Thursday, February 19, 2004

2003 Bakery Survey 

The 2003 Bakery Survey from Bakery Net is out. It's $150.00 to purchase, and looks like a sound investment for a portion of our business plan.

I find it interesting in reading it that 56% of bakeries offer conventional coffee service. This is particularly intersting because it has contributed to the strength of their business. The Cracked Cauldron will have an UNconventional coffee service, with our clever little Coffee Monkeys designing coffees for our customers.

Local surveys indicate the people around here have decidedly outre drinking habits, and they really want a nice place to hang out since the very hip Galileo's stopped having Open Mike Night. I haven't spoken with the owner of Galileo's yet as to why they stopped this.

Speculation on my part (based on conversations with business owners in other cities who stopped offering Open Mike Nights) would be that they weren't selling enough drinks to justify the work.

As a bakery, I think we can circumvent this because we don't offer alcoholic beverages, so they are less expensive, drink for drink, plus we offer a nice line of "music munchies": pastries, small cakes, cookies, and pies. No single thing is terribly expensive, but quantities will add up.

We're speaking to lawyers [1] about entertainer contracts for those scheduled in to perform on other nights of the week. We hope to offer them a percentage of the night's sales, plus some drinks and food. Some of our performers have offered to perform just for the food. What can I say - they love our baking!

Open Mike performers will get a free beverage, stage time, and recognition for performing. If they draw a lot of people, or sales are really high during their performance, we might even reward them with baked goodies.

My son is working on the logo. He's almost got it - a cauldron with breads spilling out of a crack. Right now, it's still too complicated looking, but he's refining the lines and simplifying it, so we should have our basic logo quite soon. Once we have the logo, we'll be able to start advance advertising.

And along with that, joining a few professional organizations. We already have a pending membership in at the American Society of Bakers. Many of these offer seminars, support, advice, and yes! recipes! for bakers. The discounts on equipment and such doesn't hurt, either.

We're looking forward to the bakery tour in Boston in September, and hope to attend the Baker's Convention in Germany this year.

Things are suddenly moving along and coming together very quickly!

[1] Yes, they can be useful - especially if you help pay their way through college and offer emotional support as they take their Bar exams so they feel grateful to you...all those years of befriending college kids is paying off

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