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Wholesale Dessert Co.

Dessert

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39 replies to this topic

#1 bripastryguy

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 09:51 AM

I'm in the process of starting up a small wholesale dessert company in Long Island NY (i'm staying away from NYC) servicing caterers, restaurants, country clubs etc...

I would like to know what everyone would like to see produced.

I will be doing specialty cakes, a line of individual desserts, holiday specialties, etc....

The shop will be 95% wholesale, unless we decide to do a small retail counter (there is foot traffic so this maybe a good possibility).

I will be doing specialty cakes by appointment only to the general public in the beginning.

The name of teh company is Sweet Karma. I have 1 partner, its going to be me, him, his wife and my wife. We have divided the duties and attacked everybodys strong points so I see it going in a very positive direction.

I am starting out with minimal equipment in the beginning.
Full size convection, 20 qt Hobart mixer with all the attachments-plus 12 qt, 5 qt mixer, stand up refrigeration and freezer, tables, etc...

Anybody have some tips, ideas, encouragement, etc....?
"Chocolate has no calories....
Chocolate is food for the soul, The soul has no weight, therefore no calories" so said a customer, a lovely southern woman, after consuming chocolate indulgence
SWEET KARMA DESSERTS
www.sweetkarmadesserts.com
550 East Meadow Ave. East meadow, NY 11554
516-794-4478
Brian Fishman

#2 Holly Moore

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 09:57 AM

Here's a challenge I throw out every few months. How about a line of low glycemic index (sugar and white flour free) desserts for those who are diabetic and/or following a Sugar Busters style low carb diet?

The numbers of diabetics is both staggering and growing. I suspect there would be great demand for such items both as pastries at a Starbucks type coffee shop and in fine dining situations.
Holly Moore
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#3 bripastryguy

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 10:01 AM

good suggestion Holly, I will look into it

My father happens to be Diabetic and my mother in law is always on Atkins
"Chocolate has no calories....
Chocolate is food for the soul, The soul has no weight, therefore no calories" so said a customer, a lovely southern woman, after consuming chocolate indulgence
SWEET KARMA DESSERTS
www.sweetkarmadesserts.com
550 East Meadow Ave. East meadow, NY 11554
516-794-4478
Brian Fishman

#4 elyse

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 10:17 AM

Cool, Brian. Good luck with the business. Are you leaving your restaurant as well?

#5 bripastryguy

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 10:34 AM

The job at the restaurant I have now is only a part time gig. I work in an office 9-5 m-f (run a business with my father, very lucrative, but I hate it!), I have to vuild something for myself.
"Chocolate has no calories....
Chocolate is food for the soul, The soul has no weight, therefore no calories" so said a customer, a lovely southern woman, after consuming chocolate indulgence
SWEET KARMA DESSERTS
www.sweetkarmadesserts.com
550 East Meadow Ave. East meadow, NY 11554
516-794-4478
Brian Fishman

#6 elyse

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 10:35 AM

Very good. I wish I had your drive!

#7 JFLinLA

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 12:16 PM

Hey Brian --

Two suggestions on the sugarless/low glycemic front. (You and I have discussed this before.) Mani's Bakery in LA (2 locations) has built it's reputation on this stuff. The creator and founder, Mani Niall, has moved on but he did publish at least one book a while back that should give you some good insight.

Also, Whole Foods here in LA is carrying a line of sugarless baked goods that I buy for my husband that I think are really good. The company is called Fabe's.

Hope that helps.

Jody

PS -- How was Passover?
So long and thanks for all the fish.

#8 bripastryguy

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 01:23 PM

Jody,

What's the name of the book?
"Chocolate has no calories....
Chocolate is food for the soul, The soul has no weight, therefore no calories" so said a customer, a lovely southern woman, after consuming chocolate indulgence
SWEET KARMA DESSERTS
www.sweetkarmadesserts.com
550 East Meadow Ave. East meadow, NY 11554
516-794-4478
Brian Fishman

#9 JFLinLA

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 01:40 PM

Sweet & natural baking : sugar-free, flavorful recipes from Mäni's Bakery. It's by Mäni Niall
So long and thanks for all the fish.

#10 GordonCooks

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 01:48 PM

In terms of retail - I would suggest Muffins, Croissants & Scones.

You'll be able to handle a small counter
It will minimize wasted product (pastry dough, fillings, etc.)
It will provide a cheap way to sample your product
It will provide a place to showcase some of your wares
It can lead to eventual expansion - specialty breakfast trays, coffee, breads, sandwiches, etc

Best of Luck

#11 bripastryguy

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 02:21 PM

Gordon

That was what I was thinking. I have to actually work around my schedule. I work 9-5 and get paid well, so I cant devote all my time to the wholesale business until it can pay my bills. If I go retail, I have to have someone behind the counter all the time. Just another fine point to work out.

Brian
"Chocolate has no calories....
Chocolate is food for the soul, The soul has no weight, therefore no calories" so said a customer, a lovely southern woman, after consuming chocolate indulgence
SWEET KARMA DESSERTS
www.sweetkarmadesserts.com
550 East Meadow Ave. East meadow, NY 11554
516-794-4478
Brian Fishman

#12 GordonCooks

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 02:36 PM

Gordon

That was what I was thinking. I have to actually work around my schedule. I work 9-5 and get paid well, so I cant devote all my time to the wholesale business until it can pay my bills. If I go retail, I have to have someone behind the counter all the time. Just another fine point to work out.

Brian

Think more of a rack and whoever is handy cashing a person out. If you find that you're so busy that too much time is being taken to wait on customers - call in grandma :laugh: If you gear your business towards a late crowd - I think you can still do some retail but mostly single serve desserts, cookies, etc

There's a nice little bread shop in town that is wholly run by just the owner/baker. He hears the bell ring on the door and he sees who it is. Most people leave the money on the counter for him.

#13 bripastryguy

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Posted 25 April 2003 - 06:56 AM

Gordon,

Unfortunately I cant quit my full time job (I have a 2 year old and my wife is a stay at home mom). So I will be doing this the time I am not at my office job until it can pay me and my bills.

I cant run a business like that in NY, leave the door open and the cash register will dissapear.
"Chocolate has no calories....
Chocolate is food for the soul, The soul has no weight, therefore no calories" so said a customer, a lovely southern woman, after consuming chocolate indulgence
SWEET KARMA DESSERTS
www.sweetkarmadesserts.com
550 East Meadow Ave. East meadow, NY 11554
516-794-4478
Brian Fishman

#14 GordonCooks

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Posted 25 April 2003 - 08:30 AM

I cant run a business like that in NY, leave the door open and the cash register will dissapear.

I think I understand the situation a little better.

As far as the cash register - I meant it's a small place with regular daily customers.

#15 thebaker

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Posted 26 April 2003 - 04:04 AM

Good Luck Brian.

Brian are the cakes/dessert going to be fresh or some type of frozen defrost.

and are you l going to offer custom desserts or a set product line.

SC
I bake there for I am....

Make food ... not war

#16 Wendy DeBord

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Posted 26 April 2003 - 06:56 AM

If I were you:

I'd start with recipes I already have, that are superior! Desserts I know I can assemble easily, inexpensively or should I say profitably. I'd also spend alot of time approaching clubs, restaurants and whom ever my targeted customer is and talking to them about what they want, need and will pay for. Being bold and talking to clients is the most important part of starting a business. It doesn't make sense to develop anything that doesn't have a sure audience imediately.

I wouldn't dream of doing a front end at this point. That's really a second business and requires more money and thought then most would guess. Too many reasons not to do this then I can post at this moment.

#17 bigbear

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Posted 26 April 2003 - 04:42 PM

Good luck, Brian.

-- Jeff

"I don't care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members." -- Groucho Marx


#18 Rail Paul

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Posted 26 April 2003 - 06:20 PM

Good luck on your venture. Sinclair makes several excellent points, which you may want to consider carefully.

You should visit several clubs, restaurants, etc which you would see as targets. Ask how they source their pastry goods now, how satisfied they are, and how much do they pay for a few named items.

In Northern NJ, a large provider of high end pastry goods to restaurants is Chatterly's. Specialty pies, decorated cakes, tarts, etc sourced from its own industrial baking operations. Chatterley's has several delivery trucks, and appears to do a substantial trade. Their Fairfield retail facility opens after the deliveries are sent out. I haven't been there recently, but their prices retail were about $18 for a 12 inch two tiered cake, IIRC.
Apparently it's easier still to dictate the conversation and in effect, kill the conversation.

rancho gordo

#19 tan319

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Posted 26 April 2003 - 07:43 PM

If I were you:

I'd start with recipes I already have, that are superior! Desserts I know I can assemble easily, inexpensively or should I say profitably. I'd also spend alot of time approaching clubs, restaurants and whom ever my targeted customer is and talking to them about what they want, need and will pay for. Being bold and talking to clients is the most important part of starting a business. It doesn't make sense to develop anything that doesn't have a sure audience imediately.

I wouldn't dream of doing a front end at this point. That's really a second business and requires more money and thought then most would guess. Too many reasons not to do this then I can post at this moment.

I agree about the retail stuff,BPG.
BTW, congrats on the shop!
I've been thinking about seeking investors here to do a dessert only type of restaurant, kind of on the line of a place in DC that used to exist called 'Dolce Finale'. Steve K. might remember that place.
Small, seat maybe 25 at the max, small bar.
Maybe, just maybe, offer a few savory items. Still in the development stage.
Best of luck on the shop.
2317/5000

#20 bripastryguy

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Posted 27 April 2003 - 02:44 PM

There are going to be some frozen (tahw and serve) desserts, some made fresh and some made to order (specialty)

The store front is a definite, but we are holding off the retail side for atleast the first few months.

I have sourced out my clientelle opretty thouroughly and I have many contacts.

The problem is that getting people to commit without samples is not easy.

The landlord of the building is a solid guy that is not looking to screw me. He is willing to let us out of the lease if we fell we cant make it it with 2 months notice. He is even taking care of some construction that he really doesnt have to. Hard to find a stand up guy like this for a landlord.

There is no retail bakeshop in the area. It is made up of mostly Jewish and Italian and they are begging for a shop like I am proposing. Yes the wholesale will be the main focus, retail will come within a few months. The reatil is a side that I am familiar with (I ran a store a few years ago and really learned all the " DO NOTS"). So I really am going into this with a clear head. In the beginning we will keep cash outlay to a minimum, then go ahead full force. I ahve about 10 possible accounts and with samples and word of mouth I am sure it will grow faster than I can imagine (Not boosting, just stating the lack of quality desserts in my area of NY, unless they buy frozen)
"Chocolate has no calories....
Chocolate is food for the soul, The soul has no weight, therefore no calories" so said a customer, a lovely southern woman, after consuming chocolate indulgence
SWEET KARMA DESSERTS
www.sweetkarmadesserts.com
550 East Meadow Ave. East meadow, NY 11554
516-794-4478
Brian Fishman

#21 elyse

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Posted 27 April 2003 - 02:54 PM

The problem is that getting people to commit without samples is not easy.

Why can't you provide samples?

#22 bripastryguy

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Posted 28 April 2003 - 10:49 AM

To provide an ample amount of samples. I need room to work (a professional enviroment, not my home-No room there)

To provide professional product, I want to do it right not half ass
"Chocolate has no calories....
Chocolate is food for the soul, The soul has no weight, therefore no calories" so said a customer, a lovely southern woman, after consuming chocolate indulgence
SWEET KARMA DESSERTS
www.sweetkarmadesserts.com
550 East Meadow Ave. East meadow, NY 11554
516-794-4478
Brian Fishman

#23 elyse

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Posted 28 April 2003 - 11:13 AM

Not mum's or a friend's house or anywhere?

Anyway, you can do this when you move in and start up.

Edited by elyse, 28 April 2003 - 11:15 AM.


#24 bripastryguy

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Posted 29 April 2003 - 06:39 AM

It is much harder for a professional to work in a non-professional enviroment than the other way around. It is very hard for me to produce professional product from a home kitchen. I would rather get the shop atleast partially set up and then make my samples than half ass them in my house.

Am I being stubborn?

I just know what can be produced from a professional kitchen
"Chocolate has no calories....
Chocolate is food for the soul, The soul has no weight, therefore no calories" so said a customer, a lovely southern woman, after consuming chocolate indulgence
SWEET KARMA DESSERTS
www.sweetkarmadesserts.com
550 East Meadow Ave. East meadow, NY 11554
516-794-4478
Brian Fishman

#25 Wendy DeBord

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Posted 29 April 2003 - 07:46 AM

Yeah, your being a little stubborn. As long as you have the right equipment it doesn't matter where you work (IMO), yes it's slower.

But there are tons of work to be done before sending out samples. Mainly working on costs, pricing and profits. In my opinion you want to aim for the most profitable items that take the least amount of labor.

What mark-up percentages are you using, will that work on all your items and still place you in a reasonable price range? Are you going to except net30? Do you have enough money in the bank to keep purchasing while your waiting for payments? Have you found the least expensive wholesalers? Priced out the difference between using different brands of chocolate and how it relates to your profits? Got all your recipes sealed in a book? Got your packaging lined up? etc...........

Do you have a product list? Do you have a minimum order? What about cancelations?

If you could post what you already have lined up in your product list I'd be more than happy to help in anyway possible. Are you doing mini's, ala carte/banquet items and whole tortes? Are you doing what's popular or are you looking to create your own niche doing variations?

#26 elyse

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Posted 29 April 2003 - 12:36 PM

It is much harder for a professional to work in a non-professional enviroment than the other way around. It is very hard for me to produce professional product from a home kitchen. I would rather get the shop atleast partially set up and then make my samples than half ass them in my house.

Am I being stubborn?

I just know what can be produced from a professional kitchen

Well, it's certainly up to how you want to do this, but I wouldn't let this stop me if it was my only problem. Like Sinclair said, as long as you have the right equipment.... And me, being resourseful as I am, I don't even believe that. I'd make due with what I have, and make it work for me.

#27 bripastryguy

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Posted 29 April 2003 - 01:43 PM

Yeah, your being a little stubborn. As long as you have the right equipment it doesn't matter where you work (IMO), yes it's slower.

But there are tons of work to be done before sending out samples. Mainly working on costs, pricing and profits. In my opinion you want to aim for the most profitable items that take the least amount of labor.

What mark-up percentages are you using, will that work on all your items and still place you in a reasonable price range? Are you going to except net30? Do you have enough money in the bank to keep purchasing while your waiting for payments? Have you found the least expensive wholesalers? Priced out the difference between using different brands of chocolate and how it relates to your profits? Got all your recipes sealed in a book? Got your packaging lined up? etc...........

Do you have a product list? Do you have a minimum order? What about cancelations?

If you could post what you already have lined up in your product list I'd be more than happy to help in anyway possible. Are you doing mini's, ala carte/banquet items and whole tortes? Are you doing what's popular or are you looking to create your own niche doing variations?

i have my basic product list set up, it will avry depending on clients needs. Net 30, they all start with COD to build credit (just like dealing with any other company).

My cost to profit ratio is : selling price is approx. 3 times my cost (yes, i will figure in utility useage, packaging and delivery, etc...)

Each client will have a minimum. Cancellations will have to be received by fax or email. No verbal cancellations (it is the only way to avoid the "Didnt you get my message, BS").

I have a list of reliable suppliers. We have a company near me that is called Restaurant Depot (they carry almost everything I need at wholesale prices) cake boxes, carboards, ingredients, equipment, etc... Specialty items and good quality chocolate is the only things they dont carry.

My packaging for my samples is tulipe boxes made by qualite', very nice and elegant. Items for delivery will be in sturdy corrugated card board boxes that are lines so that they will not deteriorate in the freezer.

Recipes are all set. Minimum is depending upon area of delivery and the quality of the client (payment made on time, etc...)

My line consists of minis, full size tortes, wedding cakes, specialty cakes, holiday specialties, cookies brownies, bars, sauces. garnish batters. We will also provide a consultant service in helping set up pastry departments in restaurants that dont have a pastry personnel.
"Chocolate has no calories....
Chocolate is food for the soul, The soul has no weight, therefore no calories" so said a customer, a lovely southern woman, after consuming chocolate indulgence
SWEET KARMA DESSERTS
www.sweetkarmadesserts.com
550 East Meadow Ave. East meadow, NY 11554
516-794-4478
Brian Fishman

#28 Elizabeth_11

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Posted 29 April 2003 - 03:07 PM

:smile: Wow, good luck. I would give my right arm to successfully pull something like this off. Sounds like you are off to a really great start; I think your line sounds excellent. Keep us updated!
-Elizabeth

Mmmmmmm chocolate.


#29 chocophile

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Posted 30 April 2003 - 11:28 PM

Brian: Awesome-sounding venture. What do you plan to be using in the way of chocolate to stand out from the crowd? :Clay
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president, pureorigin
editor/publisher www.chocophile.com
founder, New World Chocolate Society

#30 Wendy DeBord

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Posted 01 May 2003 - 07:03 AM

You have to get specific listing out your menu for us to contribute any real help. Sometimes seeing everything in writing makes a huge difference.





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