You can’t simply place a loaf of homemade bread in a bag and offer it for sale. Before you sell your first loaf of bread, establish yourself as a business and follow the rules of your state. You also need a recipe that produces a decent loaf of bread whether you prepare five or 500 loaves. Start selling at a market with a built-in customer base to help you develop your own customer base.
Develop a bread recipe that will give you a loaf of bread that tastes the same each time you make it. Use baker’s percentages to allow you to adjust the amount of bread you are making each time. The amount of flour you add is always 100 percent when you use baker’s percentages. If you want a wet dough, you may add 60 percent water. If you are using 5 pounds of flour, add 3 pounds of water, as 3 pounds is 60 percent of 5 pounds. Baker’s percentages allow you to scale the recipe up and down by multiplying the percentage of water, yeast and salt by the amount of flour you are using.
Apply for the appropriate licenses and certifications required by your state. Some states, such as Massachusetts, allow you to prepare bread at home, as long as your kitchen passes inspection. In other states, such as Pennsylvania, you must make the food in a commercial kitchen. Hire a lawyer to help you through the process of obtaining the correct business permits and licenses.
Find a place to sell your bread. Apply for a stand at a local farmer’s market or take your loaves to a small gourmet food market. Prepare samples of your bread to give to the owners of the market. Bring along a brief biography about yourself and your bread along with your contact information. Once you’ve built up a following, sell directly to customers through email or phone orders, especially during the months when the farmer’s market is closed.
Package your bread attractively and practically. Slide loaves into paper or clear plastic bags with twist-ties. Label the bread with the type of bread, the weight and the ingredients. Include your name and contact information so customers can get a hold of you if needed.
Price your bread based on the cost of the ingredients and the time you spend making it. Try to get the best deal on ingredients possible to keep your costs down. For example, buy flour and yeast in bulk to save money. If customers complain about the cost of your bread since it costs more than a loaf of bread at the grocery store, explain to them why your bread is more expensive.