If you love baking, you’ve probably considered one or two bakery ideas for a side hustle or small business. Because why not? Everyone loves a pastry snack. And the wide array of themes, flavors, recipes, and dietary requirements have created endless pastries and baked goods options.
But starting a bakery comes with a significant financial undertaking. A good commercial oven alone can cost you upward of Ksh. 200,000. And that’s not all you need to get started. There is, of course, rental space, furniture, business permits, fixtures, staff, and other kitchen appliances, just to name a few.
Having said that, when starting a small business, a side hustle, or monetizing your hobby, you don’t always have to start with a big fancy business. You can start small, with basic appliances and utensils, and upgrade as the business grows.
What matters is selling quality baked goods! That’s what will get your customers coming back for more.
In this article, I will talk about some of the bakery ideas — that I may or may not have considered starting myself when I thought I had a baking streak — you can explore in Kenya.
Related read: When Is The Right Time To Start A Small Business?
Tips For Starting a Bakery Business
Have a Business Plan and a Business Strategy
The best part is that you do not need a bulk-paged executive business plan to get your business off the ground.
I’d recommend a free or paid mini-business plan and business strategy from the internet. These are very simple to follow and use.
The bottom line is to have a business plan and strategy lineup to always use as a reference.
Choose Your Niche
While some bakeries sell just about any baked goods, these are mostly commercially owned. As an individual, it’s best to choose a niche and perfect your skills in that particular area. You can always expand your product line as the business grows.
Settling on a specific niche allows you to pay more attention and create products of better quality. In addition, you can target a particular customer base instead of trying to reach the entire demographic. This will save you time and money when creating and marketing your products.
Registering Your Business Name and Company
First, choose a unique and memorable business name. Then, register your business name through the e-Citizen portal. This is actually easy to do on your own. It also costs about Ksh. 1,000.
You can register your bakery idea as a private limited company. This will cost you extra, about Ksh. 30,000.
However, you can retain your business as a sole proprietorship and convert it into a limited company when it grows.
The goal is just to have your business name registered.
A registered venture helps prove the legitimacy of your business. You will also need this for other legal and financial matters, like opening a bank account.
Plus, you don’t want to wake up one day and find someone else has already snatched up the name of your business and registered it as their own.
And Get The Necessary Permits
In addition to the business registration, you will also need additional permits. These include;
- Fire and safety certificate – about Ksh. 3,000
- Food handlers certificate – about Ksh. 600
- Food hygiene certificate – about Ksh. 300
- KEBS certification – about Ksh. 20,000
- Business permit – varies between counties but ranges about Ksh. 8,000 – Ksh. 10,000
Related read: Reasons to Separate Personal and Business Finances
Purchase Your Ingredients in Bulk
You know when you go to the market for weekly or bi-monthly groceries? Or when you visit one of those wholesale shops for your monthly or quarterly shopping in bulk? How much does it save you? And not just the money used in purchasing your shopping but also the time and transport cost you save for reducing the number of shopping trips.
It’s the same logic large businesses apply when they purchase their items in large quantities — economies of scale.
For your bakery, identify vendors you can rely on for your supplies, like eggs. Other ingredients, like sugar, wheat, butter/margarine, among others, you can always buy in bulk from wholesale shops.
What Do You Need to Start a Home Bakery Business?
Luckily, running a business from the comfort of your home saves you a lot of capital. But you will still need to invest in a few other items to get started, including;
- Appliances, e.g., oven, hand mixer, baking trays
- Baking ingredients
- Social media presence or a workable website
- Contact information
- Laptop or tablet
- Smartphone or camera
Bakery Ideas For Your Small Business
Occasion Cakes and Pastries
From birthdays and weddings to anniversaries, surprise parties, and everything in between. There is always a need for something to delight one’s sweet tooth, with most hosts settling for a customized cake, cupcakes, cookies, and all sorts of pastries.
But it’s not usually just any cake. Sure, many can just walk into any supermarket or bakery and purchase the usual sheet cake. However, the world has taken customized cakes to a whole new level, with some cakes being quite difficult to distinguish from real-life items.
If you are looking to take your business idea a top-notch higher and spice up the process with your creative ideas, custom cakes are the way to go.
Besides the usual cake ingredients and cooking tools, you might also have to invest in molds. These will help you shape your cakes into your desired design or style.
Diet-Specialty Baked Goods
Are you familiar with specific dietary needs? Maybe you have also struggled to find baked goods that meet your dietary requirements with little success.
Fun fact; many people have started successful businesses just because they sought to fulfill a personal need that commercial products could not meet. From skincare and hair care products to meal prepping and errand runs. The list goes on, but you get the gist.
Focusing on diet-specific baked goodies allows you to cater to individuals with specific dietary requirements, like gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, organic, dairy-free, egg-free, and nut-free, just to name a few.
Baked Goods for Pets
The pet industry is worth billions, with numerous business ideas to explore, including baked goods. For many homeowners, pet treats are a must-have item in the house. It’s like when we buy ourselves cookies, biscuits, and other desserts for snacking.
Fortunately for you, not every pet owner has the skill or the urge to bake these treats at home. Others would love to get a more affordable option to store packaged treats. Additionally, many pet owners would love the idea of freshly baked treats for their pets.
Dessert Boxes Store
There is always something very enticing about a well-curated and personalized gift basket. And if that’s full of baked goodies… SIGN ME UP! And thousands of other sweet teeth connoisseurs.
Dessert boxes business idea opens you up to numerous opportunities, like;
- Birthday gifts
- Anniversary gifts
- Valentine’s Day gifts
- Mother’s Day gifts
- Customized dessert boxes
Your only limitation here is your creativity levels in regard to what desserts to include and how to arrange them in the box and make it more enticing.
Love writing? Add your love for baking, and perhaps, you can invest in sharing your baking knowledge and skills with baking DIY home bakers. Some of us could use a lot of pointers!
Food blogging is a booming niche, with 600m+ results on search engines. While that means there’s a lot of competition, you can always carve a niche for yourself. As long as the content you offer is unique and meets the needs of your target audience.
You can make money from your blog through;
- Paid ads
- Affiliate marketing
- Subscribed content
- Sponsored posts
- E-books with unique recipes not published on your blog
Are you comfortable in front of a camera? If so, vlogging is another avenue for creating content and an excellent way to teach people how to bake. It’s also a great way to make money, especially from the comfort of your home’s kitchen.
Like blogging, you can make money vlogging through;
- Affiliate marketing
- Pad ads
- Subscribed content
- Sponsored posts
The baking industry is quite profitable, making it possible to give your bakery ideas a shot. The above bakery ideas are an excellent start if you are looking for a specific niche to explore.
Some of the above bakery ideas are yet to get a lot of competition, especially in Kenya. But this doesn’t mean you will be an instant millionaire. Any business venture requires a lot of dedication and patience. And when dealing with foods like baked goodies, a lot of skills that produce memorable delicacies.
How Much Capital Do I Need to Start a Bakery Business in Kenya?
With about Ksh. 100,000 to about Ksh. 200,000, you can start a small bakery business in Kenya. This is enough to start with basic kitchen appliances, rent, and ingredients.
That said, I’d recommend saving more to help run the business operations for at least 3 to 6 months. It usually takes time before a business picks up and starts generating enough income to pay for all its expenses.
Until then, you’d have to cater to some of these expenses. It’s always best to be ready to foot these bills if and when necessary.
Can I Start My Bakery Business at Home?
Yes, you can start your small bakery business at home. It will save you a lot of startup costs, especially leasing a commercial space.
But there is a caveat.
Running a food business next to sleeping areas in Kenya is illegal. So, if you were to take this route, you’d have to get creative.
If you live in your own compound, you have more room to put up a small structure that acts as your kitchen.
If you live in an apartment, I’d recommend renting out a small and affordable shop to use. If not, at least plan to move your operations from the home kitchen as soon as possible. You can start baking at home for practice and share your goodies with friends and family as you work on setting up a shop away from home.
How Can I Make My Small Bakery Business Standout From The Competition?
Besides ensuring you have memorable goods, you must work on branding. This includes consistent brand visuals, like a logo and color palettes, an active online presence, and unique packaging.
Speaking of packaging, you can have your proof boxes customized. It will help you stand out and grab potential customers’ attention. And, if you buy these in bulk, you will also save some money.