How Do I Open an Artisan Bread Bakery?

Amanda R. Bell

If you are looking to start an artisan bread bakery, where hand-crafted, all natural breads are made and sold, you will first have to make sure that you have the experience to run the business portion of the bakery. Then, you will need to come up with a budget for starting and running the business and obtain funding if you do not have the cash on hand. After funding is in place, you will need to have your bakery set up and hire any necessary employees. Once your artisan bakery is operational, work diligently to spread the word about your product through various forms of advertising.

Artisan bread.
Artisan bread.

Before starting any business, including an artisan bread bakery, it is important to have the knowledge to set up and run the business. Taking business management classes can be helpful depending on the type of degree that you possess. It can also be beneficial to talk to other local small business owners to obtain a solid understanding of what goes into running your potential business. This can also give you a good idea of where you should set your business up, including what locations will generate the most foot traffic.

Artisan bread.
Artisan bread.

Once you have a solid foundation for starting and keeping up a successful artisan bread bakery, you will have to obtain funding if you do not have the start-up costs. Prior to approaching lenders and investors, you will have to develop a business plan that details the potential start-up costs and profit expectations for your business, including any advertising costs. This information will allow you to create a time frame for paying any loans back and to determine how much profit your investors stand to make. To do this, you will have to conduct detailed research into the profitability of an artisan bread bakery, including the estimated customer base in your area. Once you have this information, present it to local banks, credit unions, or investors.

An artisan bakery will need to hire employees to bake and sell the bread.
An artisan bakery will need to hire employees to bake and sell the bread.

When you have the money to start, you will have to purchase or lease a space to house your artisan bread bakery, ensuring that the location you choose is zoned for retail or food establishments. Working with a contractor and an experienced baker if you are not one, purchase and install equipment according to your local laws and codes. Depending on the laws in your area, you will likely have to have an inspection prior to opening the business by both the health department and applicable safety departments.

Hiring employees is not always necessary when opening a small business, although you may need to, especially if you do not have any baking experience. Depending on the size of your operation, you may need to hire one or more bakers, assistants for the baker, and a cleaning staff, as well as an accountant or a customer service specialist. In most small businesses, it is often best to limit hiring employees to only those necessary for the operation of your artisan bread bakery, as the wages and benefits for the employees will likely eat into your profit margin, lengthening the time it will take you to pay back any debt.

Advertising your business is essential to making it successful. Prior to your opening, place ads in your local newspaper and request the permission of other local established businesses to place ads on their premises. To advertise your product, an open house with free samples from your artisan bread bakery can be helpful in increasing your word-of-mouth advertising.

Many retail bakeries that specialize in artisan breads have storefronts and sell their goods directly to customers.
Many retail bakeries that specialize in artisan breads have storefronts and sell their goods directly to customers.

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Discussion Comments


I think that anyone who is considering opening an artisan bread bakery or any type of bakery should consider getting a dual degree in culinary arts and business.

Though a culinary arts program, a person interested in baking will be able to hone his or her skills, and learn new techniques. The degree will also give him or her more credibility when it comes to seeking financing for a business.

On the other hand, the business side of the degree will help a future bakery owner to understand the financial side of running a business, just like this article points out.

With all of these bases covered, a person who hopes to open a bakery will be ready to prepare baked goods and operate the business at the same time.


If you are planning to open an artisan bread bakery and live in a small community, you may want to consider relocating to a bigger area. Artisan bread doesn't appeal to everyone, and locating your business in an area with a larger population will help to ensure that you will be able to create a good customer base.

Larger cities or suburbs of these areas are great locations for this type of bakery. Though the cost of running a business in bigger areas may cost more, your profits will also be higher so the two cost factors will most likely balance out. Over time, if you make high quality breads, advertising and word out mouth should increase your business and profits.

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