Carondelet Bakery gets second life as baking incubator


Carondelet Bakery gets second life as baking incubator
From the St. Louis Business Journal
Carondelet Bakery gets second life as
baking incubator
Mar 13, 2015, 6:26am CDT Updated: Mar 13, 2015, 6:29am CDT
Ben Unglesbee
Reporter­ St. Louis Business Journal
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Carondelet Bakery has transformed itself into a bakery incubator for startups and small
producers as the owners try to sell the business and the property.
Linda Smith, who owns the bakery at 7726 Virginia Ave. along with her husband, Bob">Bob,
said the couple decided to take a new direction after a months­long negotiation for the
bakery's sale fell through. "We had already closed up the shop," Smith said. "We were just
In lieu of a sale, they rezoned the bakery as a business incubator with the city and in recent
weeks have started licensing the space out to small­time bakers who don't have the capital for
or aren't ready to take on the risk of buying their own shop. "This is a great way for a small
business starting out trying to make a living," Smith said.
The 2,500­square­foot bakery can accommodate about one to five bakers per day depending
on schedules and need. Right now, the incubator charges $15 per hour in rent, though Smith
expects that to increase, especially given that firing up the oven costs about $10 for utilities.
Those renting out the bakery have to be licensed as businesses with the city, Smith said. So far
she has five businesses signed or nearly signed and has been fielding calls every day by those
interested bakers. Smith said her renters are mainly small­time bakers selling at farmer's
markets or just starting up a baking business.
Along with the oven and other equipment, those renting the bakery have access to retail space
at the Carondelet old shop front.
The Smiths are still trying to sell the business and property to help fund their retirement, and
Smith said she hopes new owners would keep the incubator business in place. Currently the
business is for sale for $398,700, which includes two lots, parking spaces, a garage and two
stories of living space above the bakery.