The Business of Baking Part 3
Today our third story in our culinary entrepreneurial series on Martha's Vineyard foodways based on oral histories found in the Martha’s Vineyard Museum archives. I’ve transcribed the interviews and share them as short stories that are helpful for entrepreneurs many of which are trying to create a business out of their homes while also raising young children are caring for a loved one. This learn more about the business of baking from the oral history of Frances Young. Her parents moved to Martha’s Vineyard in 1911 from Pennsylvania. They came to stay with a relative of her mother’s side of the family her aunt. They built the family home on the Vineyard in 1914, the same year Young was born. As a child Young remembers the local bakery in Oak Bluffs “where my family sent us children to pick up fresh bread.” She says, “we never made it home without eating half of the loaf because it smells so delicious.”
So what are the take aways? Start small and build your business as you go cash flowing it’s growth instead of taking out bank loans which add unneeded pressure on entrepreneurs. One of the best ways to open a retail space where you live is a sublet shelf space or more in another food related business. For example, as a baker why not sublet from a pizza shop using their ovens during downtime perhaps that’s early in the morning before the pizza shop opens? Or why not rent shelf space at a local store in which you produce your bread at home and then rent shelf space in that store. Why not rent in the checkout counter where your product can be prominently displayed and sold. There are number of ways that you can get your product into retail space without taking a loan out to open a full-size brick-and-mortar bakery that could cost hundreds and thousands of dollars in renovations. Be the tortoise and not the hair and getting your business up and running and increasing sales. And never forget the best marketing strategy as the story of Frances Young illustrates, his great smelling bread. And by the way you can hand out samples of that great smelling bread with melted butter on it and increase sales even faster.