Need some help for choosing the right products

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Kym

Assistant Cook
Joined
Aug 24, 2022
Messages
1
Location
Lisbon
Hi all,

I plan to open a small bakery shop with fresh products. I have previous business experience but not in the food nor in the retail sector. If the market will validate the concept, I plan to open more of them, hopefully a chain of bakeries in the near future. For this I need a list of products with simple cooking process that can be standardized through procedures and it doesn’t require very high skill from the baker to get a predictable quality end product and doesn’t require complex or hard to manage bakery equipment.

I need help in identifying the bakery products which meet these criteria. The main product should be something that can be grabbed and eat on the go and could replace a meal (like a big burger, pizza or sandwich kind of thing). It should be very tasty and showy in a way that would make it "Instagramable” and don’t look like an ordinary sandwich from a gas station or airport.

The ingredients should be sourced readymade from suppliers so it wouldn’t require complex or long preparation on location. Some example of such products would be the schiacciata from the All’Antico Vinaio or the Spanish bocadillo de jamon, which are made with ingredients like ham, cheese, vegetables, salami, olives, olive oil, aioli etc.

The rest of the products should be bakery products like pies, baguettes, cookies, croissants, brioches, pretzels etc. And I need some sweet bakery product ideas to complete the line. So what products would you recommend in the main line and what as the main product?

Thank you for any idea and help.
 

Andy M.

Certified Pretend Chef
Joined
Sep 1, 2004
Messages
49,638
Location
Massachusetts
Hi Kym. Welcome to DC.

It appears you are in Portugal. There must be a history of Portuguese bakery items for pastries and hand held pasties/turnovers/empanadas, etc. that your potential customers would expect.

Certainly you can enhance these basics with specialty items from other cultures.
 

summer57

Senior Cook
Joined
Sep 1, 2020
Messages
283
Location
Vancouver
I agree with Andy's comments. It's so hard to know what will sell in any specific area. The popularity of specific handheld pastries/tortas/pies/empanadas/buns depends on the location.

You could either go with what already sells in your area, or try something different, which could be a risk.


Around where I live, popular takeaway items include sushi, samosas, poke/karage/donburi bowls, spanakopita, bbq pork buns, tortas, fresh doughnuts, croissant sandwiches, panini ... I could go on but really, I don't think a list like that would be helpful.

Maybe look at the menus of popular places in your area, or google TripAdvisor for reviews of menus from locations you think your potential clientele/tourists might like.
 
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dragnlaw

Site Team
Staff member
Joined
Feb 16, 2013
Messages
7,565
Location
Waterdown, Ontario
You should also do some leg-work.

Go to various bakeries and ask what are their most popular and best sellers.

It probably would be advisable NOT to mention you're thinking of opening one.

Once you know what is popular in and around you should be able to create what you want to start with and therefore what you would need.
 

blissful

Executive Chef
Joined
Mar 25, 2008
Messages
4,925
The pilgrimage Camino De Santiago, has many routes, two of them go through Lisbon. The central route and the coastal route. People from all over the world go through Lisbon and the bakeries of Portugal are known to be the best.


You can search through this forum for what pilgrims say are their favorites. https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/ There are other routes on the pilgrimage so you might focus on the food threads and those in portugal.
Pastel de Nata is mentioned dozens of times.


The top 10 Lisbon bakeries: https://www.discoverwalks.com/blog/lisbon/top-10-bakeries-in-lisbon-and-what-to-order/
Here is what they say are the best items to order at these top 10 bakeries.
Cod fish cakes or pastel de natas
cupcakes
Palmiers
Swiss rolls
Pastel de nata
Croissant
Breads or sandwiches
Lemon meringue pie
Almond croissant or goats cheese croissant
Condensed milk shortbread cinnamon tart thing


screen-shot-2019-07-29-at-11.33.11-am.jpg



And please throw in a few vegan or vegetarian, grab and go sandwiches. A steamed or baked bun stuffed with greens and mushrooms with seasonings would be great!
 

Janet H

Certifiable Executive Chef
Staff member
Joined
Jan 17, 2007
Messages
4,288
Location
Pacific NW
Some of the best hand-food baked goods I've had come from this place in Seattle:

https://piroshkybakery.com/#menu

Delicious, portable, beautiful, high quality savory and sweet pastries.

Check out google reviews and pics and yelp photos to get an idea about just how much folks love this place.

Pastries are assembled in public view, counter help is knowledgeable and have a fun attitude and they sell out every.single.day.

Search: Piroshky Piroshky (yes, twice)
 

blissful

Executive Chef
Joined
Mar 25, 2008
Messages
4,925
Some of the best hand-food baked goods I've had come from this place in Seattle:

https://piroshkybakery.com/#menu

Delicious, portable, beautiful, high quality savory and sweet pastries.

Check out google reviews and pics and yelp photos to get an idea about just how much folks love this place.

Pastries are assembled in public view, counter help is knowledgeable and have a fun attitude and they sell out every.single.day.

Search: Piroshky Piroshky (yes, twice)


WHAT a menu! Beautiful. That looks like pastry heaven! If I ever get to Seattle, I must go there, more than once. Thank you Janet.
 

IC 2.0

Cook
Joined
Aug 17, 2022
Messages
73
Location
Honolulu, HI
First and foremost, do you even have a budget planned out, with forecasts for gross profit and net income? Secondly, do you understand food cost and how it affects your pricing, gross profits, and bottom line?

If the answer is no to either of these questions, you may want to seriously reconsider this idea LOL. Operating a food service operation is challenging, even for those who are experienced, and the net profit margin is not as high as everyone thinks.
 

Katie H

Site Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 11, 2006
Messages
16,546
Location
I live in the Heartland of the United States
First and foremost, do you even have a budget planned out, with forecasts for gross profit and net income? Secondly, do you understand food cost and how it affects your pricing, gross profits, and bottom line?

If the answer is no to either of these questions, you may want to seriously reconsider this idea LOL. Operating a food service operation is challenging, even for those who are experienced, and the net profit margin is not as high as everyone thinks.

Ditto. Seems like a very ambitious undertaking given all the factors that come into play.
 

Chef Kenny

Senior Cook
Joined
Aug 4, 2015
Messages
126
Location
Central, VA
I was thinking the same thing. No food or retail experience and no specific product hook that is unique to Kym is going to be a challenge. Never been to Portugal, but would like to experience it.

I took a naive dive in to self-employment/business ownership and it only worked out so-so. I realized it was hard selling in a market where no one knew me...yet; and by the time I built trust and proved my quality, I realized I wasn't a workaholic. 80 hour weeks and me dont get along. Then, there are things like "insurance" that are the ugly underbelly of running a business beyond just making a product and selling it. The cost of running a business is more than raw supplies, labor and electricity.

If you dont plan on pressing the gas pedal to the floor and constantly growing, at least in the Mid-Atlantic U.S., just running the business can eat you alive. And nowadays, the people have disappeared. The workforce never came back in force after the mess of the last couple years. Companies around here have a very hard time finding workers, and when they do they are not outstanding workers.
 

dragnlaw

Site Team
Staff member
Joined
Feb 16, 2013
Messages
7,565
Location
Waterdown, Ontario
I have a feeling that Kym was just putting feelers out to see what kind of feed back there would be. Wonder how many other forums this was posted on?
 
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