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Kyon147 (Offline)
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Question Should I start a japanese bakery - 11-28-2011, 07:01 PM

Hi guys and girls

I live in the UK and I am new to this forum.

I've learned Japanese martial arts for 10+ years and also got taught how to cook different Japanese foods, breads and sweats from my sensei over in Japan.

There is not really any places in the UK that sell Japanese bakery foods, I have been thinking for sometime to open a japanese bakery which also sells online.

Only question I have been thinking is will people want to buy. This is where all you amazing people come in and tell me your thoughts.

Thanks,
Ky
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ryuurui (Offline)
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11-28-2011, 07:34 PM

bread with noodles and sweet beans inside....lol good luck
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11-28-2011, 08:46 PM

You mean something similar to vie en France? Those are some really local Japanese flavor, unless you think people in your area will just love it, otherwise I would think its high risk. Anytime you want to introduce a foreign cultures as a business will be risk.

On the note of online order, it's difficult enough to keep them fresh at a store, how do you plan on maintaining qualities with food that's " best consumed fresh"
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11-29-2011, 12:38 AM

I think it isn't such a bad idea, especially if there is a decent enough Japanese and Asian population of built-in customers. Authenticity is a must.
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11-29-2011, 12:53 AM

My opinion;

Are you a baker?
Baking on a large scale is a LOT different than home baking. You may be comfortable kneading the amount you will eat at home... But how about the variety and volume required for a store? Yes, there are machines that can help, but that would be a very large investment if you are unsure of your success.

Are you able to make the other ingredients?
Anpan is only as good as the quality of the an. Curry pan is only as good as the curry. And so on...

Personally, I see these things as a very niche market. Japanese style breads are not what people outside Japan typically link to "Japanese food". People looking to eat something Japanese or Asian are very unlikely to choose a Japanese style bakery... And people who want to buy bread are unlikely to take the risk of a Japanese bakery.

A regular bakery offering a few Japanese style breads, or a Japanese restaurant offering bread would probably be more likely to attract customers.

While the idea is an interesting one, you would need to do some serious market research in the area you plan to open.


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11-29-2011, 01:08 AM

Maybe you can make small batches and pitch them to local coffee shops and see if they may buy them off you on a steady basis. This may give you some start up capital to perhaps get more commercial equipment and then hire people?
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11-29-2011, 01:50 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnBraden View Post
Maybe you can make small batches and pitch them to local coffee shops and see if they may buy them off you on a steady basis. This may give you some start up capital to perhaps get more commercial equipment and then hire people?
Great idea, start with a small scale proof of concept to test the water....
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11-29-2011, 02:04 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyon147 View Post
Hi guys and girls

I live in the UK and I am new to this forum.

I've learned Japanese martial arts for 10+ years and also got taught how to cook different Japanese foods, breads and sweats from my sensei over in Japan.

There is not really any places in the UK that sell Japanese bakery foods, I have been thinking for sometime to open a japanese bakery which also sells online.

Only question I have been thinking is will people want to buy. This is where all you amazing people come in and tell me your thoughts.

Thanks,
Ky
I think the others have it pretty correct in that this is going to be a niche market. There's a mini japanese bakery at the Japan Centre in London which does a lot of the staple things and obviously does quite well, but I can only really see this working in larger areas or as others have said, where there's a good proportion of asian people, or a foodie culture. In my experience, about half of the people I know in the UK who've tried it hated an. Also you need to consider costs. Japanese ingredients aren't always cheap or easy to procure so your buns and sandwiches might wind up pricier than people are willing to pay if you're making small scale. If you're thinking of Wagashi, then those tend to be really expensive, especially for the rice flour.

What you could do is compromise. I really like things that the Japanese have adapted from french bakery goods- the walnut bread buns half mixed with mochi flour so that they're chewy. Or if you're doing Japanese style sandwiches, do it with proper bread because (And I love Japanese food) but sandwiches here suck.

Maybe for a test run, try doing a stall at a farmer's market. I think that's probably your best bet, and stick to what's likely to not be too 'foreign'- slightly Japanese twists on traditional bakery goods, melon-pan, green tea cookies and things like that, and do your market research. Taiyaki or dorayaki are usually a little bit more friendly to people who've never encountered Asian sweets.
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Kyon147 (Offline)
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11-29-2011, 05:21 PM

Thanks for all the replies guys.

I have been thinking about everything that you have said for sometime and I have recently come into contact with a Asian work friend who has also been interested in opening a Asian style cafe/bakery, she however is Chinese so a joint effort of different food from two or three different Asian Cultures.

Your idea on the food market stall is a good idea to do some initial market research definitely something I overlooked. I did think about the selling to a cafe / bakery as well.

I know its a niche market and this does make it a more high risk venture but its also comes down to the area it will be in and the target audience, the interesting thing is the Asain culture in the UK in some areas is getting bigger, just have to look at the different chinese/japanese/thai restaurants that are opening up.

If you have anything more to add keep it coming! Open to criticism and suggestions.
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