Starting a bakery is an expensive endeavor, without any guarantee of success. If you are able, try to find unused or underutilized kitchens while you are starting to make a name for your bakery. There are several bakery kitchen options that are available to try.
The rules and regulations will vary depending on the state you are in but in some areas you can start your bakery out of your home. This is optimal as your cash outlay will be minimal and the overhead is low. There are however limitations which include space and capabilities, as well as city or town laws banning the sale of food products out of a residential home. You will have a visit from the appropriate state/city/county/municipality and each may have their own separate requirements for a food service/bakery business. In many places if you are allowed to bake from your home, you are required to have separate equipment for your business than you have for your home. That means two stoves, two fridges, two freezers, etc, one for your home cooking and one for the business, which means there are a lot of people who cater from home and do it under the radar. Not many are willing or able to have the funds to do both.
The next best option is to join a cooperative commercial kitchen. The co-op model lets individual cooks share a commercial kitchen for a certain number of hours at a minimal hourly or monthly price. Here you get great equipment for a low cost and possibly best of all, you are able to meet other entrepreneurs in the food business which may make for excellent connections to grow your business.
If a cooperative kitchen isn’t close by you have the option of renting a restaurant, church or other unused facility during the times the kitchen isn’t being used. The downside is that you have to work around their schedule which may be very late at night. The other downside is that your kitchen availability could be taken away at a moment’s notice.
There are a few options you can investigate to lower the risk of starting your bakery. Flexibility and creativity is key and it’s not as convenient as having an entire facility to yourself but it gives an inexpensive and easy way to start your bakery.