Miss Molly’s is a neighborhood cafe serving scratch-made desserts and bakery as well as fresh & healthy breakfast & lunch options.
About this project
Miss Molly’s Pastries is a catering company that specializes in from-scratch desserts and cakes made with locally sourced ingredients. Miss Molly’s has been in business for 4 years, catering weddings and parties all over the Milwaukee area. We are ready to take the leap and fulfill a life long dream of opening our very own neighborhood cafe and pastry shop located at 5901 W. Vliet St. in Milwaukee.
After graduating from college I decided to go to culinary school and pursue my dream of owning a café. I have worked as a baker all over the country and for the past 4 years have been the pastry chef at Braise Restaurant in Milwaukee.
I founded my company, Miss Molly’s Pastries, when I came back to Milwaukee. We have grown over the years and have reached a point where we need our own commercial kitchen to keep up with demand. With this expansion we will open a cafe and retail shop where we will offer morning pastries, coffee and espresso drinks, delicious desserts as well as a breakfast and lunch menu with quick and healthy options.
I am working with the Milwaukee Economic Development Corporation and Fund Milwaukee to fund the majority of the costs. I will be receiving loans for the acquisition of the building, renovation costs and equipment purchases. The following is a breakdown of the use of funds:
Building purchase price: $305,000
Working capital = $20,000
Insurance and fees = $15,000
Total project cost = $469,000
The MEDC/Bank loan will be used for purchasing the building, improvements and buildout, which include the following:
- Patch existing vinyl floor as needed
- Install new finishes in kitchen
- Plumbing base allowance
- Electric base allowance
Kitchen renovation total: $15,000
- Electric and lighting base allowance
- Demo existing counter and construct new counter and display case
- Install window counter seating
- Stain existing window trim
Retail area renovation total: $14,000
Residential area improvements: $15,000
Total renovation costs: $44,000
The MEDC/Bank loan will also be used to purchase kitchen equipment and cafe supplies.
The Fund Milwaukee loan will be used for the 20% down payment on the building.
The personal investment and Kickstarter funds will be used for working capital during the buildout period. If our Kickstarter raises more than our funding goal we will then put those funds toward our loan payments!
Risks and challenges
We all know that food service businesses are challenging. This is why we have gradually built the business over the course of 4 years by renting kitchen space from other restaurants. We have established Miss Molly’s Pastries as a preeminent wedding caterer in Southeastern Wisconsin while running the business part-time. Doing this allowed us to minimize our overhead costs until the business grew big enough to afford our own retail space. Banks are much more likely to take a chance on an established business rather than a start-up, especially in food service. Because we built the business over the last four years we believe that we have eliminated some of the greatest risk factors.
The biggest challenge for us will be to transition the business from solely a catering company to a cafe and retail shop. We need to put a lot of effort into marketing the cafe aspect of the business. In addition to building our wedding catering business we want to become the favorite neighborhood place to stop in for coffee, pastries and a quick and healthy meal.
There is a need for our type of business in the area where we plan to open. There are other bakeries in the Wauwatosa area but geographically there is not one that services the immediate neighborhoods where we will be located. Furthermore, there is a Colectivo approximately 1 mile away. Although the proximity to this Colectivo will be challenging we plan to compete with our “small shop” mentality. Customers love to know the owners of the businesses they patron and I will be there every day making their pastries, sandwiches and coffee.