The cost of starting a new bakery depends on the size and scope of the bakery you want to open as well as the location you select. Opening a retail bakery involves furnishing a customer seating area, and a display and retail sales area, as well as a production space. Opening a wholesale production facility that produces baked goods in volume involves a considerable investment in equipment.
Rent and Deposits
Your startup bakery will incur expenses as you sign a lease on a space and pay rent while you upgrade the space to make it suitable for baking. The rent you pay for a bakery space will depend on its size and location. A small commercial space in an area with no foot traffic would be suitable for a small wholesale bakery and can cost as little as a few hundred dollars a month as of 2011, while a large retail space in a busy part of town can easily cost thousands of dollars each month. You will also likely have to pay deposits equal to several months' rent, and you will probably pay several months' rent while you make leasehold improvements before your bakery ever opens its doors.
In order to install bakery equipment, you will likely need to make leasehold improvements to your commercial space. If you find a location that has already been a bakery or food-service establishment you will save a considerable amount, especially if you install your sinks and ovens where the previous renter had them. Plumbing upgrades can cost between $2,000 and $15,000 as of 2011, depending on how many sinks you need and where you put them. The cost of electrical upgrades is comparable, and you may also need to spend several thousand dollars to install gas lines.
The cost of bakery equipment depends on the scale of your operation as well as whether you purchase new or used fixtures. Used convection ovens can cost as little as $1,000 to $2,000 as of 2011, while new convection ovens generally cost $3,000 to $10,000. Sinks usually cost $600 to $1200. A freestanding cooler will probably cost $1,000 to $5,000, and a walk-in cooler will cost $5,000 to $20,000 depending on its size. You will also probably spend several thousand dollars on industrial mixers and prep tables.
If your bakery includes a customer seating area, you will incur costs furnishing this area to make it a pleasant place to sit. Some bakery owners scour secondhand stores for unusual furnishings. If you use this approach you may be able to furnish your bakery seating area for a few hundred dollars, although it will probably require a considerable investment of time. Alternately, you can purchase restaurant tables for several hundred dollars each and comfortable chairs for about $100 each as of 2011.
Devra Gartenstein founded her first food business in 1987. In 2013 she transformed her most recent venture, a farmers market concession and catering company, into a worker-owned cooperative. She does one-on-one mentoring and consulting focused on entrepreneurship and practical business skills.