Monday, March 20, 2006

What is the Bakehouse?

A little bit about THE BAKEHOUSE:

In 2001, my family purchased a small commercially zoned house and a commercial, full-size oven. This was the beginning of "THE BAKEHOUSE" as a business. I mill grains, bake, and sell country style loaves of bread, cookies, and muffins at a local farmer's market. I also make cinnamon and maple nut rolls, ugly muffs (bran muffins), vegan comfort cookies, raw bars, mustard, and instant soup mixes ('tater mushroom, chik'n noodle, minestrone, etc) , and have experience with allergy free or gluten free baked goods.

This all started as a homeschool project. Early into our homeschooling venture I needed to buy some curriculum. Money was tight as we gave up my income to starte this venture. A friend loaned me an audio tape from a conference she had attended about bread baking and the speaker earned money selling bread from a market in Omaha. I was interested, didn't know how to bake bread, but very interested. I learned... and did I ever learn and the family, our church family and every friend who dared to bear with us heard about bread, ate bread with us, and was given bread (mostly the not "perfect" loaves). Eventually I went off to market with a 100% whole grain organic bread before the local stores were able to have it shipped in and right at the time the low carb diet was a craze I came out with a flax and soy bread... for a time it was my signature bread. I happenend into this at a perfect time, because my product was a hit and sold well.

The kids and I purchased the Bakehouse with sales from the market. A family member gave us a generous loan for the oven and baking supplies. We mortgaged our home for everything else. One year I baked over $26,000 worth of baked goods .... we were hot! (and tired). After going through this year I realized that the year had been exciting and were we debt free with our business, but it was no longer satisfying. I also discovered I was operating a little factory and was looking at the need to hire employees to eventually give myself an office job. This is far from the love of a mom and her two kids learning something together. We made the decision not to expand and hire, cut back on market sales and become an exclusive by order specialty bakeshop and this we maintain.

Now that my children are growing and all of us are transitioning into new stages of life I am obtaining a grade 7-12 teaching certification in Family and Consumer Science. I desire to dedicate my Bakehouse and Garden for helping other families learn how to garden and cook there own natural foods. My oven will be used for community fundraisers and church events as well as family style cooking/ baking classes. I'm not sure about how all this will take place yet (it is June and I will finish the teaching certification in December 2006), but this is where my heart is leading me.
And, maybe,
We have a little dream of building our little bakehouse property into a wonderful "serenity garden" where a person can also came get a cup of herbal tea, browse through our unique kitchen products shop, and pick up their baked good order. It will take a few years though.
We'll see where God leads us from here.


nikki said...

I just found your site after visiting link after link of pages. I am thrilled to find it, as it has been my dream to start a home based baking/catering business, but I've been so unsure as to how to go about it.

Dori said...

Hi Nikki thanks for stopping by. I have more info under the bakehouse tour (a link on the side bar of my main page).

Here is a bit from a comment that I made on the entry I made below:

"If you are into cooking ...I encourage you to do some more research to see what your state will allow you to cook from your home kitchen to sell to the public. I started doing that before we set up the bakehouse as a state registered kitchen with a commerical oven (the registeration allowed me to increase my selling area (as well as sell at the coffeehouse).

If you can get into a good market place (diversity and a well edcuated population is best).. you can sell most any handcrafted item... jewelery, food (depending on state reg's), artwork... might be a great way to advertise other things you know about or do... you can even sell dog biscuits!! It takes time, and work... won't bless you with a truckload of money, but if you love what you do and you make enough to do it ... and your needs are met (DH makes the big bucks, I just stretch them as far as we possibly can) , what more can you ask for to achieve a satisfying life! "

Candi said...

The more I read about you, the more I am so impressed!! I love your priorities. You are such a great influence on so many people.