Bakers Journal

Concepts for success: May 2013

May 2, 2013
By Diane Chiasson

Spring is in the air and it’s time to let the sun in! Here are 12 great ways to brighten up your bakery.

Summertime is all about bright, fun colours and sunshine. If your bakery is looking a bit pale and stagnant after a long winter, it might be a good idea to add some pizzazz and energy to your operation. There are several inexpensive ways to give your bakery a new look this summer. Pick a theme and colour scheme, and run with it!

Fill clear glass jars with bright, colourful candy to display around your bakery.


1. Change up plates
If you are currently displaying all of your pastries and cakes on white or dark plates, consider picking up more seasonal plates with stripes, polka dots or gingham designs at the dollar store. This small change will make a huge difference to your displays.


2. Use candy
Get some clear glass jars and fill them up with an array of pastel-coloured candies, marshmallows, tall, swirly lollipops and other fun items to use as display items around your bakery. You can also set up large jars of candies around your cash register, and sell candy in little paper cups by bulk to customers as an add-on sale.

3. Wrap cardboard boxes
Create merchandising displays using colourful round or rectangular cardboard boxes, or wrap boxes using pastel-coloured wrapping paper, and use them as risers. Place them at varying heights, and intersperse the display with vases filled with bright, fresh flowers and jars of candy.

4. Make displays from gift bags
Buy various sizes of colourful or patterned gift bags filled with shredded tissue, and stick big swirly lollipops and cakepops into them. Stand the bags up on your countertop or other display areas.

5. Use origami
Fold patterned or coloured paper into origami boxes or envelopes, and use them to sell cookies, pastries and other treats. Display the origami boxes around the bakery as well.

6. Brighten with ribbons
Tie up your bags of breads and other treats using colourful ribbon. That small extra touch of colour can make a drastic difference to a wooden basket filled with brown breads.

7. Add patio lights
Pick up strands of mini patio lights at your local party supply shop and string them around your bakery. Patio lights always create a festive and playful atmosphere.

8. Use plant potters
Invest in some inexpensive ceramic plant potters in bright blues, reds and yellows, and use them to hold cakepops or other treats. If you offer dine-in services, use them to hold utensils and napkins.

9. Brighten yourself
Brighten up your own look by donning a more colourful apron or wearing a fun hat. You and your staff are part of your bakery’s décor, and should dress to match.

10. Put up branded umbrellas
Place colourful umbrellas branded with your logo or, if available, free umbrellas from your suppliers, and set up an outdoor patio area in front of your bakery where customers can sit and enjoy their baked treat and a beverage.

11. Add Chalkboards
Give your guests an opportunity to write glowing testimonials about your bakery and your products by adding a chalkboard to your bakery. Purchase chalkboard contact paper at any hardware or crafts store, and just peel and stick to a wall that is easily accessible to guests. Leave out cups of neon coloured chalk. The chalkboard will also help keep little kids entertained while their parents shop in your bakery.

12. Grow a Garden
Set up a few plant potters outside your bakery and grow fresh herbs, tomatoes and lettuce – items that require minimal work. Feature your freshly-grown produce in your products like a fresh tomato sandwich or loaves of herb bread. Nothing says “local” like something grown right outside your door!

Try out these 12 ideas to put a little spring in your bakery’s step.

Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping restaurant, foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for more than 30 years. Contact by e-mail at, or visit

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