When it comes to opening and operating your home baking business, there are many important decisions to be made. One of the first and foremost choices to make is what to sell.
Finding your product niche can be easy if you already create a baked food item or specialty that family and friends demand. Maybe a church dinner isn’t the same without your Lemon Pound Cake. Or the girls club you help with insist you make granola for all their outings.
This article explores three categories of homemade goodies to consider for a niche product for your home baking business: 1) Edibles made without heat, 2) Edibles made with a stove top, hot plate or microwave 3) Oven baked foods.
Foods made without heat
Decorative baskets, trays and tins are ideal to fill with cookies, candies, snacks and nuts purchased at wholesale clubs and arranged in an assortment. Even someone with no baking experience can do this. These make great gift and office meeting alternatives. No baking experience necessary.
Cookie jars- Use Mason canning jars with lids and decorative ribbon. Fill them with pre-measured dry ingredients for favorite cookie recipes. Include the recipe with step by step instructions on how to bake these delicious cookies. This is great for busy families who would rather have homemade than store-bought.
Dry Mixes – Use cellophane bags and pack with dry ingredients for breads, muffins or cakes. Include the recipe and step by step instructions in the labeling. Trail mixes and muesli fit in this group as well. Once again, cater to busy families who love the taste of homemade but don’t have time to create from scratch.
Frozen or refrigerated doughs – Mix up batches of cookie dough, wrap and refrigerate or freeze. These products are convenient. All your customers need is a cookie sheet and a knife to slice them with.
Foods made on the stove, hotplate or in the microwave
Candies, fudges and nut brittles are great sellers. Partner with local food chains to see if they will carry your sweet creations in their stores.
No bake cookie recipes – Reader’s Digest’s Cookies: 1,001 Mouthwatering Recipes from around the World has pages of recipes for cookies you don’t have to bake in the oven. These cookies are delicious. They taste and sell as good as their oven baked counterparts.
Fried items – donuts, fritters and funnel cake are fun fried goodies that sell well. If there are farmers markets in your area, you can bring your deep fryer and cook and sell them on site.
Breakfast items – Offer fruit and nutty muffins, coffee cakes, scones or buns for office brunches, social or business meetings. Local day cares and preschools are looking for healthy and quick choices for breakfast.
Granola – Mix and bake granola using local favorite ingredients as well as with more exotic spices and foods for variety
Breads – Nothing like some warm homemade yeast and quick breads with coffee to start the morning.
Cakes – So much to choose from. There are pound cakes, layer, decorated and sheet cakes. Market your cakes centering around holidays and special occasions.
Pastries – Cupcakes and petit fours are smaller cake versions. Cupcakes have taken on a life of their own in the baking world.
Fruitcakes – These bundles of fruits, nuts and sweetness used to get a bad wrap. There’s a fruit cake for every taste bud. These keep well, so make them ahead of time and store in the freezer.
Pies and tarts – are favored around many tables during the holidays.
Whatever you choose as a niche product to create and sell, it’s important that you become the one customers look to for fresh homemade goodness. Your business is only going to be as good as your products. Determine now that your treats will be excellent from start to finish.
Fix, Mimi Shotland. Start and Run a Home-Based Food Business. Bellingham, WA (2009).