Besides being a billion-dollar market, the cookie business can be ideal for stay-at-home parents or someone looking to start a low-cost business to start part-time. That said, there are some thing you want to consider before launching your start-up.
Before You Start…
Before you start a cookie business, make sure you have a desirable product that will be able to compete with both the giant cookie companies and the people who just like to bake their cookies at home.
Pick a specific niche market rather than trying to appeal to everyone. What makes your product different? Better? If you can stand out from your competition, you can do well in the cookie business.
Licenses and Permits:
The permits and licenses you’ll need will depend on where your business operates and if you will be selling cookies from a shop or from your home. Each state has its own requirements.
If you bake from home, your kitchen will be required to pass an inspection by the Board of Health. Upon approval, they will license you. You also may need to obtain a food handler certification. You may also be required to maintain a standard recipe for product labeling purposes.
One of the latest resources I’ve found, Yummy Arts, piggybacks on the popular trend of cookie and cake decorating. Sure, virtually anyone can bake cookies, but very few can decorate them professionally.
Knowing how to add amazing decorations can be a huge asset to your sweet treat business. It give you an instant competitive advantage over other bakers – and customers will pay more for this type of dessert. In fact, the well-known gourmet gift company Cookies by Design sells 1 dozen cookies in a bouquet for close to $100.
In addition to decorating your basic cookies or creating bouquet arrangements, iced cookie cakes are popular as well (and they can sell for more money than cakes of the equivalent size!). Or what about a cookie sandwich? There are lots of money-making opportunities as far as iced cookies go.
Anyway, back to Yummy Arts. They can show you how to do these decorations that sell $100 arrangements. They have over 100 how-to videos at their website, so you can just learn from home and get started. They also have pictures and recipes you can use, to make the whole process easy.
Bring your homemade creations to birthday parties, holiday events, picnics or pot-luck dinners – and soon people will be asking you for your business card…
Home Baking for Profit
Mimi Shotland Fix began her own licensed home kitchen business in 1979. In addition to understanding what it takes to run a successful baking business from home, she also has owned several retail bakeries and runs a culinary consulting service, where she educates businesses in the baking field.
Mimi has put together a user-friendly guide that includes instructions on operating a business plus recipe ideas and tips. Understanding that many people share the same love of baking – yet may need advice when it comes to business, she provides really helpful information to entrepreneurs.
Some tips that I especially like include how to make the most of equipment you already have, production tips and shortcuts and how to create gift baskets and specialized holiday gift items.
- You’ll find out how to bake your cookies and treats quickly and cost effectively.
- How to bake professionally with consistent results, including information on ovens and ingredients.
- How to come up with impressive and unique items for customers, plus she includes her best-selling recipes that are proven to sell.
- Home Baking for Profit
Cookie Business Resources:
Marketing Your Cookie Business
More and more people are looking for local businesses online (instead of the traditional yellow pages) – find these customers using local search engines and directories for little cost. Local Search sources that are affordable and receive substantial traffic include: Google Local, Yelp and Super Pages.
You can also set up your own personalized online shop within a community of “food artisans” and gain instant exposure to your ideal customers through Joyus.com. They make the selling process easy for food producers, and it’s a great way to connect with customers looking specifically for unique food items. Abe’s Market is another online marketplace for cookie sellers.
Cooking Business Associations
American Bakers Association
The leading trade association for the baking industry.
American Society of Baking
The American Society of Baking is a professional organization that brings together individuals in the grain-based food industry for personal development, recognition, education and leadership.