Sweet Treats On Wheels: How to Start a Mobile Bakery

top down view of assorted pastries on a tray lined with brown paper

Photo: Rawpixel

Do you want to profit from your talent in baking? Are you a baker looking to add some unique flair to your existing bakery shop? If you do and you are, a mobile bakery is the perfect business for you.

Did you know that Americans spent $70 billion this year on bread and bakery products? It’s not surprising considering baked goods play a big part in the American diet.

If you want to get in on some of that revenue, read on for your guide to opening a mobile bakery.

1. Get Your Paperwork in Order

No business is complete without a business license. Since you’re starting a bakery business, you’ll need to prepare paperwork for food service. This includes a health and safety certificate, food handler’s permit, and foodservice license. 

You will also need to secure permits for your mobile bakery truck. Not every city makes it easy to start a food truck business. For example, New York City has a cap on the truck permits it issues and in Chicago food trucks have to park a certain distance from restaurants. Check for your local city and state policies on food trucks and parking restrictions to make sure you are 100% legal.

2. Develop a Business Plan

Research and intensive planning is a key factor in launching a successful business. Look at your mobile bakery business from every angle. Define your business, set your goals, and research your competition.

It’ll be smart to research what your customers want. Will you be selling sweet goods only? And what kinds? With all the pies, cookies, donuts, pastries and cakes out there, you might need to narrow down your offerings to accommodate a mobile bakery setting. Will you make bread as well for customers without a sweet tooth?

In your business plan, you want to cover the startup costs, ingredients, and equipment. Your profits won’t come to you in a snap. Figure out how long it will be before you break even and start making a profit, and plan accordingly.

Research the best areas for your mobile bakery. Make a Plan B for when your baked goods don’t sell within the day. Your business plan is a strategic tool to make your bakery idea succeed, so make sure it’s comprehensive.

3. Secure Your Financing

Your financing plan comes after you know what you need to spend. First, know your budget and how you’re going to use it. Is it enough to finance your dream to sell mobile baked goods?

If it is, then that’s great. If it isn’t, how will you make it work? Should you get a loan from a bank or credit union? Can family or friends help you out while you’re still starting the business? 

If you decide to take out a business loan, find out how much the down payment and interest are. How long will it be before you can pay off the loan?

Also, don’t forget to set money aside for business insurance. You want to make sure you have covered your most important asset: your truck and the equipment inside.

4. Buy a Food Truck 

Starting a bakery is not cheap, but starting a mobile bakery will cost you significantly less than starting a brick and mortar location. Plus, food trucks have the advantage of flexibility. If you want your mobile bakery to reach all parts of town, a bakery truck can give you that reach.

If think you will need a bigger space, you have the option of going with a longer food trailer, rather than a food truck. Be sure to weigh carefully all the pros and cons of considering a trailer before you decide either way.

5. Open Your Mobile Bakery Business

Do some market research to find ideal parking spaces in different areas across your city. Make sure you know the parking regulations in the areas where you plan to sell.

You should make sure your baked goods are priced right as well. Remember, apart from the cost for ingredients, the most you spend on your goods is time: baking time, clean up time, packaging time, and marketing time. Take that into account when you calculate the cost of supplies and the time you spend making them.

Once you have those things down, you’re ready to launch your bakery on wheels. Open your business with a bang. Make sure that people notice the new mobile bakery going around town.

When customers start lining up to taste your delicious baked goods, don’t forget your customer service. One of the tricks to success is excellent customer service. The first step to gaining loyal customers is to make them happy customers.

6. Promote Your Mobile Bakery

Before you open the mobile bakery for business, reach out and connect with your potential customers. Use a variety of marketing strategies to get the word out about your bakery, including social media, local advertising, and word of mouth. Tell everyone you know!

Don’t underestimate the importance of social media; be sure to market effectively on more than just one platform. According to research, 97% of marketers use social media to reach audiences. The most engaging types of content on social media focuses on videos and images.

If you can, you should also create a blog or a website. You can write articles about your bread and sweets and other relevant topics, along with having more information about yourself and how your bakery got started.

8. Closing Tips

Starting a mobile bakery (or any business for that matter) isn’t easy. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends, family, or other veterans in the business. Connect with other vendors and learn their tips and tricks for running a food truck business.

Don’t forget about food truck safety. A small violation can give your business a bad rep in both the health department and the public eye. These rules exist to ensure you and your customers stay safe. 

Build up a good customer base before you start thinking about expanding. Use marketing strategies like promos and sales to help your brand take off. Once you get more recognition, you can start looking into merchandising.

Bring Your Passion to the People

Who says food trucks can only sell sandwiches or hotdogs? Food trucks can be bakeries or pastry shops too. Now, are you ready to start your bakery truck?

If you enjoyed this guide on how to start a mobile bakery, check out the rest of our blog for more helpful posts like this. If you are ready to take the next step toward your mobile bakery, request a quote for your mobile bakery truck.