bake - April 2018 - 8


Be Financially Fit

Presenting at WheatStalk 2018, held Feb. 27 through March 1 at
Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, two
of the most successful bakery owners in America shared valuable insights on how to open and manage profitable bakeries.
Amy Scherber founded Amy's Bread in New York City 25 years
ago. Joanne Chang opened Flour Bakery + Cafe in 2000 and
expanded the business to seven locations throughout Boston.
Scherber grew up in Minneapolis and graduated from St. Olaf
College with a degree in economics and psychology.  After
three years in marketing, she realized her heart was in cooking
and baking and made a bold career change. After culinary
school, she worked in top restaurants. 
Her first bakery opened in the Hell's Kitchen district of
Manhattan, starting in a 650-square-foot-space at a monthly
rent of $2,000. "That was my low-risk beginning," she says.
Today, Amy's Bread operates four traditional locations in
New York and has retail spaces in three additional spots:
the Museum of the City of New York, the New York Public
Library and the New York Public Library for the Performing
Arts. About six years ago, they moved baking operations
to a 30,000-square-foot facility in Queens. Many wholesale
accounts are leading restaurants throughout the city.
"Vision is very important. It is what your business is all about,"
Scherber says. "I always say the menu drives everything."
Writing and updating your business plan is a cornerstone to
success. "The most important part of your business plan is definitely the financials," Chang says. "Nobody wants to work this
hard to open a bakery and then close it after three years."
Amy's Bread operates as an S corporation, while Flour Bakery is
an LLC. "We are an LLC, which combines elements of everything,"
Chang says. "It's simple to start. You pay a couple fees. The profits
come straight to you, but the liability can protect you."
Both Scherber and Chang said they borrowed from friends,
family and investors to secure necessary funding to start their

"Our first bakery's startup cost was $300,000 - start to finish
to open," Scherber said. "Part of that was a working capital
allowance of $25,000 that we put in the bank."

08 < APR 2018 |



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