If you love baking, you might already have looked into how to start a bakery or a bakery cafe. Maybe you’ve been put off by all the up front investment this can require. If so, look into the options for turning a home bakery into a business. Here are 12 home bakery ideas to get you started.
Letterbox-friendly online bakery shop
Most of the bakery ideas on this list can be run as online, offline or hybrid businesses. This option is for people who know they only want to run an online store. Allow customers to choose from pre-set options or fill their own boxes. The goods are then sent by post in packaging that goes through their letterbox.
This is an option for people who’re happy to work in the real world. From late spring to early autumn, the UK is full of festivals, farmers’ markets and outdoor shows. These generally quieten down in the colder months, which are the time for indoor events, often private ones. For example, many workplaces are happy to host pop-up shops.
If you’re going down this route, it’s important to have a mobile Bakery POS system rather than relying on people having cash on them.
Baked goods for special diets
Probably the most obvious special diets are gluten-free, diabetic and vegan. There are huge markets for these which are still relatively untapped. It might also be worth looking at other, more niche, options. For example, a lot of people follow the paleo diet: they don’t eat grain but they can eat baked goods made with grain-free flours.
There’s some overlap here with diabetic baking but it isn’t quite the same. Diabetic baking has to be low in sugar. It can, however, still contain ingredients such as saturated fats, artificial ingredients and caffeine. Healthy baking maximises nutrition levels and also minimises processed and artificial ingredients.
It’s relatively easy to get organic ingredients. By contrast, it’s still relatively hard to get organic ready-made foods. This means that there are currently significant opportunities for home bakery businesses that can fill this gap.
Similar comments apply to fair-trade baked goods. It’s a lot easier to get fair-trade ingredients than to get ready-made fair-trade food. This is a gap that home bakery businesses can fill.
Depending on where you live, there may be a market for a specialty bread store, which almost certainly has to be a real-world store. Even specialty bread is not usually cost-effective to deliver. The one exception might be if you could partner up with another company that made deliveries e.g. a dairy.
Bread mixes on the other hand are much easier to deliver. They also take up a lot less space on shelves so you could potentially sell them from a food van or a pop-up shop. Also try asking local shops if they want to stock them.
Many people love the idea of home-baked bread and some have bread-makers. The challenge, especially with specialty breads, is finding, buying and storing all the ingredients. Providing bread mixes solves this problem for them.
Pastry chefs do much more than just make pastry. If you’re looking for home bakery ideas, selling frozen pastry could be a great option. It’s notoriously difficult to make but once it’s made it generally freezes very well. It’s also small and light enough to deliver. In fact, you could probably sell it in letterbox-friendly sizes.
Supermarkets do sell pastry and typically stick to the plainer sorts (e.g. shortcrust and flaky). If you can make the finer pastries, you can enter a niche the supermarkets tend to ignore. By customising your pastry (e.g. adding or avoiding certain ingredients), you could have an even bigger market.
Decorated baked goods
Decorated cupcakes, biscuits and doughnuts are hugely popular. These are largely sold on their visual appeal, so success in this niche often depends as much on your marketing skills as on your baking skills.
This also has its benefits. These goods are so visual that they often make for great social-media content. You could therefore sell through shoppable links on Instagram or TikTok. You could also build up an email list and send out a regular newsletter with fun content plus checkout links for people to buy your products.
The two biggest markets here are wedding cakes and birthday cakes. You could create a home bakery business specialising in just one of these options. Alternatively, expand into cakes for any celebration.
Customers tend to pay for these types of cakes in two stages. They generally put down a deposit (for the ingredients) and pay the balance when the cake is finished. This means you need to be comfortable with invoicing.
Baked goods for pets
It’s not just humans who enjoy baked goods. Many people want healthy pet treats with a clear list of ingredients. As you’d expect, most of the demand is for dog and cat treats.
This bakery idea can be as simple or elaborate as you want to make it. You could stick to relatively simple baked gifts such as single iced biscuits. Alternatively, scale up and offer gift baskets or pamper packs containing baked goods plus other products. Like decorated goods, this home bakery business idea tends to be most successful if you have solid marketing skills.
Bonus bakery ideas
These ideas relate to baking but don’t necessarily require you to produce baked goods to sell.
Baking subscription boxes
The subscription box niche has seen massive growth over recent years. Even so, there is still plenty of room for new entrants. Subscription boxes tend to come in two main forms: replenishment boxes and curation boxes.
If you’re looking for a home bakery business idea, curation boxes are almost certainly the way to go. You find baking-related items that would be difficult for individuals to source themselves, and arrange for these items to be delivered straight to their door.
Do these in the real world or online. If you’re working online, host live classes and give real-time feedback. Alternatively, create online courses people can access whenever it’s convenient for them. Or do a mixture of all of these.
Building up a successful baking blog or podcast may take time. Once you have built an audience, it can be an excellent income stream. What’s more, a lot of the income it brings will be passive.