How To Start A Bakery Guide

How To Start A Bakery Guide


Content In This Guide

  1. Bakery Basics
  2. Business requirements
  3. Operating a bakery from home
  4. Other costs
  5. Associations
  6. Training
  7. Suppliers


1. Bakery Basics


In South Africa there are an estimated 600 in-store bakeries in the major supermarket groups, 250 franchise bakeries and over  4 500 small independent bakeries. It is estimated that each South African consumes about 63 loaves of bread a year.

On average, one in three South Africans bake for pleasure and interestingly, all age groups enjoy this ‘pastime’. In terms of population groups, more South Africans of Indian origin bake for pleasure (45%), followed by whites (43%), coloureds (34%) and blacks (32%).

Related: Free Sample Business Plans

Start from home or from retail premises

You can start a bakery business from home or rent premises. It can also start as a part-time business. This is a good way to see how feasible and profitable it is before spending a lot of money on equipment and signing leases for premises. It’s a good business choice as there will always be a demand for bread.


There are no compulsory qualifications to run or own a bakery, but you need some training in the basics of baking and you can specialise in different areas such as bread, cakes or pastries. Enrolling for an environmental health course will be useful

What it takes to be a baker

To be a baker you need to be friendly, approachable and have good communication skills and attention to detail. You will also need management skills, the ability to plan, co-ordinate and delegate responsibility. Be prepared for long hours and early rising to get products baked and ready for the day’s business.

Don’t under estimate the power of good research

Research is very important, as you need to understand who your customers will be. However, it isn’t easy getting information and statistics about the people living and working in the area where you want to start the business. Do a survey of your own.

Talk to people in the area and ask them what they would buy from a bakery. If there are other bakeries in the area make it your business to get to know your competitors thoroughly so you can identify potential gaps in the market

2. Business requirements


Once you have decided on a business name and entity (CC, partnership, company, or sole proprietorship), the business name, and entity can be registered through CIPC.

The next step is to prepare a business plan. This must include a description of the bakery, the marketing plan, the management plan and the financial management plan.

Finding money to start

You may need to obtain financial support to start the bakery. Different sources of financial support include personal credit cards, savings, personal investments, a bank loan, government grants, small business loans, help from family, or an investment by an individual who is successful in the field.


Starting marketing the business as soon as you can

Generate interest in the bakery before opening by putting up a sign and distribute pamphlets as soon as possible. This way you can promote the opening by offering a special offer for opening day and promote the products you are planning to sell.


If you are planning to open retail premises, find a suitable building to rent or purchase. It is important that you check with the local municipality that the property is zoned for this type of business.

Health requirements

No business can sell prepared food to the public until they have a health certificate. During a health inspection the council will check:

  • Sinks and tables in the food preparation area (these should preferably be of stainless steel, which is easy to clean and does not harbour dirt and bacteria)
  • Ceilings, walls and floors (for cracks where bacteria might breed)
  • Ventilation and lighting (to avoid damp and dark)
  • Storage facilities like fridges and deep freezers (to ensure everything operates at the right temperatures – bacteria thrives between seven and 65 degrees)
  • Clothing and equipment (such as headgear, overalls and gloves) to be worn by staff who prepare or handle food.


  • Mixers and ovens depending on what you intend to bake
  • Wrapping material, bags, boxes, etc. for customers buy goods to take home
  • Cooling racks for the food
  • Display cases so you customers can see all of the goods you have available.
  • Baking dishes and pans in all different shapes and sizes.
  • Mixing bowls to accommodate any job
  • Chemical detergents and sanitisers to keep you kitchen clean and safe
  • Various cutlery and utensils that you will need to make the baked goods

Buying ingredients

Look for local wholesalers for goods such as flour, sugar, eggs, milk, chocolate and other baking ingredients. Once you find a few, give them a call to check prices.

You can set up accounts with the wholesalers or pay cash on delivery. If you want a successful operation, do not compromise on quality. The cheapest ingredients may not have the quality you want.

Setting the right price

Ongoing costs, such as ingredients and raw materials, packaging and promotional expenses must be factored into your budget.

Prices should take into account things such as employee labour and the cost of the premises including rent and utilities such as water and electricity in addition to the cost of the goods used to make the finished product.

Related: Bakery Sample Business Plan


3. Operating a bakery from home


If you operate from home, the first thing you have to do is to make your home fit for producing and cooking commercial baked goods. This may include installing stainless steel worktops (from R5 000), a large fridge to store fresh and perishable goods (from R6 000), a possible upgrade of your oven and cooking appliances, and a range of specialist utensils for decorating cakes and creating breads.


4. Other costs


You might need a “bakkie” for buying supplies and making deliveries as the business grows. You will also have to consider insurance costs such as employers’ liability insurance for staff, as well as motor insurance for any delivery vehicles. You must also insure your premises and equipment against fire, theft and damage.


5. Associations


South African Chamber of Baking

Related: What You Should Consider When Choosing a Location for Your Business


6. Training


The Skills Programmes are divided into fermented goods (bread, rolls and sweet dough), chemically aerated products (cakes, sponges and scones) and pastries (choux, short and Danish). All the skills programmes are registered with the SETA; and contribute to the National Certificate in Craft Bread and Flour Confectionery Baking (NQF 2).

Anchor also offers courses in Baking Theory (Ingredients and Process – 1 Day) and Practical Bread faults (2 days). Learners on all courses receive practical hands-on tutoring and are lectured on the theoretical aspects of all products covered. Planning, preparation, hygiene, and safety are integral parts of all courses.


7. Suppliers

For a comprehensive list of bakery suppliers from cooling trays to sugar, visit the following websites for more information:

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