What No One Tells You About Owning a Bakery Storefront

Most every home baker dreams of having a storefront. It’s something you start thinking about the moment you decide you’ve made it!

You see the financial industry, business card, credit card, and website designer commercials showing all of the smiling business owners talking about how great it is to have a storefront.

You see the Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube pages, videos, and posts all touting how it’s the way to go and you won’t regret your decision if you go for it!

But is it really all it’s cracked up to be?


Well.  That’s going to be for you to decide.  But for me, the short answer was NO.

Today I’m going to share my experience with you.

This is the side of the story that no one else is talking about.

I decided I was ready for a storefront.

I decided after nearly two years of working from home I was ready to open a storefront.  I had built a pretty good clientele of repeat customers and felt my skill level was up to par (haha!).  I spent days and nights dreaming– obsessing about what I would name my shop, how I would decorate the front of house, what my logo would look like, and how customers would come strolling in one after the other from open until close. Although, the biggest dreams I had were how much money I would make, how much room I would free up in my home, and all the extra time I would have to spend with my family! <sigh>

Boy was I wrong!  About most of it anyway. There is so much more to owning a storefront than you realize.

*I want to say right now, this is the story of MY experience.  I KNOW that so many others have opened a storefront and loved it and it was the absolute right decision for them.  I am not here to bring you down and stomp on your dreams.  I am only here to let you know my opinion on owning a store. I am only here to let you know that while it can be the greatest experience you ever have it can also be heartbreaking. It can be exhausting and it is absolutely challenging. There are many people with a mind and spirit made for business.  I, unfortunately, realized I was not cut out for this type of thing. I made a lot of mistakes and my biggest mistake was not knowing how ignorant I was as to HOW to actually operate a retail business.

I also want to note that I live in a relatively small town surrounded by much larger, more industrious towns, within a 30-mile radius, which people are more than happy to drive to for their shopping and entertainment.  You must also take your demographics into account as well.

So here’s my story. Please read it with an open mind.


I was going to make more money by having a storefront.

The truth is I paid every penny out to others.

I did not profit a single cent even though we “made” six figures the first 9 months we were open. Yes, 6 figures. But NONE of it was in my pocket. It cost us several thousands to open the bakery plus the huge burden of overhead.

The electric bills alone were $500-800/month in the moderate size unit we were in. I also had to hire employees (please don’t think you can do this alone!).   Paying sales taxes, unemployment taxes and insurance, and salaries (now the employment laws are getting even crazier), advertising, liability insurance, and credit card processing fees took a huge chunk of money each month.

I needed to constantly add new items and run promotions to keep walk-in business, as people are bored very easily, and it’s exhausting!  ALL food businesses do it so don’t expect to be the exception.  Even if you opened a CAKE shop as I did, people will expect you to be a full-service bakery.  With all the new orders I had to buy more ingredients/packaging to keep up which was more money out the door. You will probably need to add something to bring customers in if you aren’t a full-service bakery, like an ice cream parlor, lunches, or even sell merchandise in your store.

There are busy seasons and slow seasons in the cake world.

I didn’t take into account that the summer and winter would be so slow!  I never had any issues booking up at home during these times of year.  But I also only needed a fraction of the business to operate.  When you have employees and overheard you need steady orders and walk-in traffic ALL year long!  Take advantage of busy times (Valentine’s Day, Graduation and Wedding seasons) and promote lots of specials.

It is an absolute MUST that you raise your prices drastically from what you are charging at home. Don’t be surprised when your longtime customers aren’t happy about that. Not everyone realizes how much money it takes just to keep the lights on and they will not understand why you raised your “great” prices from back when you were the “cheap” cake lady! (We’ll talk in another post about why you DO NOT want to be the “cheap” cake lady.)

Speaking of customers…

I have to be completely honest with you.

I didn’t want to deal with people EVER again when I closed my shop.

Even though there were many, many, many more satisfied customers I dealt with than unhappy customers, those very few made a huge impact on my view of the world. People change as soon as you have a storefront. They expect WAY more from you and are not afraid to tell all of social media about when they are not happy about anything. They will even expect refunds for their own mistakes they made while ordering. They become much pickier. They become hateful and quick to judge without giving any thought to the fact that this is how you feed your family. It is just a fact that not every single customer will be happy and love your work.  I completely understand that.  I am a consumer too!  But so many people forget that you are just a lady chasing her dreams and rather than speaking with you about any issues they will just run your name through the mud instead. That’s the reality of this digital world we live in today.

When I did have a customer approach me with an issue it was ALWAYS dealt with. You can not ignore unsatisfied customers. You MUST take every measure you possibly can to turn the situation around. People remember the single negative review and will scroll right past the 1000 positive reviews you may have.


I was sure to be quick with a sincere apology (even if it wasn’t our fault) and I offered a refund as well as a replacement for the product.  When customers came to me unhappy I can gladly say they left with a changed attitude and I nearly always saw them back in my shop as a repeat customer! I, unfortunately, wasn’t always given the opportunity to make things right and that really got to me. It really hurt when people chose to be negative and stir up conflict without ever addressing the issue with me.

Not only was this difficult to deal with, but I lost the personal encounters with my customers.

They just became an order form that my employee filled out. And I had to hope they had gotten all the info and had written everything down correctly. I also had customers that refused to deal with any of my employees and only speak with me because they were longtime clients. The thing is, I didn’t have time to deal with customers personally because I was busy running the business end of things.

Oh, and I was going to have so much more free time!

Except now I was the boss. Now I was not only responsible for my own quality of work but I was also responsible for my employees’ quality of work and customer service.

Finding good, reliable employees can be extremely challenging! No one cares about your business as you do. Even when you have a good staff you will still work EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I worked 80+ hours a week and had no time for my children.

I kid you not, I missed an entire year of my children’s lives. I cleaned out some boxes awhile after we closed our shop and found so many school papers and order forms for school pictures I had never seen before!

I wasn’t able to take time off or go on vacation. I had to worry about bad weather and not being able to be open during winter. Winter and Summer are extremely slow times of the year for bakeries. You also can’t just not take orders or not go to work because you are tired or don’t feel up to making cake that day.

Be sure you not only have the mind for business, but also the SPIRIT for business.

Owning a business is so, SO stressful.  Especially a busy and successful business.  

Stress is great though.  It is so flexible and can be there for you in any situation.  I was stressed out when we were so busy that I didn’t go home on Friday nights because we had to get orders finished for Saturday morning.  I was stressed when we sold out of cupcakes in our case every day the first week we were open and had to disappoint customers.  I was stressed every time a customer picked up a cake because I was terrified their order may not be right or they may not like it.  If they didn’t like it I was stressed that they would run straight to Facebook and let the masses know without ever telling me. I was stressed when summer began and walk-in traffic died down significantly.  I was stressed when my other decorator needed to take off work frequently.  I was stressed when I couldn’t take even a Sunday off because I had to buy supplies for the following week from a local store.



This eventually took a toll on not only my relationships but also my health. Thank the great Lord above for giving me a truly amazing husband.  Most relationships probably wouldn’t have made it through the effects of the stress we endured, but my husband not only hung in there, he carried me through. He is my rock and I learned to love him in a completely new and deeper way.

It took another year and a half after we closed up shop for my mind to begin to heal.  My body, on the other hand, decided to blow its adrenals and damage not only my thyroid but its entire endocrine system.  That is a battle I’m still fighting.

I clung to God as I had never done before.

My spirit was broken and I prayed NON STOP.

That’s not an exaggeration.  If I was awake I was talking to Him.  He pulled me out of the lowest place I had ever been and He brought me back to life.  I got to know Him like I had never dreamed possible. I promise you, He is there for you. Don’t blame Him when you are in a bad place, turn and RUN to Him!

Realizing my mind, body and spirit couldn’t handle the stress any longer (I was truly on the verge of a nervous breakdown) and after operating a storefront for nearly 2 years, we closed up shop.  I wasn’t sure when we closed our doors if I ever wanted to bake another cake.  The plan was for me to completely quit and I was going to return to the workforce.

I was actually called and offered a job I hadn’t even known existed.  After much prayer and lots of discussion, we decided that I would decline the position and stay home.  But that meant continuing my cake business.  I realized in that moment I wasn’t finished.  With God’s help, I knew my mind would heal and I would be able to love my work again.

And I do.

There was a silver lining though.

I can’t say that it was all bad.

I learned how to bake/ice/decorate a cake in less than a few hours as opposed to an entire day! I tweaked my recipes until they were just right. I learned how to bake a dozen cakes and only dirty a few dishes in my kitchen instead of messing my entire house!

I did gain new long-time customers.

Most importantly I learned that I would much rather work from home and pick and choose my customers. I would much rather be home working all night instead of across town until 3:00 am to only be back at 7:00 am.

I learned that sometimes you already have all you need right where you’re at doing exactly what you’re doing.


So that was my experience, here’s my advice.

Now my advice though is this: Do what God is leading you to do.

I know that it was the right thing for me to open a bakery because I was obsessed with the thought. OBSESSED I tell you. I couldn’t think of anything else. And the Lord knew that if I didn’t see all of these things on my own I would never stop thinking about it. That I would never learn the valuable lessons I learned and I’d always wonder if I could have or should have done it. So He let me do what I thought I wanted and find out that I already had what I wanted. Let’s say, I have to learn things the hard way… 😉

My advice would be to take it slowly.

Save every single penny of what it will cost you to open. DO NOT finance anything. Then have AT LEAST $10k as a cushion for operating costs once you open. For cash flow for slow times.

Get educated in business!  Whether it’s taking a business class online, finding a mentor, or just reading lots of articles on how to operate a business, just get educated!! Most banks require a business plan to gain financing and even if you don’t finance, write that business plan anyway! It is so important and it will help you to be successful and profitable.

Be organized and don’t waste time! Disorganization and poor time management are two of the biggest reasons for businesses failing.

Spend your money wisely. Don’t go all out on your front area. You can update and decorate later. Work on your kitchen and be sure you have ample storage and a huge refrigerator or two.

Continue to work on your skills and enjoy your time with your family. Always remember your family comes first!!

I have always loved baking but I lost that love when I had my store. Be sure that if you start to not love it, you get out and get back to where you were when you did love it.

You will most likely profit more at home. You will only have to take a fraction of the orders and spend a fraction of the time on them to make a profit. If you aren’t making what you think you should be, you need to raise your prices! You can raise your prices, take fewer orders and send out higher quality work all while making more money. This is the most important thing I learned on the business end!

I hope that my story has helped you take a closer look at what it means to have a storefront.

Now go out there and decide which story is yours! I wish you all the luck in the world and I’m here to help you in any way I can!  

Be sure you aren’t making the worst mistake of all- being the cheap cake lady! Learn how to properly charge for your cakes and other products so you can be as profitable as possible! I’ve made it super easy for you to get organized and manage your time with these worksheets I’ve created for you.

Let me know about your experience.  Have you ever considered this side of the story? Have you or do you operate a retail business?  What would you do differently?


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46 thoughts on “What No One Tells You About Owning a Bakery Storefront”

  1. Amen sister! Thank you for posting. Similar experiences as yours. Hope your health continues to improve. Best to you.

  2. I have people ask me on a weekly basis when I will open a storefront…NEVER!!!!! I had a local businessman ask me to open a shop with him, he would finance it, yadda yadda yadda NOOOOPE! I am going to post this on my FB page and refer everyone to it when they ask me why I won’t open a shop, lol. THANKS!!

  3. Hi Tina!
    I’m a self taught home baker from a small town in Pakistan.
    Firstly, I’m so sorry you went through so much pain.
    Next, I just can’t thank you enough for writing this valuable article! How much insight I gained from it!
    Lately, I too have been thinking alot about a storefront but I have realized now how much of an effort and intense stress it involves!!
    I’d rather be baking from home and enjoy time with my family all along.
    Thank you Tina. God bless.

  4. Wow. Needed this! My husband and I have had our coffee shop/bakery for 1 year and 4 months, and it was definitely God that made it happen. We were known for our specialty cakes, but the last four months I have felt the pull to not only stop doing specialty cakes and instead focus on in store items, but also take a day to ourselves. We currently do not take any days but tomorrow will be our first ‘day off’ since we started!! I will be announcing the changes to our style next week, and honestly I’m so relieved and both husband and I are excited for what God does for us. Thank you 1000x for sharing your experience!!

  5. I have had a brick and mortar cake shop for years. I sold my first one….and I am on my 2nd Ive been in for 3 years. I could have written this article myself verbatim. I am OVER the expense of an open shop, and the STRESS!! Unless you are charging top dollar for your cakes $8/serving, or more, and unless you can get it, it is not worth your time. I am going to buy a cake camper, park it at home, do cakes out of it. No rent, low utilities, and I can take it out to sell if I feel like it. Home baking priced accordingly is the only way to make real money in the industry. An open bakery is a money pit….sorry, it is! We even won a cake TV show, tons of advertising etc……and it does not change the customer’s unwillingness to pay what is necessary to keep it going!

  6. Great read, I’m opening up my own bakery atm, I’m super excited like you were when you first started, hope I stay that way.

    Thanks for being so honest hope everything is going well for you now 😀

  7. Hi Tina! I found this post via Pinterest, scrolling ideas for my own storefront. Like your other commenters, I appreciate hearing the good, bad AND ugly of owning a bakery. One thing that really has me hesitant is time. Being home based, I can just go to my room or out on the deck in my down time. Owning a bakery sounds like there is just never much, if any, downtime.
    I will definitely consider your points before taking that leap. Thank you!

    1. Kelley, thanks for taking the time to comment. I’m always so happy when my experience can help others consider all sides of business ownership. There are definitely perks to being a home bakery, and you’re right, there really isn’t much downtime for the business owner once you open that storefront. I wish you the best and hope you are able to make the best decision for you!

  8. I cried half way though reading your post. I really cried. It takes someone who has walked this lane to truly understand what running a bakery is. All the pple see is the gorgeous looking cakes and think you are making a tone of profit. I work so hard sometimes i am ashamed to tell my husdand I am broke. I have learnt alot reading this and I appreciate your being so honest and sharing your experience. Learnt alot.

    1. Lola, I’m so sorry to hear you are struggling. Please don’t be afraid to open up to your husband and allow someone else into what is going on. It’s really hard to go at it alone and it gets very overwhelming very quickly without support. Don’t forget, it’s ok to say enough is enough and move on if you find that’s what’s right for you. No one will blame you or fault you for taking care of yourself first! I wish you all the best and many blessings! -Tina

  9. Wish we would have read this article 8 years ago before we had opened our bakery haha.. that’s exactly what we experienced the past couple of years. We are upstate NY and just cut our hours back for the same reasons. Not enough time for the family and not able to find skilled and reliable employees.

    1. Sarah, it’s so hard to be a business owner and I really felt like someone needed to give the not so glossy side of things it’s due. I’m happy to hear you are making more time for your family and I hope you find the reliable employees you need! Best wishes and many blessings! -Tina

  10. Hi Tina – I have been so frustrated lately trying to figure out a financial plan to get out of a full-time job and into a full-time retail cake shop. Wow! This post was exactly what I needed to read, to understand, and to help confirm that my part-time, licensed home-based cake studio is not so bad, and that I should build upon the successes I’ve already created, without going over my head with unnecessary stress and expenses. I’m 55, and have been decorating cakes since I was 40, but for some reason I thought that a retail establishment would take me to the next level. Well, thanks to you, I now know that the next level would’ve been a padded room… 🙂

    I thank God for leading me here to read your “testimony”!! And I thank you for the willingness to share your story with complete strangers, and to not sugar-coat any of your experience.

    Blessings and much success in your new endeavor! — Ann

    1. Thank you, Ann, for such kind words! I’m happy my testimony could help you in your own journey. Every time someone tells me things like you have, it just reaffirms that I listened at the right moment when God said to tell my story. Best of luck to you!

    2. This is wonderful to read and to know it isn’t just me ! I also made cakes from home for two years and then opened my own shop with some financial help from my parents. My torment was six years and it was a rollercoaster from start to finish, I kid you not the first day there I questioned what on Earth I’d done! I earned nothing in six years expect a reputation for great Cakes, staff were a nightmare, customers want s pound of flesh off you as soon as you open a shop, and if you ever made a mistake you were fair game for the most horrendous treatment ever. I left my shop 15 months ago and like you all the pent up adrenaline, stress and torment are just starting to emerge. Trying to slow down and steer my cake business in a more simplistic manner whilst enjoying family time more. Your story was a blessing to read … Rebecca

      1. Rebecca, I’m so happy you are able to find solace in my story, but I’m sorry you had a terrible experience too! All we can do is learn from our pasts and move on with a clearer understanding of where we want to go and what we want from here on out. I wish you the best, and I hope you begin to enjoy your business again!
        Many blessings, Tina

  11. Hi Tina, I just discovered your post and i cannot tell you enough how this has uplifted my spirit so much, Sorry for the rough experience you went through- people are just terrible, all i know is that after you were tested and tried – you came forth as Gold in God’s eyes. I was actually delibrately looking for baking comfort on google by searching for articles because it only takes someone with your kind of experience and caking background to understand my despair, you just cannot get it from anywhere or anyone else. I been working from home for exactly two years now and taking orders, my business is doing really well, but as you mentioned there’s ups and downs and today i felt miserable because business is quiet right now and in those quiet times your thoughts on opening a storefront just get’s louder and louder in your head and it becomes frustrating, especially when you know you don’t have the capital for it. I hate overworking myself and having ghost pressure and also issues from people. Now that i read your article, I’m sticking to my home business and will appreciate the quiet times more. Thanks a Lot Tina and God Bless you! Melissa

  12. Hi Tina, Your story is very similar to mine. I had an obsession with cupcakes, then it became a home business, then a storefront and my life disappeared. I only had the storefront for a short time, but it took a toll on everything. I had no life. I was able to close it without too much hassle and get my life back. That was 5 years ago. I’ve only just started baking again and am now going to start a home operation again. I miss it. I realize now that balance is the number one priority. Having a home business is the only way to make that happen since I can do a little or a lot depending on what else is going on since I’m a full time mom and also have a full time job. It’s a lot, but I do better when I’m busy, just without all the pressures of a storefront. The other great thing is that even when I’m baking to fulfill an order, I can be talking with my kids, helping with homework and present in their lives. It’s the right balance I need. Thanks for sharing your story. It’s great to know that even though we sometimes think we can do it all, it’s ok to say that it’s too much sometimes.

    1. Hi Charene! Isn’t it kind of a relief to hear someone else went through a similar situation? I know when I was going through opening and then closing my bakery I felt completely alone, like I was the only one to ever “give up.” I’m so happy that my experience can reach others and reassure them it’s ok to put your family and yourself first, it’s ok to admit when it’s too much. I’m very glad to hear you finally found balance and you’re enjoying your home business once again! I wish you the best! -Tina

  13. Ok, the Lord knew I needed to get this info. I have been praying non stop for my own shop and willing to take any loan and financing to get it. The whole reason I started this business was to be available for the kids and while praying for a shop pushing aside the holy spirit asking me the how’s. How will the kids get to school, how will they get home, how will you go to their events and do this fulltime? I wasn’t listening until now. You’ve made it completely acceptable to continue as a home baker. You have confirmed the truth the Holy Spirit has been trying to get me to acknowledge.
    Thank you so much. I can’t eve imagine what you went through, but your testimony is setting so many of us free and allowing us to be great at what we are already doing. I can’t wait to see what the Lord does now!!

    1. Hi Branddi!
      I’m so glad my experience could help you accept what you already knew the Holy Spirit was telling you all along. Sometimes it’s really hard to hear what he’s saying because we want what we want so badly. I wish you the best and I know you’ll do wonderful in your home business! -Tina

  14. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I have been daydreaming about a storefront just as you mentioned but I am also afraid of all the hardships. Personally, staying a homebaker is more my speed. Baking brings me peace and relaxation. I’d like to keep it that way. You’ve help bring me clarity. Thanks again.

    1. I’m so happy my experiences could be helpful to you. I never want to discourage anyone from chasing their dreams, but I do want to be sure everyone is aware that there’s more to just dreaming. I hope you continue to enjoy baking and wish you great success!

    2. Thank you for writing this. I am so glad you gave some insight to owning your own bakery. I am obsessed with owning my own store front too. I have been saving money to put towards my own store, but after reading this it has really opened my eyes and maybe waiting longer than what I had expected. Again, thank you so much!

      1. Hi Brandy! I definitely know what you’re talking about when you say you’ve been obsessing over a storefront. It overtakes you and you just can’t wait to be open. You keep telling yourself you’ve got to hurry and open a shop, but I think you’re doing the right thing taking your time and saving money before opening. I don’t think you’ll regret that in the end. Whatever you decide to do, I wish you all the luck in the world! -Tina

  15. Thank you so much for this post. I was considering going to culinary school to become a pastry chef with the ultimate goal of opening my own bakery/cafe, and this post has saved me thousands of dollars, time with my baby girl, and dear husband. My husband is currently in med school so I’m being a stay-at-home mom until he’s done ( his schedule is grueling) and was thinking that opening a bakery could be a fun slow paced business that would allow me to be with my daughter. Boy, was I wrong! Thank you for being open and honest, but most importantly helpful! The line “I learned that sometimes you already have all you need right where you’re at doing exactly what you’re doing.” is something that my husband is always telling me, but I don’t believe. Being a stay-at-home mom I sometimes feel like all i do is clean, pick up after everyone, and that there’s no real purpose for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family dearly, but I want something that’s just for me and be a part of something that is bigger than me. I pray everyday that the Lord would show me what my purpose is and what I can do. Although this isn’t a complete answer, he has shown me what ISN’T for me. Best-KIM

    1. Hi Kim! It sounds like you have a lot on your plate! If you are wanting a slow paced business, I’d definitely say the food industry in general probably isn’t the right place to look. Not to say that you can’t have a fun, moderately paced business if you chose to work from home, but opening a shop will definitely be very time consuming. I’m so happy my testimony can be helpful to you and I hope you find whatever your calling is! I know how frustrating it can be waiting to hear an answer, but if you’re still enough, I think you’ll hear God’s words speaking to you.Please let me know if there are any other questions you may have. Wishing you all the best!

  16. Amen to everything you said. I always tell people, I’ve never worked so hard or made so little money in my entire life since I opened my bakery!

    1. It’s definitely a lot of work and absolutely overwhelming! I know some people love it, but it sure wasn’t for me. I wish you great success!

  17. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Whether anyone is thinking about going into the business or not, it was very educational. I love to bake and get many orders from coworkers, and I know that when I get too many I start stressing and don’t love to bake as much.

    1. I’m always happy when my experience can be helpful to someone. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and I hope you never lose your love of baking! 🙂

  18. Thank you for sharing your story. I gathered insights that are helpful for me, “take it slow.”” If you aren’t making what you think you should be, you need to raise your prices! You can raise your prices, take fewer orders and send out higher quality work all while making more money” I am opening a pastry shop within the month. Would you explain please what you mean by “Work on your kitchen”. Looking forward to hearing from you.

    1. Hi Zaida! Thanks so much for taking the time to read my story. I’m so happy you took a few lessons away from my experience. 🙂 What I was referring to when I said work on your kitchen was that rather than spending the bulk of your money on aesthetics, use those resources to be sure your kitchen is the most user friendly you can possibly afford. Use that money to buy all the tools you may need or to expand the prep area so you will have plenty of room to work. It is where you will spend the majority of your time and the better organized and prepared you are, the better product you can send out the door! Please let me know if you have any other questions!

  19. I just bought an old restaurant with the plan of turning it into a bakery, I closed on 2 days ago. I’ve questioned if it is the right thing to do, but cannot ignore the signs. It is right next door, it has a giant kitchen, a bar, dining area, ample parking, and an apartment above it. As everything fell into place, I kept questioning God and saying, ok are you making this happen because it’s my dream or to teach me a lesson? But when bump after bump came along and also the solution shortly thereafter, I just said, he knows what he’s doing and I’ll just roll with it like always. So I hope I don’t lose that passion, or regret it but if I do I know it’s a learning experience and that’s what’s in God’s plan for me. Thank you for the “other” side of being a business owner. It’s nice to hear the reality, I know I’m in for a long hard road but have so much support I know I’ll be in a good place regardless of what happens. Take care and god bless!

    1. Michelle, I wish you all the luck in the world and I pray you are so, so successful!! 🙂 I’m so happy you have a good support system and most importantly, you have faith! Always trust in Him and it’ll all work out fine! 🙂

  20. Hi Tina! I loved your post. Really. SO MUCH to relate to! I’m also a home baker.The question of opening up my own bakery & coffee shop has popped up with my husband, friends and family hundreds of times… It felt like it was what I was “supposed to do”. The “next step” you know. Fortunately God spared me the whole episode you went through. A few years ago I was offered an opportunity to work in a shared kitchen space with another small restaurant/deli. It was just awful! I had to work in this weird convection oven and my bakes just flopped completely… I just wanted to go home! I’m SO used to my own domestic oven and all my recipes have been perfected according to its functioning. In tears, I loaded my mixers, ingredients etc in the car by myself, drove back home and baked everything all over again.

    We are very similar. I might have the talent and will (in theory) to pull off a having a bakery, but definitely not the temperament or as you say “spirit” for it. And that’s okay 🙂 I just LOVE baking at home. I love my wooden counter tops (who ever loved working on stainless steel??), I love baking in my slippers, I love having my cat here in the background sleeping on our couch. I love that our home constantly smells like chocolate and cinnamon! I LOVE that I decide when I work and when I don’t.

    There is SO MUCH freedom in baking from home. It’s a rare commodity – freedom. We are blessed. Not super, crazy successful, but most definitely blessed. And yes you are right, God often lets us have our way, just so that we can see how futile it is. Like the Israelites that demanded to have a king. Saul. Yes, sure that went well 😛 The safest place we can be is in obedience to Him and looking to Jesus to be our joy and find our contentment in Him. He is enough.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences and advice… It’s like I was looking at myself if I had chosen to go down that route. Wow. Such mercy.

    1. I’m always grateful when my experience can help someone else! I know it’s not a popular topic when it comes to sharing about operating a business. I really thought long and hard about whether I should write this post because I truly didn’t want to be a Debbie Downer. But I thought it was important for people to know that sometimes it just doesn’t work out and that’s okay! I’ve learned from those who have reached out to me through this blog that I’m not alone, and so many are relieved to read that they’re not alone either! I’m really happy you are in a good place now and you enjoy the great benefits of working from home! I wish you all the best, and please don’t hesitate to reach out if you ever have any questions or just want to chat!

  21. I worked many years in a retail bakery, I started as a decorator and worked up to management.. I was a salaried employee…. I found myself missing life , trying to make the numbers, covering others shifts, MISSING LIFE, operating on little sleep. All the things you mentioned. It was when i lost family and was unable to break free for funerals, and so much more, pneumonia, unknown pain issues,I finally decided to leave the business.It has been a year….. I am just now feeling my creative juices begin to flow, exploring new techniques , and candy modeling. Will I find joy in this old hobby turned career I hope so .God has helped me through this last year….. and will guide me for the rest of my journey.
    P.S. What a great time to read this as i was considering a job in that industry,

    1. Judy,
      I think you’ll get to a place where you enjoy this line of work again. Just be careful you don’t begin to overwhelm yourself again! I wish you all the luck and happier days to come!- Tina

  22. Just ran across this post and boy do we have a lot in common! Although I make candles, I had my storefront for 12 -.yes TWELVE years before my husband was transferred out of state and I closed the retail operation. I missed a lot of my kids elementary school years (mentally that is because even when I did attend things, I was always worried about what was happening at the shop) When you MAKE your products you are immediately placed into a different retail category and mindset. I couldn’t just open the doors and order products to sell, I had to make them, teach others how to do it correctly and the demands of custom orders – well you know…. I loved parts of it – I also hated those same parts from time to time. I miss some of the “regulars” and others not so much! I can’t say I made money in the long run – all the reasons + that you mentioned. I did know the business side, I knew retail but the practical application of everything someone can teach you goes out the window when every day you play the “triage game” with customers, orders, etc. Whatever was hemorrhaging the most got my attention, lol! I know there are people who thrive – Their overhead must have been a fraction of mine. It’s not for the faint of heart – and I wonder if it’s only safest for those who have significant others who have “real jobs” and flexible jobs to run and get a sick child, etc. Thanks for the post – was just thinking, oh maybe I should open a shop here….NOPE!

    1. Connie,
      It sounds like you had a very similar experience to mine! I’m sorry for that. 🙁 I know there are so many people who do great and love owning a retail business, but it’s not for everyone! I know it sure wasn’t for me. I’m happy though that you have realized what is right for you and your family and I wish you well! – Tina

  23. Hey there, I know this post is old but I just came across it and it’s exactly what I’m going through at the moment. I haven’t been able to find anyone to really talk to and you seem to have hit most of the nails on the head! I have been struggling with the decision of keeping my storefront going or taking my business back to my house. I’d love to discuss this a little more, but probably better through email. If you have time to give some advice, send me an email. Thanks so much! Congrats to you for getting your life back!!! ~Kristen

    1. Hi Kristin! I hate to hear you are struggling in the same way I was! It’s a really difficult decision to make of whether it’s worth staying open or not. I’d love to help in anyway I can! I’ve emailed you as well and in case anyone else would like to reach out, my email address is tina@cautiouslyoptimistickitchen.com. I look forward to hearing back from you!

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