General Question

Carly's avatar

A bakery or a coffee shop, which start-up business would be more successful?

Asked by Carly (4550points) September 23rd, 2010

I’m debating with my roommate who’s a business major…
I also like pastries more than lattes. >.>

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

17 Answers

perg's avatar

Both? Sounds like a natural combo to me. But if I had to choose, I would pick the coffee first.

WestRiverrat's avatar

I don’t see why you can’t have both in the same shop. Where I live most shops have to do double duty, there isn’t enough traffic for both.

Dog's avatar

I think both would be successful. However to run a bakery means that you do a lot of baking at night or in the wee hours of the morning. I used to room next to a bakery. They started at 3:00am.

rodydoe89's avatar

I worked in a bakery for 4 years. It definitely requires many late nights and early mornings. I think that both would be successful. Many people like coffee to go with their pastry!!

Jeruba's avatar

Depends a lot on where and on what else is in the area. There’s already a lot of competition from chains on the coffee-shop side, but if you can offer something special—such as fresh pastry and fresh bread—you’ll have an edge.

YARNLADY's avatar

Fresh, home-made bread sells well. A pastry type bakery where you serve coffee would be great.

john65pennington's avatar

Coffee is unpredictable. pastry is unpredictable.

But, together, you have a winning combination. how about a bag of doughnuts and a cup of coffee for a retired cop, john?

You build it and i will buy it.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I’m sorry to rain on the parade, but I think a little dose of reality is in order. 90% of all restaurants fail in the first 3 years.

A friend of mine who owns a restaurant always says that if you want to make a small fortune in the restaurant business, then you need to start with a large fortune.

Still, if you have an excellent location, a great product, and want to work really hard, then I say go for it. I vote bakery.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Coffee shops around here never fail. I would die if my only choice was Starbucks (only because the indies are so much better.) I have 4 independent coffee shops within walking distance of my house. Each has a distinct personality and clientele. All sell baked goods but none are bakeries per se. The pasteries and muffins are limited.

Haleth's avatar

The thing about running a bakery is you have to know your business very well. You have to bake everything before the start of business each day (very labor intensive), and then it has a short shelf life- a day for a lot of things, like pastries. If you bake too much, you’ll waste a lot of product and your costs will be too high. If you bake too little, you’ll run out early and lose sales.

Coffeehouse is a lower-maintenance business to run. Beverages always have higher profit margins than food. It’s very quick and easy to make coffee, even quality coffee, and your supplies have a longer shelf-life. There’s more competition, but running a coffeehouse would be way easier for most people, so it would have a higher chance of success. But I’d start with a coffee cart or something first, and keep costs really low until you can grow your business.

Splender1's avatar

Market research will definitely do you well, but I think it is important to chose what you are most passionate about. Is baking a love? Or do you simply like the idea of a coffee or a pastry shop? Either way, you need to enjoy your venture! I think the combo would be nice. But making fresh pastries is much more of an undertaking…. Also, adding your own, unique “flavor” will make it a stand out :) Think about your vision… clientèle…wifi etc….Good luck!

Austinlad's avatar

Opening a business is tough in best of times—and right now definitely isn’t that. My suggestion is to concentrate on one of the two—the one you’‘re best at and feel the neighborhood needs most—get a good running start on that, and then branch out later when you’ve got a some steady business. Good luck, whatever you decide.

CMaz's avatar


Only if a good bakery. No one has time for a bad bakery.

Kardamom's avatar

Coffee, especially Starbucks, is on every street corner and thank goodness for that, but I think you should try to come up with a bakery that has a new idea. The cupcake stores have been doing really well, but you don’t want to copy that. Think of something original or something besides cupcakes that also has a nostalgic flair to it. Send a survey out to your friends and relatives and ask them what kinds of baked goods they love. Think of a few ideas of your own to float to these folks and then make a decision based on the startup costs, the labor and time involved, whether you have a good location and whether you have tip top recipes for your products. You should also serve a basic coffee, tea, milk and soda or juice (make the drinks minimal). I have an idea that you may steal if you like it. I’m thinking of a store that sells Calzones. Most cultures have something similar to the calzone such as samosas, empanadas and sambuccas. Think sweet as well as savory. How great would it be to eat a fruit filled calzone for breakfast? Then fill the rest of those pockets with everything good you can think of: beans and lentils, spinach and artichoke and cheese, grilled vegetables, tofu and barbecued meats. Try a bunch of things out, then pick 10 or 12 options for your menu. Good luck and Bon Apetite!

downtide's avatar

I would definitely vote for both together. But pick your location carefully. Don’t be near a Starbucks unless you are both cheaper and better (and if you are both cheaper and better than Starbucks, expect them to buy up the business to close you down).

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

Coffee. Everyone needs energy these days

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