As bakers, you make decisions every day. Some are small, like what color sprinkles should go on the cupcakes today, but others are bigger, like is time to raise prices. Or even bigger yet, is it time to expand or relocate? And if so, where?
Relocation to a larger facility or expansion in a second (or even third or fourth) location is one of the biggest decisions a business owner can make. Make the wrong one, and it could mean the end of your business, but the right means that your bakery could grow larger than you imagined.
Once you’ve decided that physical growth is the route to take, the key decision still remains where to locate the new bakery. Do you stay in the same neighborhood where customers know where to find you? Or do you find/build a store in a new area of town and perhaps find even more customers?
Bakers have taken both routes and found success. When Edgewood Bakery looked to expand five years ago, they chose to keep the 60-year-old bakery in the same neighborhood it was always in. Luckily for them, a perfect building was available just across the parking lot. They kept the old building and turned it into a catering facility, which provided additional revenue for the bakery.
Similarly, when Marc Serrao wanted to expand his Oakmont Bakery for the second time, an opportunity also was available across the parking lot. He moved his retail shop to the new building and converted the old building to all production. However, during his first expansion, he chose to move the bakery’s location from the central business district to the center of town. Both decisions proved prosperous for the bakery.
Other bakeries, once they have multiple locations, find themselves moving locations fairly frequently. Manderfield’s Home Bakery and Merritt’s Bakery, both multi-unit operators, have had a series of locations under their belts.
Manderfield’s most recent expansion was to a building near a large shopping mall, where customers would be plentiful. The previous expansion was to a location that promised future growth, and the Manderfield brothers relied on a “if you build it, they will come” mentality.
But in both the Manderfield’s and Merritt’s cases, they were not afraid to move locations to greener pastures. Either decision, to expand your currently location or change locations completely, can work for you as long as your committment to your customers and to producing quality products remains the same. Customer will find you and they will follow you as long as you offer something they want.