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Friday, 27 February 2015

6 Types of Bakery Niches to Choose for Your Start-Up Bakery Idea

I'm currently working on a book to help those who want to successfully start up a small baking business successfully; especially in East Africa. The progress is slower than I thought, however; I know it's going to be a masterpiece when it's done (^_^).

One of the most important things when you're about to start up your bakery business is to choose the kind of bakery you will have. To put it simply; you need to choose a 'niche' - a specific kind of focus or edge for your bakery. This is important for many business reasons; including the reason that you're able to produce better products over time, as well as target the appropriate target customers for your bakery business.
Today I want to share some types of bakery options you can choose from to help you in choosing a menu or a general niche direction for your start up bakery business idea.

1. Gourmet Cakes

Chocolate Fudge cake

You can choose to bake and sell gourmet cake products. These are high quality cake and specialist pastry products that are more expensive than most baked goods in the market. Rich, delicious cakes and pastries have gained quite a market in the cake industry in East Africa and more consumers are willing to pay the price to taste them. There are a few bakeries in Kenya that have decided to choose that niche e.g. Valentine Cake House, etc. An example of gourmet baked products you can offer in your menu are; Chocolate Ganache Cakes, Chocolate Fudge cakes, Rich Fruit Cakes, Cheesecakes, Chocolate Mouse Cakes, Petit fours, Tortes (i.e. Sacher Torte), German Chocolate Cake - (Apparently a lot of gourmet cakes have chocolate ^_^) those are just a few examples.

2. Commercial Breads and Cakes

White Scones

You can choose to focus on high demand commercial bread loaves, cakes and cupcakes. You can produce a large quantity of yeast breads, cupcakes (or queen cakes, as they are known in Kenya) or smaller cakes. You can choose to produce them as a wholesaler to sell to retail shops or supermarkets. Yeast breads, queen cakes and cakes are in high demand in the baking industry due to their affordable prices; most Kenyans eat bread or queen cakes for breakfast. There are many successful bakeries that are in this niche in Kenya e.g. Kenblest, Bakers Inn, Supa Loaf, etc.  Examples of these products to choose from are; brown and white yeast bread, brown and white scones, plain queen cakes, loaf cakes (e.g. Vanilla loaf cake), Cake slices, etc.

3. Sponge Cakes

Black Forrest Cake

This is also another popular niche, especially in Kenya. You can choose to focus on sponge cakes for your start-up bakery menu. Once you learn how to bake them; sponge cakes are easy to make and can be baked fresh everyday; they are a great 'canvas' for many kinds of cake products. You can choose different ways to assemble and decorate them to provide variety. Examples of very famous sponge cakes are White and Black Forrest cakes which are very popular in East Africa. Other types of cakes that use a sponge cake base are; Victorian Sandwich, Swiss Rolls, Chocolate Roulades, etc. A great example of a bakery business in Kenya that has been successful in this niche is the Black Forest House that has branches in Nairobi and Kisumu.
Classic Victorian Sandwich (Image: BBC Good Food)

4. Artisan Breads

Baguettes (Image credit: Wikipedia)

This is the art of making bread by hand; mostly done by skilled artisan bakers. A great example of such a niche in practice is Artcaffe which is a Nairobi-based franchise bakery and coffee shop business that sells artisan breads. Examples of these breads are; baguettes, Italian bread, bagels, brioche, ciabatta, focaccia, etc. If you are skilled at making the breads or can hire an artisan baker, it's a great niche to invest in. Most of the breads have basic ingredients i.e., wheat flour, yeast and salt. You can spice up your menu by adding ingredients to your breads such as; dried herbs, dried fruits, nuts and spices.

5. Wedding Cakes

This is one of the most popular and competitive niches in Kenya. If you have experience in baking cakes and creating amazing designs using fondant icings, then this is the niche for you. It is a high return niche business as long as you cost your cakes well. There are numerous examples of success 

6. Cookies and Biscuits

You can also choose to focus on cookies and biscuits in your start-up bakery menu; it's a niche that also has a high return. You can offer cookies in retail and also supply shops with packets of biscuits or cookies. A great example of a successful Kenyan business in that niche is Paul Cookiemans Ltd. You can choose to provide variety in  your cookies by offering different flavors, frostings and sizes. A few examples are; coconut cookies, short bread cookies/biscuits, ginger biscuits, Lavender Cookies, Jelly Cookies, etc.

Bake & Sell Cookies and biscuits

 These are not all the niches you can choose from; there are many more options you can explore. The above mentioned are some of the more profit-generating niches which you can start your bakery business in and be very successful. You can choose a general niche or a highly specific one. You can even choose to do something that isn't popular in Kenya e.g. Vegan bakery, Health bakery etc.
Whatever you choose to do, make sure you take necessary steps to plan and prepare well for your bakery start-up business before launching it.

You can get a copy of our book on How to Start-Up a Small Baking Business Successfully.

If you would like to possibly start a small baking business in the future and would like to know how to bake; please check our current Course Schedule and join our current class intake to learn how to bake with an original charcoal oven for optimum business economy.

You can also find out when our next Bakery Business Workshop will be held in order to book your spot. Click here