NEW! Google Custom Search

Loading
pamilyn's picture

am I crazy (post #46139)

The pastry instructor at our technical college has asked me to be her business partner in an upscale bakery here. Do I want to even consider this? I haven't read the business plan yet, it's on it's way over here right now. She wants cash. I have never been in business before. I have managed catering companies and have been the Kitchen manager of several restaurants. ???????? Pamilyn 

The purpose of Art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls

The purpose of Art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls

Biscuit's picture

(post #46139, reply #1 of 33)

I wouldn't.

BOY /boi/ n.  A noise with dirt on it.

"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."  - George Bernard Shaw

pamilyn's picture

(post #46139, reply #2 of 33)

Could you tell me what you really think?  :)    And the reason is? P.

The purpose of Art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls

The purpose of Art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls

shywoodlandcreature's picture

(post #46139, reply #3 of 33)

Tell us more. Does she want you just to put up the cash, or would this be a genuine working partnership?





"It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen."
George Orwell, 1984

pamilyn's picture

(post #46139, reply #4 of 33)

Well, I have not finished  reading "The plan" but I know she has no desire to give up her teaching job. I would want to work there 3 or 4 days a week. I think she mostly wants an investor, but like I said, I would want to work the front of the house, and make soups on occasion.I do know she wants to be open a LONG day. Closed Sunday, 7-5 monday 7-11 Tues. through Thurs. and 7-12 Friday and Saturday. I would think it would be a nightmare trying to find staff for all those hours, but she thinks her students would want to work there. I will post again when I finish reading "The Plan"


FYI, the concept is a Patisserie and Desert Lounge. Light lunches and appetizers in the evening. Some catering. No yeast breads...though we would carry one of Madisons premiere baguettes. Wine and beer.



The purpose of Art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls


Edited 9/20/2006 4:42 pm ET by pamilyn

The purpose of Art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls

Frankie's picture

(post #46139, reply #5 of 33)

I forgot - are you coming to NYC? I would be happy to show you a few of this type of shop. They are very popular from morning to night - depending on neighborhood type.

But a few questions first -

a. How old is she?

b. Family?

c. I understand your want to be front of the house. Does she want to be back of the house?

d. Do you have a job? Do you want 2?

e. Do you like her teaching style?

f. Do you like her taste?

g. How much money %-wise?

h. What is she bringing to the table?

j. Where do your talents and ability to invest overlap?

[k of a - r has been deleted] ; )

l. Where do they complement?

m. Where are they contradictory?

Then there is the division of power -

n. She's got the concept - so far. Is she willing to accept input from you?

o. She has access to the labor pool. Will this affect your ability to direct them?

p. She's making the donuts. Are you happy selling whatever she makes? Will you be included in the creative process? How? Taste?

Final questions -

q. Why is she coming to you?

r. Has she gone to others?

This sounds very exciting. Starting a new business is so cool - making something from nothing... okay, from money.

And the answer to your query -

YES! You are crazy for even considering this idea. But that's a good thing. Now you just need to reel in your excitement and come up with a Business Mission Statement and compare it to her's.

Hope this helps,

Frankie


Experiment with the placing of the ingredients on the plate. Try the mozzarella on the left, the tomato in the middle, the avocado on the right. Have fun. Then decide it goes tomato, mozzarella, avocado. Anything else looks stupid.

Richard E. Grant as Simon Marchmont - Posh Nosh


Flay your Suffolk bought-this-morning sole with organic hand-cracked pepper and blasted salt. Thrill each side for four minutes at torchmark haut. Interrogate a lemon. Embarrass any tough roots from the samphire. Then bamboozle till it's al dente with that certain je ne sais quoi.

Arabella Weir as Minty Marchmont - Posh Nosh


ashleyd's picture

(post #46139, reply #7 of 33)

Man you do have a truly inquisitive mind! I'm not sure whether to be inspired or scared but your method of problem analysis is surely somethin' else!


Always take a good look at what you're about to eat. It's not so important to know what it is, but it's critical to know what it was.

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

Frankie's picture

(post #46139, reply #8 of 33)

Be afraid. Be very afraid. ; )

F


Experiment with the placing of the ingredients on the plate. Try the mozzarella on the left, the tomato in the middle, the avocado on the right. Have fun. Then decide it goes tomato, mozzarella, avocado. Anything else looks stupid.

Richard E. Grant as Simon Marchmont - Posh Nosh


Flay your Suffolk bought-this-morning sole with organic hand-cracked pepper and blasted salt. Thrill each side for four minutes at torchmark haut. Interrogate a lemon. Embarrass any tough roots from the samphire. Then bamboozle till it's al dente with that certain je ne sais quoi.

Arabella Weir as Minty Marchmont - Posh Nosh


Rhea's picture

(post #46139, reply #9 of 33)

...what great questions!!!!


 a wise woman once said you have to kiss alot of frogs before you find your prince.. my lips are sore...p.s. but I finally found one!!!

I can't even afford the lifestyle I don't want...

Wolvie's picture

(post #46139, reply #15 of 33)

the concept of the shop sounds good - the set up on the time commitment doesn't. I have owned a business, in fact I still do, and when they are up and running it isn't part time. Granted, my experience wasn't culinary, but still. After you get established it is easier to hire folks and take some time away, but at the front, I would think total coverage would be necessary, just go get the concept /service exactly as you want it to be, and to respond to customer changes, etc.  Just my 2 cents.


Another question - why no yeast breads? Just curious.


 


I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. - Will Rogers

 

pamilyn's picture

(post #46139, reply #26 of 33)

Whole different ball game with yeasted things. She wants to do pastries and plated deserts with wine, coffee and tea.

The purpose of Art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls

The purpose of Art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls

helena1's picture

(post #46139, reply #17 of 33)

As much as I love the idea of a business like that, I have to agree with everyone else that it sounds fishy in some way. First of all, if she really wanted you as a true partner, shouldn't she have consulted you before writing that business plan instead of after? That leaves you with no input in the whole planning and concept phase. Sounds like she just wants the money and someone to take care of the hassle with the customers without asking what you would want out of it. And keeping a second job is definately not realistic I'd say.


I have my doubt about the students working there as well. How hard would it be to always have to train a new person? Plus, there's the trust issue. How can you trust the first student to work as dedicated and committed way like you would for your own investment and dream job? I jsut don't see that happening and you obviously can't be in the shop yourself for 17 hours a day.

pamilyn's picture

(post #46139, reply #28 of 33)

Your spot on about the labor trouble. I have tried to find staff for places with much less hours open and it is a nightmare. Pamilyn

The purpose of Art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls

The purpose of Art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls

helena1's picture

(post #46139, reply #30 of 33)

I can imagine. I just said it because I have noticed that especially on the weekends, more and more of the larger stores here depend on often very young employees to run their business and it just does not work. A 16 year old can not be left responsible for a major responsibility like running a store, because they just lack experience and most often come to do their hours and go home. I have a hard time explaining (sometimes I just lack the proper English expressions) but you probably know what I'm getting at.

Biscuit's picture

(post #46139, reply #31 of 33)

Sorry, just got back to this.  And sorry - I may be a bit incoherent right now - I'm suffering from fuzzy-brain at the moment, due to sinus infection.


Um - well, can't do much better than what other people have said, but to be perfectly honest - the two big Class A Alarms for me from your initial post were: 


1.  That she wasn't committed 1000% to the project with her time and effort, and


2.   The "She wants cash" comment. 


Sounds like she sorta-kinda-wants the business, but really needs you as a banker for it.  And if she had a decent business plan and the experience to back it up, she wouldn't be coming to you for cash - she'd go to a bank.  Sounds to me like she knows a bank won't fund her, so she's looking for a Sugar-Mama. 


You are a sweet woman, Pamilyn, and it all just sounds like you would get terribly taken advantage of.  I don't want to see that happen.  Food service in ANY form is not a business to go into lightly.  9 out of every 10 food-related businesses FAIL, usually miserably.  It takes a LOT to make it in that arena, and the first thing you have to do is be willing to commit yourself 1000% for several years at least.


High-end bakeries sound great and charming and make people think "ooo, what's not to like?  It would be a great addition to the local business!  People will flock to us!"  but the reality is that unless you have (a) a superior product, (b) low-to-mid prices, (c) a PERFECT location, and (d) good solid business skills you will be out of business within a year.  To even think about starting such a business you would need capital that will cover ALL expenses - ALL of them - for a minimum of one year, preferably 2, just to begin.  You have to be prepared for the fact that you will operate in the red for at least a year or more. 


That's just the reality of food-service.  Tough business, tough clients, tough financial issues.


BOY /boi/ n.  A noise with dirt on it.

"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."  - George Bernard Shaw

pamilyn's picture

(post #46139, reply #32 of 33)

Thanks Biscuit. Sorry to here about your sinus infection. They are a bear, I hope you are taking care of it.


I appreciate your and everyone elses concerns. I also appreciate all the questions. I am meeting with her on Monday, but I think I have decided to pass. I can put my money somewhere where there will be less stress. Less stress is good. I just turned 50 and was thinking I wanted to do something different, but having a Desert lounge that is open 16 hours a day is a bit too "Different"


I am also trying to sell our house, redo the kitchen in the new house and rehab and sell one of my rental properties in the spring. I think that will keep me busy.


Whew.......THANKS EVERYONE for bringing me to my senses. I still think it's a good idea and she has a super location.  I just don't think I need the stress in my life. My catering business was bad enough.  I will report back next Wednesday after our meeting.


The purpose of Art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls

The purpose of Art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls

helena1's picture

(post #46139, reply #33 of 33)

Sounds like you will make a decision that is right for YOU and that's what matters :o).

pamilyn's picture

(post #46139, reply #25 of 33)

Thanks to all of you for your feedback. To answer a few questions from Frankie


A. 50ish


b. no family


c. me front, her back (when she is not teaching)


e. don't know


f. don't know


g. 1/2


h. Idea, talent


j. I don't understand the question


k.


l. She is a talented pastry chef, I am a great "People" person


m.not sure


n. Yes


o.I don't think so.


p. Yes to all


q. she just happened to tell me what she was doing and that she was looking for a Biuisiness partner. I told her I might be interested. Money, experience.


r. don't know.


Thank you everyone for your comments. They really help. I have a meeting with her on Monday to answer A LOT of questions. Pamilyn


The purpose of Art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls

The purpose of Art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls

BoofyQ's picture

(post #46139, reply #6 of 33)

Unless the business plan is truly stellar, I'm not sure I'd go into business with a total stranger. Does she have prior business ownership experience?

Astrid's picture

(post #46139, reply #10 of 33)

My sister, who lives in Vermont outside of Burlington, has a deal with a friend who has a bakery. In order to take in a little more pin-money she bakes special order items and delivers them twice a month. You might consider something like that ( not so much of a commitment and all that,) but maybe interesting enough to be worth trying.

New Mexico home organic gardener

Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience. Emerson

New Mexico home organic gardener Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience. Emerson
chiquiNO's picture

(post #46139, reply #11 of 33)

Like Biscuit said...NO WAY!!  Unless you are 25, not married and have no kids and lots of money to invest and not need to live off of for at least two years!!!!

Chiqui from way down yonder in New Orleans

 

avak123's picture

(post #46139, reply #12 of 33)

At the risk of sounding negative, why is she doing this and why are you really considering it?


I read approximately 20-25 business plans per week and the successful ones have ownership that is passionate and give 24/7! I don't understand how your proposed business arrangement can turn into a successful venture, especially given an upfront disclaimer that ownership isn't willing to commit 100%. Especially in the food and beverage industry! IMHO, a start-up venture, such as this, can't be handled like a "Soccer Mom" hobby.

CookiM0nster's picture

(post #46139, reply #13 of 33)

I agree.
Has she ever run a business before? Her time commitment expectations don't sound realistic.

avak123's picture

(post #46139, reply #14 of 33)

Interesting that you, Biscuit, and Chiqui, all women with great culinary experience, have offerred the "RUN, DON'T WALK" opinion. In my opinion, that speaks volumes. 

Canuck's picture

(post #46139, reply #16 of 33)

I have the same concerns as everyone else.  A co-worker and I set up a partnership many years back, did lots of research for film catering, quit our jobs, and then she declared that she was becoming vegetarian and would never again handle meat, so we couldn't cater at all. I managed to get my job back but learned a lot from that and would never go into another partnership.


I think Frankie's questions are spot-on. Taking on a partner is more than taking on a spouse; you have to completely trust this person with your money and your future. However, with a spouse, you can argue and make up, and negotiate and win sometimes by bribing. Not so with a partner. And each of you may bring significant others with their own opinions. Imagine running a marriage with input from all sorts of people?


What is her family situation? What is yours? Family will likely pull both of you. If she's working somewhere else, she's putting that first. Why? Success in self-employment means putting everything--and more--into the business, and being completely passionate about it. It sounds like she has a concept and you have some money and experience. Perhaps a better deal for her than you.


If you can supply products to her, you won't share in her profits, but you also won't be on the hook for future debts, which could be huge in a bakery in terms of equipment.

pamilyn's picture

(post #46139, reply #27 of 33)

neither one of us has family. I have a husband of course, she doesn't.

The purpose of Art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls

The purpose of Art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls

KitchenWitch's picture

(post #46139, reply #18 of 33)

>>She wants cash. <<


that part says it all to me.
Run, Pamilyn, run!


~RuthAnn


CT poster in bad standing since 1998

~RuthAnn

dixie's picture

(post #46139, reply #19 of 33)

I don't want to be partners in any sort of business, BTDT. Unless the commitment is there from ALL partners, it just won't work. 

MadMom's picture

(post #46139, reply #20 of 33)

Run, don't walk, in the opposite direction.  For all the reasons everyone has pointed out...the woman does not see you as an equal partner (you have had no part in the business decisions) but more as an interest free provider of money.  My younger brother went into business three times with partners, and went bankrupt three times, usually because of stupid decisions his partners made without bothering to consult with him.  He finally did it on his own and retired a multi-millionaire.  Does that tell you anything?



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

Frankie's picture

(post #46139, reply #21 of 33)

"He finally did it on his own and retired a multi-millionaire. "

Does he have a daughter? ; )

What business?

Frankie


Experiment with the placing of the ingredients on the plate. Try the mozzarella on the left, the tomato in the middle, the avocado on the right. Have fun. Then decide it goes tomato, mozzarella, avocado. Anything else looks stupid.

Richard E. Grant as Simon Marchmont - Posh Nosh


Flay your Suffolk bought-this-morning sole with organic hand-cracked pepper and blasted salt. Thrill each side for four minutes at torchmark haut. Interrogate a lemon. Embarrass any tough roots from the samphire. Then bamboozle till it's al dente with that certain je ne sais quoi.

Arabella Weir as Minty Marchmont - Posh Nosh


MadMom's picture

(post #46139, reply #22 of 33)

Afraid he does, but she's a wee bit young for you (and spoiled rotten to boot, LOL!)  He took over my father's business, which was a fairly small one-man show.  My father did all the hiring and firing, all the sales, all the estimating, all the management, and he had 6 or 7 employees.  By the time my brother finally sold the business and retired, he had built it into a $15 million/year business, and he probably had well over 100 employees.  They basically made convention display booths for companies like Wilsonart, etc. 



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!