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Business and Marketing Plan for Bakery Start-Up

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Business
Wordcount: 2455 words Published: 23rd Sep 2019

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Mountain Top Treats is a coffee meets dessert shop that serves fresh and sweet treats to locals and visitors of Flathead Valley, Montana. The Flathead Valley is home to great tourist and visitor attractions such as Glacier National Park and Whitefish Mountain. Mountain Top Treats aims to serve the highest quality products using natural and local products to support the “Made in Montana” brand that many locals support. Mountain Top Treats looks to support the community and environment by using environmentally friendly products and using locally produced ingredients from farms around Montana. Based on the financial projections, an investment of 50,000 dollars is needed for startup. With this investment, I firmly believe in the success of the company and have provided sources and a five-year projection for your consideration.


Mission and Objectives

Provide an authentically Montana sweet treat using natural and locally produced ingredients.

Company and Industry

There are two types of industries that Mountain Top Treats will be entering although they are subgroups of each other: the baking and coffee industries. According to the Hoover database, “coffee shops are part of the specialty eatery industry which also includes outlets specializing in products such as bagels, donuts, frozen yogurt, and ice cream” (Hoover). The coffee industry is gaining momentum with gourmet and specialty coffee and is increasing in popularity (Hoover). With this growing industry, the baking industry is taking advantage of the coffee popularity by integrating and mixing the two industries. This will be beneficial for Mountain Top Treats when combining baked goods with coffee as planned. 

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Products and Services

The products served will be mostly coffee and cupcakes but alternatives such as tea, pie, and cookies will also be available. All products will be made in house using locally produced products as well as products from key businesses such as Wheat Montana, Montana Coffee Traders, and Kalispell Kreamery. While serving a sweet treat or a hot drink, there will be just enough seating to sit and enjoy yourself for a while in a “hole in the wall” kind of shop with a home town feel.

Market and Competition

Tourists and visiting people will be will be the target market. Leveraging the idea of “Montana Made” will be a draw for visitors, and since many have a destination to either Glacier Park or Whitefish Mountain, sales are anticipated to be greater during those seasons.  Locals living in the Flathead Valley will also play a critical role in sales. According to the Census Bureau, there are 100,000 people living in the Valley (Census Bureau). Getting involved in the community early will help catch their interest and will spread word of mouth.

The summer and winter months is projected to be the biggest seasons in terms of sales. Glacier National Park and Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort are popular destinations for their respected seasons. According to the Missoulian, a local newspaper that tracked tourism in the northwest corner of the state, an estimated 3.3 million visitors visited Glacier Park and 346,000 people skied Whitefish Mountain last year (2017) (Missoulian). This was a record breaking season for Whitefish Mountain and it is expected to increase as its popularity grows after being voted one of the top 10 ski resorts by Ski Magazine (Ski Magazine).

The biggest competition to Mountain Top Treats is between Wheat Montana and Montana Coffee Traders (MCT). Both businesses are local to Montana and are already established in the area. Wheat Montana is a grain supplier and sells breads and coffee in their deli style restaurant (Wheat Montana). MCT is a coffee shop, primarily, but also serves breakfast and lunch using local ingredients from Wheat Montana. MCT has a variety of morning baked goods from scones, muffins, and breads. This isn’t what Mountain Top Treats aims to be, but networking with Wheat Montana to use their products and networking with MCT to use their coffee will benefit Mountain Top Treats. Montana Coffee Traders believes, “Whenever possible… [to] strive to operate in a manner that respects, supports and profits the people, the communities and the land that sustains us.” (Montana Coffee Traders) It will be hard to compete with a company who is already so invested in these beliefs, but the importance of respect, community, and natural products will be shared within Mountain Top Treats.

Marketing Strategy

Mountain Top Treats is going to use the Montana brand to its advantage. Personally, growing up in Montana and knowing the area, locals love anything produced locally. The idea of “know your farmer” means a lot and the community is very supportive of small businesses. With that in mind, branding the shop as locally “Montana Made” will have a large draw to the locals but also will capture the attention of the tourists and visitors. Selling treats in the farmers market and getting involved in the community will be the main goal, especially in the Columbia Falls area where a sense of community is important.

Design and Development Plans

The most important development plan for this particular type of business is the recipe. All products will be handmade using local and natural ingredients in a simple yet tasty way. Desserts will start with the basic flavors with additional specials that change accordingly with the seasons. All dessert products will look just as good as they taste and will continue with the simplicity in their appearance. The dessert should speak for itself and shouldn’t rely on the appearance to determine its quality. With that idea in mind though, specialty orders can be prepared to have a decorative appearance upon the request of the occasion.

A concept that is important and growing in today’s society is the idea of environmentally friendly products. Mountain Top Treats will implement this practice, using ceramic dishes as often as possible, and for those who want their treats to go, eco-friendly products will be used. Along with a focus on to go coffee cups, environmentally friendly coffee sleeves and recycled cardboard to go boxes will be used. The goal of any recycling effort is to reduce as much waste as possible. Items that are used in the production of baking or coffee making, such as milk jugs, egg cartons, etc., will be recycled.

Mountain Top Treats will be located in a small town with a home town feel. Connecting back to the roots of the town, the interior design will be centered around steel and industrial themes. Columbia Falls, one of the towns within the Flathead Valley, was built around an old steel mill and later a lumber mill that employed most of the town. The ideal design would represent the town’s past but with a modern flare. To take that connection even further, the names of the products will be based on locations throughout the northwest area. Names from mountains, trails, and lakes that tourists or people visiting might recognize and the locals will appreciate.

Overall Schedule

The overall schedule of Mountain Top Treats is planned to take six months from the start to the grand opening. The opening day of Mountain Top Treats is just before summer. During this time students are graduating and will likely need sweet treats for their graduation parties, farmers markets are gathering weekly, and the busy tourist season is starting. Summer and winter are anticipated to be the busiest seasons for the company and with the novelty of a new business, more customers are likely to come.

Purchase building

January 15, 2019

Obtain permits

February 20, 2019

Work deal with Wheat Montana and Montana Coffee Traders to supply ingredients

March 1, 2019

Have store fully remodeled

April 1, 2019

Fully staffed

April 20, 2019

Advertisements to promote opening

May 1, 2019

Have store fully stocked and ready to serve

June 10, 2019

Opening day

June 1, 2019


Critical Risks and Problems

Mountain Top Treats faces competitive risks primarily from Wheat Montana and Montana Coffee Traders. Wheat Montana and Montana Coffee Traders both are prominent businesses within the Flathead Valley and as their names suggest, they are already Montana branded. The problem with this is that they are already established within the area. If I start my company using their products as I intend to, it might come off as piggy-backing from their success or using them for my own success.  There is already a strong loyalty to these businesses from the locals and frequent visitors. Breaking through this particular barrier will be the real challenge. To combat this, I plan to give just as much as I get. While I use their products in my shop, I want to share my products in theirs. Montana Coffee Traders uses Wheat Montana breads in their shop and Wheat Montana sells Montana Coffee Traders in theirs. Putting Mountain Top Treats in that mix will help, not only add to my shop, but also give theirs a sweet alternative.

Financial Projections

The estimated startup costs are based on first month expenses. Buying equipment at auctions and using a building that doesn’t require much alteration will help minimize costs in the beginning (StartupInformant).













Office Supplies




Utilities (water, electricity, phone, etc.)








Payroll taxes (Assuming 15%)






For the first month of business, including startup costs and the purchasing of equipment, total expenses are estimated to be $41,950. This will leave $8,050 leftover of startup capital in the event that more ingredients or repairs are needed as well as any other situation that might arise.




Mountain Top Treats is truly a business like no other in the area. Mountain Top Treats aims to serve the highest quality products using naturally local products to support the “Made in Montana” brand that locals and visitors support. The competition is strong, but with this 50,000 dollar investment and a strong plan with a core belief that encourages community and natural products, success in a small tourist heavy town will be achievable.

Work Cited

  • “Brooks Library Off Campus Login.” CWU University Libraries: Off Campus Proxy Login, subscriber.hoovers.com.ezp.lib.cwu.edu/H/industry360/overview.html?industryId=1837.
  • “Coffee Traders: We Roast Coffee!” Coffee Traders: We Roast Coffee!, www.coffeetraders.com/.
  • “Current Coffee Consumer Trends: Inside the NCA’s 2018 Report.” Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine, 3 Oct. 2018, dailycoffeenews.com/2018/03/21/current-coffee-consumer-trends-inside-the-ncas-2018-report/.
  • Editors, SKI Magazine. “SKI Resort Guide Best in the West 2018: Overall 1-15.” Ski Mag, 22 Sept. 2017, www.skimag.com/ski-resort-life/best-in-the-west-overall-1-15-2018#gid=ci0210cbf820002437&pid=ski1017_rgw_whitefishpow_courtesy.
  • “From Our Farm to Your Table.” Whole Grain Health | Wheat Montana, www.wheatmontana.com/.
  • Perry. “Tourism Is Thriving Year Round in Northwest Montana.” Missoulian.com, Missoulian, 19 Nov. 2017, missoulian.com/news/local/tourism-is-thriving-year-round-in-northwest-montana/article_91e9d4d1-109a-53fd-88ff-c2ff6b43597a.html.
  • Spencergregory. “How Much To Start a Bakery?” Startup Informant, startupinformant.com/how-much-to-start-a-bakery/.
  • US Census Bureau. “Search Results.” Census Bureau QuickFacts, 13 Dec. 2014, www.census.gov/search-results.html?searchType=web&cssp=SERP&q=population of Flathead valley mt.


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