipes.

Consideration of Employee and Work During the Initial Phase or in the Future:

  • Bakers
  • Servers
  • Delivery people
  • Cleaning staff
  • Shift supervisor
  • Common Staff Positions Needed to Run Some Businesses


See our Page on Licenses and Permits

Approximate minimum start-up cost

How much does it cost to open a bakery ?: It is recommended that you have three months of operating expenses reserved before opening. According to New Yorker Magazine, a small bakery on the Lower East Side of New York City called “Baby Cakes” has a monthly operating cost of just over $ 11,600 USD.

However, location and salaries can vary greatly. Entrepreneur Magazine estimates that an average bakery start-up will cost between $ 10,000 and $ 50,000 (depending on scale)

Monthly expenses to consider:

See our list of common business expenses.

Equipment considerations during the startup phase and in the future:

  • Sheet Trays
  • Cake pans
  • Cupcake pans
  • Cake pans
  • Quiche pans
  • Paneras
  • Bakery products
  • Pastry rings
  • Recipes for pastry
  • Pastry bags
  • Ice spatulas
  • Pastry molds
  • Bakery displays
  • Dough preparation equipment
  • Ovens and Proofers
  • Pan Racks
  • Ingredient Containers
  • Ovens and mixers
  • Cooling racks
  • Tables (for food preparation and seating)
  • Shelving / proofing warehouse (for flour to rise)
  • Kitchen utensils (pots, pans, bowls, etc.)
  • Chemical detergents and disinfectants
  • Dishwasher
  • Packaging materials for delivery or service
  • Delivery vehicle
  • Ovens, microwaves, trays and warming plates
  • Refrigeration unit (s), some portable units
  • Dough forming machine for kneading dough
  • Glazing and glazes
  • Essential office equipment
  • General Retail Equipment List

Special requirements:

  • Compliance with HACCP and excellent sanitary practices
  • Health officials will carry out periodic checks
  • Control of food temperature at all times
  • Compliance with all applicable foodservice laws

Pros and cons:


  • You can start from home, and with a small investment
  • Great market potential, depending on your location
  • Expansion potential
  • You can choose wholesale or retail, or both
  • You can develop your own specialized product
  • The field can be very stable
  • Total manufacturing control


  • Prep work requires an early start
  • Long working hours or shifts may be required
  • Work can be 7 days a week and 365 days a year
  • Tight schedule with a strict quota
  • Inventory could be sold scrapped or donated if sales are slow
  • Strict government rules
  • A complete bakery is expensive to open

Type of customers you need to attract:

Bakeries tend to attract customers with consumer needs for special occasions, breakfasts, and desserts. Small bakeries can attract restaurants and small groceries. Large companies can only wholesale to large supermarket chains.