Remodeling in style

Remodeling a retail bakery is a challenging undertaking, but it is an investment that can pay off in many ways. By revamping a bakery’s appearance, it can create a buzz around the store, strengthen brand identity, and prove that the business is here to stay.

When considering a remodel, a bakery must examine every angle. Does the space need a complete overhaul or just a couple of quick updates? What is the budget? How much time is available? These are just a couple questions to consider before taking the leap forward and updating a space.

Strengthen Brand Identity

When beginning a remodel, the most important aspect to examine and reflect upon is the businesses’ brand identity. “Brand is everything. It is as important as the storefront, as important as the product itself,” says Antonio Di Oronzo, principal of bluarch architecture+interiors+lighting.

Oronzo notes, “We often help our less inclined client to think of their brand as a person, and help them clarify its features and personality”. The identity of the brand will help guide any decisions that need to be made. If any doubts or confusion arise, go back the basic notion of what your bakery stands for. 

A redesign can also allow a business to reconnect with its customers. Bakery owners should reflect on the customer’s lifestyle and how it relates to the space. Is it a bakery and cafe where customers can come to socialize, or is it a shop that revolves around custom items?

Farnaz Mansuri, founder and principal designer of de-spec, believes an owner must trace back the redesign to the customer’s lifestyle. Store owners and its employees should take the time to get input from customers on what they presently like or what they see room for improvement on.

Design an Experience

A bakery should not just be a place where items are bought and sold. It should offer an experience to every customer that comes through. Veronica Koltuniak, owner of Verokolt, believes when a customer walks away with a baguette tucked under their arm, they should feel connected to that item via the experience they had in the bakery. Create this moment by emphasizing your bakery’s unique qualities. Be true to your brand, and do not fall victim to trends that will die out in a year.

Oronza tries to steer his clients away from trends, but will incorporate certain items when necessary. A design trend can be a helpful starting point, but you want your bakery to feel incomparable to competitors.

Balancing function and design can also be a difficult task. When designing the layout of the space, let there be enough room for displays and customers, but give employees an area to work efficiently and at ease. “It is not fun, nor appetizing, to see frantic, hot, sweaty workers behind the counter.  So if they need more space, if necessary, the customer does not.  For the five minutes in line, the customer needs to be inspired by the environment and all of their 5 senses aroused,” says Mansuri.

Choosing the correct color palette for your store, will help shape the atmosphere and mood for the customer. If your shop sells playful cupcakes and cakes, you may want to go with whimsical and airy colors that reflect a fun and fresh environment. If your shop focuses on breads, you may want to go with colors that are rich and warm. When Koltuniak was designing for Easy Tiger Bake Shop and Beer Garden, in Austin, Texas, she was inspired by the colors of the longstanding buildings that surrounded the bake shop, as well as, the set of the film The Royal Tenebaums. Keep in mind how colors can affect the perception of size and tone within the store. The right colors will accentuate and emphasize a space, not bring it down. 

The right lighting is also an important factor to consider. Improving overhead lighting and display lighting is a cost effective way to enrich the appearance of products and the bakery overall. For display case lighting, use lights that enhance and protect the quality of your product. The wrong lighting can not only make a product appear dull, it can cause changes that affect the taste of your product.