DIY





How to Start a Home Bakery of Your Own

If you are a good baker and have the right kitchen setup, you might be able to start a home bakery.

| January/February 1976

Fed up with time clocks, the rat race, and being a small cog in what increasingly seems to be an overwhelmingly large wheel? "Then," says Jack McQuarrie, "do what we did. Learn to live on less and to supply what money you still need with little home businesses of your own. We now pick up most of the manufactured items we want from the local dump, we've earned nearly $100 a month during the summer picking the berries that grow wild on vacant city lots, and we've started our own home bakery."

That recipe you've been hoarding. You know the old family favorite for — lo! — these many generations. It may be just the ticket you need to take you from the wage slavery you now hate to the economic independence you covet.

I know. Because that's exactly what my wife, Marie, and I have used to do the same thing for us. And now, based on our experience, I feel sure that with a little imagination and some ingenuity you too should be able to convert your grandmother's best-kept secret into a means of survival, on your own terms!

Start Wherever You Are

We founded our little home bakery right here where we were already living in Berkeley, California. On the one hand, we'll admit that this college town — with more than its fair share of coffee shops that cater to young people with time on their hands and slight pangs in their stomachs — was a better than average community in which to launch our enterprise. On the other hand, however, it's just as fair to point out that Berkeley is also a town with more than its fair share of students trying to pick up a few bucks by doing their "own thing".



If the opportunities are good here, then, the competition is also rather stiff. Whether or not that balances out in our favor, I can't really say. I can only attribute the success we've had to perseverance, a little luck, and our magic ingredient: a recipe held close to the family bosom for many years. Today our specialty, walnut pie, and its junior partner, banana nut bread, keep us happily busy supplying both products to coffee shop munchers.

How It All Began

The idea for our home-based bakery came to us one afternoon in 1972 while Marie and I sat morosely picking at pieces of leftover dessert (a derivative of an old Southern recipe for pecan pie that Marie, for economic reasons, had based on walnuts instead). Our last unemployment check lay on the table in front of us and we had yet to discover a way to keep any money coming in once that check was spent.

Lizzybeth
5/7/2018 10:40:09 AM

It sounds like an awful lot of work - driving around shopping for materials and ingredients, cracking nuts, mixing, baking, packaging, and delivering for just $20 a day. I'm also a bit troubled by the advice to ignore regulations and just hope you don't get caught. I hope you have good liability insurance. You don't mention paying taxes on your income or paying the self employment tax. Is that under the table as well? There is something to be said for being a part of "the rat race." Health insurance for one. Social security for another. Not to mention a living wage.


KellyMize
2/5/2018 11:30:06 AM

This is a great story! Thank you for sharing and it inspires others to find ways to make a little extra income. I'm currently trying to talk my sister into an online bakery business but we are still in the idea stages.


KellyMize
2/5/2018 11:30:05 AM

This is a great story! Thank you for sharing and it inspires others to find ways to make a little extra income. I'm currently trying to talk my sister into an online bakery business but we are still in the idea stages.







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