Get your Fixin’ at Doc D’s Southern Desserts

New York has a plethora of options for anyone looking to spice up their night with some delicious desserts, but there’s no better place to get your fixin’ for sweet southern desserts than Doc D’s Southern Desserts in Brooklyn. According to its Facebook page Doc D’s mission is a simple one, to make, “to make your taste buds smile,” and boy do they accomplish that goal in spades.

Doc D's Southern Desserts

Source: facebook.com

Serving everything from Red Velvet Cake, Carrot Cake, Pineapple Burst Cake, Coconut Cake, Pineapple Coconut Cake, Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Chocolate Cake, Lemon Cake, Plain Vanilla Cake, 7up Pound Cake Strawberry Short Cake, Banana Pudding, Strawberry Banana Pudding, and even pies during the holiday season, plus custom birthday, baby shower, anniversary, holiday, or wedding cakes Doc D’s clearly has the market cornered on sweet southern desserts.

Doc D and his Desserts

Source: facebook.com

If you’re somehow still skeptical of how amazing these southern desserts really are Doc D’s 4.5 star rating on Yelp should certainly qualm any lingering doubts. “I could eat their strawberry banana pudding everyday if my jeans would let me,” said one reviewer and “If you have any ties to The Dirty South you will especially appreciate the delightful sweets served here…I suggest having your dessert with water as they can be VERY sweet, diabetics beware and ladies apologize to your hips later,” added another.

Doc D's Yelp Review

Source: yelp.com

Bakery and restaurant owners need to minimize the amount of time and effort they put into other areas of their business if they want to be successful and having an excellent and efficient point of sale system is a sure fire way to make that possible. Which is why when Doc D’s needed to upgrade their point of sale system they chose Café Cartel Systems.

CCS is an industry leader in point of sale solutions for bakeries. Providing options for software solutions, hardware solutions, and service packages all designed for quick installation and easy set-up.

By providing software and software solutions for over a decade and conducting thousands of bakery installations all over the nation CCS has the industry experience to help take any bakery to the next level. CCS has all the experience and knowledge of the baking industry necessary to help you, as an owner, understand the inventory, sales, and labor requirements of the business.

Best Bakery Point of Sale

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5 Ways to Make Your Bakery’s Cupcakes Rise Above the Rest

In the bakery industry there is no more popular an item than cupcakes. Cupcakes have been a bakery staple for generations, but with the market loaded with specialty cupcake shops bakers are struggling to make their cupcakes stand out from the rest. Here’s 5 ways to make your bakery’s cupcakes rise above the rest.

Cupcakes

Source: kimberlysnyder.net

 

  1. Never Over-bake

If you over-bake a cupcake, even slightly, there’s no way to save it and it definitely will not be moist on the inside. So bakers should always err towards under-baking cupcakes as a result. Ideally your cupcakes will look slightly sunken when they’re done rather than peaked.

 

  1. Experiment with flavors and colors

Once you have mastered a particular recipe you can begin experimenting with colors and flavors to add a personal signature to your cupcakes. Whether your favorite flavors are pineapple or cheery try incorporating them into both the cupcake and icing. You could also combine flavors to make something truly unique, a pina colada cupcake perhaps. You could even try filling your cupcakes with a unique flavor combination.

 

  1. Flavor Fillings

Fillings aren’t just for donuts anymore. In fact jams, custards, creams, or even an extra helping of icing can be exactly what your cupcake has been lacking. You can use a cupcake corer or a decorating bag and tip to inject even more of the scrumptious stuff into your cupcake.

 

  1. Top Them Off

After all it is not the decoration that makes the cupcake. In spite of looking prettier no one really wants to eat a cupcake that looks like an overdone gingerbread house. Keeping it simple with colorful sprinkles, flowers, bows, chocolate balls, or even a piece of fresh fruit like a strawberry, will fulfill all your cupcakes needs.

Cupcake_toppings

Source: yourcupofcake.com

 

  1. Display Matters

To ensure your cupcakes rise above the rest find creative and unique ways to arrange and display them in your bakery. You may want to stack your cupcakes on a tiered plate or fit them perfectly into a cupcake tree. Here decorations like bows, ribbon, and confetti can be exactly what you need to compliment your edible works of art.

 

Best Bakery POS System

Surface tablet bakery

How to Create a Sweet Business with your Bakery

 
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             Creating a Sweet Business with your …

Bakery

 

 

Provide the Right Atmosphere in your Bakery

Determine what demographic you are catering to:

 

  • If you are in a location with older generation groups then you want to place emphasis on having several tables with very friendly customer service. Also think about design and sounds. For this group you would perhaps to keep a dimlit place with soft music. Retirees will want to come in and stay for some time to read the newspaper, a book or just enjoy their mornings.

 

  • Now if you are working in a busy area then you want to aim your shop to be more of a stop-and-go kind of place. Customers can stop by to grab a pastry and coffee and leave to continue on with their day. With this atmosphere, you can keep the lighting bright and use light colors in your shop. Music and extra decor is not as important because these customers are coming for the product not the experience.

 

  • Another option is being by a younger, perhaps college, crowd.  Here you would want to create a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere. People can come in to use the venue as a studying place, or friends will come to hang out or you may even find couples on casual dates. This will require a relaxing setting, wifi and you may want to add some couches or booths.

 

Whichever atmosphere you create, just remember to adjust it to the primary customers that you are serving. The atmosphere is mainly determined from the location of your bakery or shop.

 

 

Keeping your Business on Track

 

A bakery requires several key elements that will help run smooth operations;

 

  • inventory control

  • adaptability

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  • employee management

  • sales reports

 

Acquire a POS software to handle all of these responsibilities for your bakery.  Save costs on efficiently using your inventory and knowing when to re-order. Introduce a new item or create a custom order through your point of sale system whenever you need to. Have employees clock in and out to easily track their times and pays. Lastly, analyze your financial reports to improve your business. You can see what items are doing well, at what time are you making the most sales at and what needs change.

 

 

How to Market Your Bakery: Doing Your Marketing Research (Part 2 of 10)

Now in this second post we are going to find out how marketing research will help your business. Conducting marketing research is important because it targets your customers specific needs at your location so you can focus your marketing and not waste capital on things that won’t work.

 

First off, lets separate marketing research into two categories. There’s primary research and secondary research. Primary research is research is research that you conduct yourself while secondary is research you gather from another source that has already been done such as on the internet or from a marketing research company. Since secondary research is widely available online cheaply through related industry blogs, google news, and marketing blogs we are going to focus on doing your own primary research that focuses on your bakery location.

 

Conducting primary research for your marketing campaign:

 

There’s a few things you’ll need to utilize this series. I imagine you have all the following, but I’ll just make a little inventory list for you.

 

1. Your Bakery

2. Customers

3. A Point of Sale System

4. Inventory

 

Okay, great now that you’ve got these items all arranged, we can begin the exciting trek of strategizing marketing campaigns.

 

Some examples of research would be: determine your customer average demographic, your nearby competition, and what nearby businesses you may want to partner with or work with.

 

Research methods for these options:

 

What should you research? This park takes a little bit of detective work; how about some examples:

1. Make a questionnaire: Ask a few questions you think your customers might answer that could help your sales.

 

Offer them an incentive to filling it out, for example $5.00 coupon. Give them the questionnaire after they have placed their order. – Congratulations that’s your first campaign, this method builds some loyalty, your customers now have to come back to get their discount.

 

How to:

So then you have a few questions. How do you make a questionnaire? And who wants to print out all that paper and enter in the results later. Fortunately there’s quite a few sites now that help you make questionnaires, track the information and export it out to useable spreadsheets.

 

You could even import some of your info back into your point of sale, depending on your data and it’s capabilities. One site we have used is www.surveymonkey.com You could do a quick google search for survey’s to look at other survey help websites.

 

2. Add a loyalty program: Keep it simple and keep the method simple for it. By keeping track of your customers you can see their habits. If you don’t have a POS System that can handle loyalty, you can try punch cards, or consider getting a POS System, they are invaluable to your operation.

 

3. Your Credit Card Sales act as a loyalty program. Even though you don’t store all of your credit card numbers, you can group the last four digits and the first four, plus the expiration date and potentially the customers name from the card, to make a report that shows a reasonable view of what returning customers are spending on average, items they are buying, how often they buy and maybe what days of the week they come in. This is where a POS System really comes in handy.

 

Going back to the previous post, over time you may obtain research that may contradict parts of your current Bakery Marketing Plan if you have already taken a crack at laying one out. Don’t fret! Just go back and make proper adjustments. Gathering more research will only help you fine tune your analysis and marketing strategy and may even alter your ultimate goal. But, that’s a good thing because you are working with a clearer picture, which means you are better on track for success!

 

 

 

How to Market Your Bakery: Simplifying the Plans and Strategies (Part 1 of 10)

Where do I start in Marketing my Bakery?

In order to increase the success of your shop, some attention needs to be paid to your marketing strategy.This can sometimes be overwhelming and confusing but I’m going to try and break it down and demystify the process for you. A marketing strategy is a process or plan that your business can use to concentrate it’s money and divide it among opportunities to increase sales/ achieve an advantage in the marketplace. What this means is that by taking some time to determine and plan what ways you will be attracting customers to your new cafe, you will see increased returns to your profit margin. Here are a few things to consider when figuring out your marketing strategy:

1. Mission Statement: A mission statement defines the goals and values of your business. This clearly illustrates your ultimate goal, for your customers yes, but mostly for you. Referring back to your mission statement frequently insures a clear and concise direction for your business to constantly be working towards and improving upon itself. In writing terms, a mission statement is like your thesis: make sure it’s clear and all of the following business decisions and practices are reflective of the mission statement. Some examples of strong mission statements are:

  • “We want our customers to enjoy the best beignets around, and most fresh cup of organic coffee possible. We make it our job for our customers to leave our bakery feeling like they had an experience, not just a standard transaction.“ -Cafe Tourane http://www.cafetourane.com/
  • ”To maintain a Facebook business page of 5,000 individuals by the end of its third year as a sign of its community and to become profitable in its second year.”

2. Situation Analysis: a structured planning method used to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats involved in a project or in a business venture. These consider all of the obstacles and how to overcome them when achieving a business goal.

  • Strengths are characteristics of the business or project that give it an advantage over others. For example: Customer Service, central location, great visibility.
  • Weaknesses are characteristics that place the team at a disadvantage relative to others. For example: No online presence, limited product selection, minimal advertising.
  • Opportunities are elements that the project could exploit to its advantage. For example: social media, advertising, promotional item demos, loyalty programs.
  • Threats are elements in the environment that could cause trouble for the business or project. For example: restrictive licensing laws, local competitors, downward economy.

3. Marketing Strategy: This is the meat of the operation. You take your intended goal (mission statement) consider your obstacles and opportunities (situation analysis) and create a plan in which to achieve said goal.

  • For example: overcome your lack of advertising by creating a vibrant and exciting facebook profile in order to achieve the goal of accruing 5,000 facebook likes by your third year.

4. Budgets: This is a plan for your allocation of money to meet your objectives without breaking the bank. Make decisions on what will help you achieve your goals by within your budget. What will work most effectively with your long-term goals in mind. Some short term solutions may be cheaper but more costly and time consuming in the long run.

  • For example: coming up with a loyalty program and implementing it absent mindedly as you go can 1.) be time consuming 2.) inefficient and 3.) could cost you money rather than add to your customer base. If you consider your loyalty program for your bakery ahead of time and integrate it with your point of sale system you will save yourself and your customers time, money and energy; managing points and rewards. This would also help you achieve your customer service goals as well.

5. Performance Analysis: Evaluating your results. Were you successful? What could you have done better? What strategies worked best? How could you make something work more efficiently/effectively? Consider this analysis when tackling your next objectives.

 

Marketing plans are flexible and should be suited to fit your unique goals and objectives as a bakery owner. Adjust as needed but be sure to follow your plan to success.

 

Keep reading in the following weeks for some follow-up blog posts on how to specifically market your bakery:

  • social media
  • defining your target market
  • and, search engine optimization tools.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrating Shark Week in Your Cupcake Shop

On the first week of August every year the Discovery Channel rolls out their week long series of television programs and documentaries dedicated to sharks. This week long network event has become a cult phenomenon and is celebrated with shark week inspired viewing parties and events. Have your bakery or cupcake shop join in on the fun by offering some shark week inspired desserts in the case this week.

Decorating ideas:

*Like I said shark week is a cult phenomenon, just searching through the shark week tag on twitter any given night this week you’ll see viewing parties all around the country. Be the premiere bakery in your area offering shark week cupcakes to feed all of the carnivorous fans. Try adding a strawberry jelly center for a shark attack inspired surprise.

 

*Shark week cookies are the BEST after school surprise

 

*Shark cake pops are a fun way to act out the thrashing puppet style. Check out this blog post on why to incorporate cake pops into your bakery http://goo.gl/GJgdG0.

*A fun idea for a summer themed wedding that just so happens to fall on shark week:

*Here are some really amazing ideas to get the ideas flowing on your own shark week cake to add to the portfolio. Swedish Fish make great accents for this theme.

 

 

 

 

How to Start a Bakery (Continued)

Here you go, the final 5 steps to opening your very own bakery!

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6. Remodeling and purchasing of equipment would be the following step once you have all your ducks in a row. You can either finance or purchase equipment outright depending on your budget. A good option is to look for auctions for restaurants or bakeries that are closing or getting rid of their equipment. Craigslist and eBay are good sources for used equipment as well. Once everything is installed and remodeled you can have your final inspection.

7. Be sure to have everything in order for your inspection by finding out what they will be looking for and at and doing a self inspection prior. Once you have passed you can apply for the proper permits, such as food handlers.

8. After jumping through all the hoops and over the hurdles you start to see the finish line and are ready to start thinking of your marketing strategy. Time to design your promotional material and launch your website for your business. This might be the more fun part where you get to pick out your name and design your logo. A logo is important to your brand and can be placed on all your business materials such as business cards, labels, order forms, brochures, and of course your website.

9. Before your Grand Opening it is a good idea to let your neighbors and local community know. You can send out different materials such as press releases, flyers, signs. These tactics can also be used as you offer different services and specials.

10. It’s a great idea to build relationships with neighboring and local businesses as well. You can do different things to be an active part of your community such as charity events and chamber of commerce meetings. What better way to promote your delicious product that getting people to try it first hand. Bring or donate some of your cakes and pastries to any event you attend or are a part of.

How to start a bakery

The 10 important steps to starting a bakery

Here are the First 5! Stay tuned to get the complete set of steps!

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1.  Every business needs a plan in order to have your goals and methods to reach those goals laid out. Your Business plan is also important in order to gain interest for potential lenders and investors. A business plan should include the following:

  • Expected Expenses
  • Potential Income
  • Marketing Plan
  • Products and Services
  • Long Term Goals

2. Financial Evaluation is an important as it influences where you get your funding from. For those who don’t have the start up capital already lined up you will need to have good credit. With good credit you can finance a business in a number of ways such as small business loan and credit card. You can also apply for grants including local and federal government grants. A large majority of small businesses are funded by networks that are already in place such as family and friends. Any way you can swing it you will need some start up capital for costs such as putting cash down for the store lease.

3. You want to go into your business venture well prepared, so be sure to research as much as possible. From your local community to competitors to case studies and market trends. You want to remain in the know at all time when running a business. so research is very important, not just in the beginning but throughout the life of your company, which if you research and do it right can be a very long time.

4. Deciding what type of bakery you want to open would be the next step. You may go in with one idea, but after doing all the research you original vision may change. You may want to specialize in a specific item such as cakes or the recently popularized cupcakes, or special breads. You could also offer a wide variety of baked goods depending on your size of operation. This decision also weighs on what you are good at, for example if you have a cake decorating niche then maybe your shop should open a high end cake shop.

5. Once you decide this you can focus on location. Location is important, if you can get a location with visibility and foot traffic, this can save a lot in marketing expenses. When it comes to leasing or purchasing you will want the service of a real estate lawyer and a commercial real estate broker. Have the local health department run a pre-inspection before remodeling or installing a kitchen. Be sure to find out what all the rules and regulation are in your city and state. Some may require permits, so again research is necessary so you can plan accordingly.

How to Make Your Cupcake Business Successful!

Cupcake Business Advice

 

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There is a reason why they always say, “location, location, location!” It is the element so nice they repeated it thrice. For the cupcake industry things really took off in 2008 and since then the market has become saturated. That is why when it comes to your cupcake store and it’s success, it is important to have an unsaturated location. The other key factor in having a great location for your business is high foot traffic. If this is not possible, it may be wise to move your storefront online.

Having an online cupcake business has proved successful for many small business owners. With this type of business model you can spend less time worrying about the rent and stresses that come along with the property and spend more time focusing on your marketing strategy.

If you are going online it is a good idea to invest in a good website, preferably made by a web designer with SEO experience. You want your site to be clean, efficient and highly searchable. Be sure to have social media icons and accounts as well, especially facebook and Twitter. In fact weather or not you have an online store and actual store front, having a site for online presence and utilizing social media for promotions and increased awareness is a must in today’s world.

 

cupcake store, cupcakery, bakery, pos, point of sale, system, software, best, affordable, inventory, management, opening store, successful

 

So what else can you do to make sure your cupcake business is a success? When it comes to marketing it is important to remember the 4 P’s; Price, Product, Place and Promotion.

So let’s see, we have touched on Promotion and Place. As for Price it is best to get an idea of what your competitors prices are so you can compete accordingly.

So now let’s talk Product! When it comes to cupcakes the two best ways to differentiate your product is make them taste great and make ‘em fabulous! Decide what kind of cupcakes you want to make and make them your specialty. they could be gourmet, organic, or wedding cupcakes. Use your imagination and try to do something that hasn’t necessarily been done, or isn’t seen everywhere. Then make that your specialty and platform. I have even seen square cupcakes be a hit!

 

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