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bripastryguy

Wholesale Dessert Co.

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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....?

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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.

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good suggestion Holly, I will look into it

My father happens to be Diabetic and my mother in law is always on Atkins

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elyse   

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

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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.

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JFLinLA   

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?

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JFLinLA   

Sweet & natural baking : sugar-free, flavorful recipes from Mäni's Bakery. It's by Mäni Niall

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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thebaker   

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

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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.

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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.

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tan319   
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.

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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)

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

Why can't you provide samples?

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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

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elyse   

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 (log)

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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

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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?

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