Every community needs a great bakery, and in turn, every baker needs a community. My baking business, Laughlin's Bakery, has already been up and running profitably out of my home for over a year. We have hundreds of customers and have already reached thousands of people through our pop-up bake sales, busy catering schedule, and donations to local events and organizations. But it's time to move it into a physical retail space - one with roots in (and ties to) its neighborhood. Because I live in the artistic and vibrant Short North of Columbus, Ohio, I'd love to see my business established here, too.
But because of the large up-front costs associated with starting a bakery (even a small one), we're going to need some help! Just buying used equipment for a basic operation will cost me at least $20,000. Then there's the store itself. I'm planning to lease, which will be about $1,000 a month minimum in this area. In addition, there are the costs associated with outfitting a commercial space for its purpose. I'll need a small fleet of people (architect, contractor, inspectors, etc.) to get the joint ready for you guys. Many of the critical parties have already been identified and are ready to break ground on this project.
A lot of the planning is contingent upon having the dough (not the yeasty kind) to actually do this, and so that's why I'm reaching out to you. Your contribution, no matter the size, will get me one step closer to making my bakery a Columbus institution that we can all be proud of.
People at our bake sales always ask me, "What's the best thing you have?" or "what's your favorite?" I always respond in the same way: "It's all good, and that's why I put my name on it."*
I've spent years testing and perfecting my recipes and techniques, and I'm proud to say that the end results are unlike anything else you can find in Columbus. From my double-glazed lemon madeleines...
....to my croissants...
...to my layer cakes...
...and Old World Christmas cookies....
...it really is all good!
I am constantly expanding my menu, but our core offerings can be seen on our full website here. In addition to French and German breads, cookies, and pastries, I am also very interested in American classics - particularly those that I grew up loving in the South. I see no reason why madeleines and my grandmother's fresh coconut cake shouldn't share the same shelf space.
*for the record, my all-time favorite actually is that fresh coconut cake.
There's no denying that downtown Columbus has a lot of incredible specialty bakeries already. But what's missing is an everyday/all-occasion bakery, the type you can find at the heart of every small European community or town. Admittedly, I'm very influenced by that model - a spot that is in an ongoing dialogue with its neighborhood clientele, and a place where you will want to go for a snack or your sandwich bread for the week just as readily as for your mother's birthday cake. In that sense, it will be a hub of our community. The quality of the products and service, however, will also be excellent enough to attract attention from around the state and country. I firmly believe that.
Since I began this venture, I have been honored to donate my baked goods to all sorts of humanitarian causes, and that practice will not change once I move into the storefront. I have already made arrangements with BESA Columbus to ensure that our leftover breads, cakes, and cookies will be donated to the people and organizations in our area that need them most.
"Nothing but perfection with these cakes and pastries! Jonas uses only the best ingredients...some of which he pulls from his own garden."
"Always a highlight of any party or event I attended, these cakes and pastries are as much a treat visually as they are flavorful."
"Honestly the best baking and catering service in the central Ohio area! Jonas is excellent in the kitchen and delivered high quality, tasty treats. All of my guests praised Laughlin's and asked for these treats to be at every party! The service and care received was beyond the expected quality. I will have Laughlin's at every event I host! You should too!"
"Amazing red velvet cake for my daughter's birthday - the pecan frosting really made it special."
"Took a Buckeye cake to work for a birthday and 7 out of 7 people said it was the best cake they have ever had! It was brilliantly balanced in flavors, and super moist. Our biggest dessert critic usually thought chocolate cakes were too overpoweringly chocolate but she LOVED this one. Highly recommend to anyone!"
"Jonas made an amazing Buckeye Cake for a birthday party I was having. Everyone at the party could not stop talking about how delicious the cake was! Would highly recommend to anyone!"
"Excellent baked goods made with exceptional attention to detail and lots of love. Laughlin Baked Goods never disappoint and always leave your taste buds wanting more. If you haven't indulged in one of these wonderful creations, you are truly missing out."
"Absolutely delicious brownies. Bought 200 for a graduation party. Each brownie was in its own paper cup, which made them easy for people to take. They went quickly - people loved them!"
"Just one word, "amazing!""
Please see the sidebar for more detailed descriptions of our backer rewards, but the chart below summarizes what's in it for you!
OUR GOAL AND BEYOND
WE DID IT!!! In just 10 days, you all helped me reach my goal and ensure that this project will be funded. THANK YOU!!
But the campaign is not yet over, and any "overage" will be used to:
- fast-track renovations at our potential storefront space (more about that soon!)
- purchase my "wish-list" equipment (a dough sheeter for layered pastry doughs & a deck oven for super crusty breads)
- develop and purchase packaging (boxes, bags, ribbon, etc.) for the treats
So please, continue to offer your support!
Risks and challenges
Once the project is funded, I foresee the following large challenges:
• locating quality used baking equipment
• locating/renovating an affordable, well-located space in the Short North
• hiring and training a qualified assistant
That being said, I have already taken preemptive steps to minimize these hurdles.
I have made contact with local restaurant equipment companies who are ready to help me outfit my bakery right now. I have a clear and detailed "kitchen" budget and have already begun sourcing used versions of the larger items I will need.
I have also met several times with a preeminent commercial leasing company that is aware of my project and eager to get me into a storefront space as soon as we are able. Together, we have already identified two potential storefronts in the Italian Village/Victorian Village area.
In addition, I have met with a contracting firm that specializes in restaurant renovations to draft preliminary plans for kitchen/storefront setup. These men and women are 110% qualified to ensure observance of state and federal regulations.
Lastly (but perhaps most importantly), I am being guided by a consultant and 17-year restaurant veteran who is committed to helping me navigate the waters of owning a food-service business.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (34 days)