How Much it Costs to Start a Bakery

Learn more about a budget and costs to start a bakery.

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How Much it Costs to Start a Bakery

Wondering how much it costs to start a bakery? Average start-up costs vary dramatically depending upon the type of bakery; counter bakeshop, sweet shop restaurant, commercial wholesale bakery, online bakery website or home-based bakery. I’ve compiled this list of startup costs of all bakery types for my business consulting clients and I wanted to share it with you.

Here are the average startup costs for each type of bakery; bakery shop counter or sweet shop restaurant with seating $70,000, commercial wholesale bakery $87,200, online bakery e-commerce store $28,400, home-based bakery $19,500 and bakery franchises start at $500,000. 

Continue reading the detailed bakery startup cost table and learn cost-cutting tips from successful bakery owners. Plus check out the links to affordable bakery equipment.

Let’s get baking…

Detailed Startup Costs by Bakery Type

ItemBakery CommercialOnlineHome
Business registration, permits and licenses $1,500-$3,500$1,500-$4,500$500-$2,500Under $500
Insurance $2,000$1,700$1,300$1,000
Branding Logo $4,000$2,000$4,000$1,500
Advertising and Website $9,000$3,500$6,000$2,000
Lease Rental  Rent deposit – $5,000 & Monthly Rent $2,500Warehouse rental $5,000 month, security deposit $7,000No rentNo rent
Construction and Furniture$5,000 – $25,000< (with restaurant seating)$3,000 – $12,000 Factory setup and storage facility No costs$2,000-$10,000 Convert home kitchen to industrial
Equipment and Cookware$20,000$35,000$10,000$5,000
Startup Inventory Ingredients$5,500$7,000$2,000$1,500
Employees  $8,000 – $13,000$6,000-$25,000$3,000 – $4,500$2,000
TOTAL$62,500-$77,500$71,700-$102,700$26,800 – $30,000$15,500-$23,500

NOTE: Bakery franchise startup costs vary widely from the expensive Dunkin Donuts (up to $1.6M) to the moderate  Nestle Toll House Cafe by Chip (up to $499K).

Get more information on this list of bakery franchise costs at Entrepreneur.com

How to Open a Bakery in Your State

Thinking about starting a bakery? Learn how to open your own bakery with these step-by-step business guides specifically written for your US State requirements (Come back and visit again since more states are being published regularly)

How to Open Your Bakery Business in California

How to Start a Baking Business in Florida

How to Open a Bakery in Illinois: Business Startup Guide

How to Start a Bakery in New York: Step by Step Guide

How to Open Your Bakery in Texas, USA

How to Open a Bakery in Virginia: Business Startup Guide

>> How to Name Your Restaurant in 6 Easy Steps

Working Capital Calculation for Bakeries

In addition to the startup costs detailed in the above table, you will need adequate working capital. 

Working capital is liquid funds, money reading available to pay for day-to-day operations such as supplies, bills, employees, and rent. It is the difference between your company assets (cash, unpaid customer bills, inventory) and liabilities such as outstanding bills and loans. 

Most business finance experts recommend a minimum of 6 months of working capital. To calculate your total working capital budget; add up all ongoing costs minus your hard set-up costs such as equipment purchase, construction, and initial inventory.

An example is to add up your annual budget for all salaries, rent, utilities, supplies, and advertising then divide it in half to determine 6 months working capital. Add this total amount to your startup purchases to determine your total startup costs. 

ATTENTION BAKERS – Here are the 10 biggest startup mistakes new bakeries owners make and how you can avoid them. Learn from other people’s failures so you won’t have to make these same errors when starting your own business!

Bakery Name Ideas – That are Available! Not Taken!

Are you opening a new bakery and need cute bakery name ideas? Well then, check out my big list of hundreds of catchy bakery names complete with inspiring logo examples to name your baking business.

Get inspired by this ultimate list of memorable bakery names that is filled with hundreds of creative, cute, unique, edgy, funny, and cute bakehouse name ideas!

Now selecting a good bakery company name is a piece of cake! Sweet!

Examples of great bakery names

Tart Bakery
You’re Sweet As Pie
Sugar Lips
Honeybuns Bakery
Flourishes Custom Cakes
Pound Your Dough
Sugary Sweet Bakery
Hazelnut Bakery
Spiraling Caramel Dessert Shop
Sugardrop
Biscuit’s Corner Homestyle Baked Goods

Factors Affecting Bakery Startup Costs

Listed below are important factors, about the type of bakery you want to open, which will significantly affect your startup costs.

Learn about both the advantages and disadvantages of opening a bakery in my article – Important Pros and Cons of Starting a Bakery here

Storefront vs Wholesale vs Online

The costliest startups are those with storefronts due to lease deposits, monthly rent payments, construction costs, permit fees, utilities, employees, labor and increased insurance premiums.

Wholesale bakeries are also fairly costly to launch due to the need to invest capital in purchasing industrial equipment, leasing warehouse space and buying large quantities of ingredients.

The least costly are wholly online-based bakeries (and home-based) with no brick and mortar locations who deliver directly to their customers.

Dining Seating vs Counter Service

Offering a dining seating service for your customers increases your startup costs. You need to buy tables, chairs, silverware and decor and you may need to hire wait staff. Also, your insurance premiums will increase.

>> How to Name Your Restaurant in 6 Easy Steps

Independent vs Franchise

Buying a franchise bakery is often the most expensive route to opening your store. An example is Corner Bakery Café Franchise startup costs that range from $952,000 – $1,952,000 without real estate costs. Source

Most independent bakeries can be launched for less than their franchise counterparts.

Commercial Bakery vs Home-Based

Launching a commercial bakery can be cost-intensive due to industrial equipment purchases.

A home-based small bakery can be less expensive to start because you will be able to use your existing home kitchen (with modifications as dedicated by your State), and not need to buy expensive industrial equipment. You will still have delivery, ingredient and marketing costs for your bakery business.

Be sure to read my guide on how to calculate startup costs for your business here

6 Ways to Reduce Bakery Startup Costs

#1 Rent Space from an Existing Bakery

A smart way to reduce your startup costs is to lease a space that was formerly a bakery or restaurant, that already has some baking equipment installed such as professional ovens, storage racks, and workbenches. This can reduce your startup budget by over 40%.

Plus, if the prior food business recently closed you gain their brand awareness in the market. This can yield huge savings in advertising costs. Although you will have to differentiate your new business from their old business and overcome any negatives associated with the prior bakery.

# 2 Buy Used Bakery Equipment

Seriously consider buying used equipment instead of brand new. Many reputable baking equipment suppliers offer top quality used equipment, often certified with warranties, which will greatly reduce your startup budget.

When I started a manufacturing firm, one of the smartest moves I made was to buy entirely used filling equipment. I was able to afford a higher quality brand, with greater output capacity, for less than half the price of new equipment.  Check out my list of places to find inexpensive bakery equipment 

Remember bakery equipment is heavy duty and durable so it will last for many years. Thus used equipment has plenty of functional life left. In fact, my used factory equipment broke down less than some of the newer items we later purchased as our business grew!

#3 Start Small and Grow

One of the wisest moves for entrepreneurs is to start small and grow. It is far easier, less costly, and safer, to start a smaller business with less equipment, fewer employees, smaller retail space – which all cost less. Then later invest more capital as your business grows.

In addition to saving initial startup costs, you will learn what baked goods your customers prefer and which flavors are their favorites. At that point, you can invest more heavily in equipment to expand these best-selling product lines.

#4 Offer a Narrow Range of Baked Goods

Reduce the number of items you initially offer to cut your startup costs.  This way you will need fewer types of equipment and less ingredients on hand saving you money.

This certainly doesn’t mean a boring bakery menu. You can offer one type of baked goods, such as cakes, in many different flavors,  sizes, and styles to interest your customer.

#5 Focus on Bakery Counter Service Only

To reduce your startup costs open a counter bakery without any restaurant seating. Without a restaurant dining area, you will be able to rent a smaller store, use the entire store to display your baked goods, hire fewer employees and typically will pay fewer insurance premiums.

#6 Deliver Baked Goods with No Storefront – Wholesale, Online or Home-Based

To cut startup costs, have no storefront.  Launch a wholesale delivery-only or home-based bakery that sells baked goods commercially to grocery stores, gourmet markets, farmer market vendors, delis and restaurants – or directly to consumers online. This dramatically reduces your start-up costs because you do not pay for storefront rent, store employees and utilities.

How about rolling in dough – Ha ha 🙂 Think about opening your bakery as a food truck (check out my big list of food truck name ideas). It will be less costly than a storefront plus you can change locations frequently for maximum customers.

Another way to open a no storefront bakery is to be based entirely online. You display and sell your baked goods from an e-commerce website and through social media as an online bakery.  Learn how to start an online bakery from the experts at Paperform.com

ATTENTION BAKERS – Here are the 10 biggest startup mistakes new bakeries owners make and how you can avoid them. Learn from other people’s failures so you won’t have to make these same errors when starting your own business!

Check out this example of a successful online bakery –  Looma’s.

>>Bakers check out my startup guide – How to Start a Profitable Baking Business

Sources for Low Cost Bakery Equipment

One of the best ways to keep your startup budget lean is to save money on your bakery equipment. Here are some places to find inexpensive bakery restaurant equipment. 

Restaurant Supply Houses

Here are some of the most affordable restaurant supply sources our restaurant clients recommend:

Learn about both the advantages and disadvantages of opening a bakery in my article – Important Pros and Cons of Starting a Bakery here

Read – The Secrets to Starting A Bakery – A Step-by-Step Guide

Cost Cutting Startup Tips from Successful Bakery Owners

Get an Accountant to Carefully Track Costs

Michelle Honeman the owner/founder of Oregon’s own “Sugar Mommas’ Bake Shop & Cafe” recommends,

Before you open your doors, get yourself a Bookkeeper (or a skilled administrative assistant) and Accountant. I was lucky enough to find someone who was both a Bookkeeper and an Accountant.

My first year in business in my small town I did $270,000 in sales. My COGS (cost of goods) was $74,000 and my payroll expenses was $122,000. So what does that tell me? Too much labor, that’s what. And I was able to see everything broken down because my bookkeeper took the time to teach me. Save yourself and get a bookkeeper/accountant!

Save Startup Costs – Negotiate Some Free Rent

Tessa, the baker & dessert enthusiast behind Sweet Bake Shop recommends.

Ask for some free rent. The worst thing that your potential landlord can say is “no”.

However, it’s completely normal to ask for a month or two free rent while you make necessary renovations and most business owners I’ve spoken to about this have said that this is usually met with a “no problem”, especially if the space really needs some work.

Don’t be afraid to ask!

Set Appropriate Prices – Know Your Ingredient Costs

Yolanda, from the baking business experts at BakeCalc.com suggests,

Once you’ve got your business ready to go, setting prices that are attractive to customers but good for your bottom line can be difficult.

It is important that you know the expenses that are needed to make each product that you sell. Our baking calculator can help you work out how much you are spending in the production of your goods – including your ingredients, equipment and time. This can be useful in helping you to set prices that are fair both to you and your customers.

Is owning a bakery profitable?


Yes, bakeries can be nicely profitable. Based on the average profit margin in the bakery industry, 10-15%, and the average annual revenue per bakery (for established bakeries), $450,000, you could generate up to $67,500 profits per year. 

Profitable bakery owners say that your cost expenses should be as follows:

Ingredients – 25%
Labor – 35%
Overhead (including rent) – 30%
Profit – 10%

How much money does a bakery make per month?

On average small bakeries have monthly sales revenue of $1,750-$5,450, depending on their market and prices. Which yields an owner salary of $18,000 – $55,000 annually.

The US Bureau of Labor reported that bakers in 2018 had a median pay of $26,520 per year and that the job outlook is growing as fast as average at 6%.What equipment is needed to start a small bakery?

Your equipment list will vary depending on your bakery menu items. This startup list for bakery equipment will get you started. 

Mixers
Overs
Dough proofers
Smallwares
Bakeware
Dough sheeter
Bread slicer
Bagging machine
Sheet pan racks
Dry storage
Refrigerator
Freezers
Display case
Work tables
Sinks

Wondering if your new restaurant should be an LLC business entity structure?
Learn the facts of why your restaurant should be an LLC in my article

Learn how much business licenses cost in your State in my guide here

How to Open a Bakery in Your State

Thinking about starting a bakery? Learn how to open your own bakery with these step-by-step business guides specifically written for your US State requirements (Come back and visit again since more states are being published regularly)

How to Open Your Bakery Business in California

How to Start a Baking Business in Florida

How to Open a Bakery in Illinois: Business Startup Guide

How to Start a Bakery in New York: Step by Step Guide

How to Open Your Bakery in Texas, USA

How to Open a Bakery in Virginia: Business Startup Guide

FYI – If you are interested in opening a restaurant, read my detailed list of restaurant startup costs for equipment, rent, food, and marketing here.

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