Transitioning your hobby of baking or cake decorating to an official cake business is an exciting prospect. Just think of all of the lives you’ll make sweeter with your delicious baked goods, lovely confections, or beautifully decorated cakes!
But before you attain any level of fame for your fancy flour and sugar work, you’ll need a snappy name. Sound stressful? It doesn’t need to be. It can actually be quite a fun process. Here are just a few tips to assist with how to name your baking business.
Dos and don’ts: a few general rules of thumb
DO make it clear that you are a baking-related business.
Obvious, right? But believe it or not, this is frequently something overlooked in naming a baking business. Making it clear in your business name that baking is what you do will make it easier for people to find you.
Something too general, such as “Melissa’s Creations,” could make it difficult for people searching online for a baker in the area to find you. Meanwhile, “Melissa’s Cookie Creations” gives a clear indication of what the business offers.
This doesn’t have to be quite as straightforward as having the word “bakery” in your business name, but including a reference to cakes, cake decorating, baked goods or pastry will certainly be helpful when people are trying to find you.
DO give yourself room to grow.
When choosing a name for your business, you don’t want to limit yourself. For instance, if you specialize in cake pops, calling yourself “My Cake Pop Company” might sound tempting. But what happens in five years when you want to add cookies and layer cakes to your roster? “My Cake Pops, Cookies and Layer Cake Company” doesn’t have quite the same ring. Don’t limit your future possibilities by choosing a name that is too specific or shuts the door to expanding your offerings.
This doesn’t mean you have to be vague, though. For instance, a business called Trophy Cupcakes & Party specializes in cupcakes, but the “party” tagged on to the name gives the business some freedom to branch out into events and other income streams while also specializing in a specific, targeted product.
Another example: Bella Cupcake Couture. This company specializes in fashion-forward cupcake wrappers. While the name indicates a boutique, cupcake-related product, it doesn’t limit the company to just cupcake wrappers. Should they choose to add other cupcake accessories, they have room to grow without altering the mission statement or company name.
DON’T choose something that’s already been chosen.
Even if your last name is Sprinkles and you make cupcakes, the fact is, Sprinkles Cupcakes has already been taken. Even if you’re in a different city than another business with the same name, resist the temptation.
Not only is it impolite to another business to poach their name, but if a business is already established with a given name, chances are they’ve already claimed the URL, Instagram handle, Facebook page name, etc.
This extends to characters and things that are trademarked or copyrighted, too, which can cause confusion and lead to potential lawsuits. If you call yourself “Mickey Mouse Bakery,” you can expect to see some legal paperwork coming your way!
Sweet considerations: things to consider when naming your baking business
Family names are safe, if sometimes boring.
Freedman’s Bakery, Olsen’s Cake Creations, Moore’s Bake Shoppe. These may not be the most creative method for naming a business, but it does get the job done. Of course, the cool factor is upped if you also have a cool name. For instance, in Seattle, there’s a business called Molly Moon’s Ice Cream that’s owned by a woman named Molly Moon.
If your name doesn’t inspire a creative name, consider your nicknames, too. Our 2017 Cake Fellowship Designer Erin Garcia goes by “Birdy” among friends, which led her to name her business Birdy Bakes.
Don’t confuse people.
It might seem fun to refer to your sweet wares as “victuals” or “aliments,” but will everyone know what you mean? Probably not.
Choose puns with care.
Punny business names can be polarizing. Some find them cute, some don’t. Some start out cute but get stale fast. As a general rule of thumb, avoid puns that will be embarrassing every time you answer the phone.
Speaking of answering the phone, say your business name out loud. Does it roll off the tongue easily? If not, you risk jumbling your business name when answering the phone. Or worse, others might not understand you clearly when you say it.
Don’t be “kute” with your spelling.
Consider shock value.
Like puns, names with shock value can be polarizing. In general, don’t include curse words or words that might be offensive to any group in your business name. Think of it this way: If your business is called “Damn Fine Biscuits” and a child gets in trouble every time they ask for one…well, you might lose some families as clients.
A few formulas to try: creative prompts to get you brainstorming on a name
These formulas have worked for others in the past, so why not give them a test drive? Included are several prompts that include successful existing baking businesses, which illustrate a finished name using each formula. Even if they don’t result in a perfect final name for your business, at least they’ll get the creative juices going.
Object + Product
For example: Victrola Coffee, Rocket Doughnuts, Sprinkles Cupcakes, Bluebird Ice Cream.
Geographical Indication + Business Type or Product
For example: Charm City Cakes, Pearl Street Pastries, North Hill Bakery.
Flower Name + Business Type or Product
For example: Magnolia Bakery, Dahlia Cakes, Sweet Pea Cake Decorators.
Baking Term + Business Type or Product
Choose a word that has to do with the baking process: sift, crumb, buttercream, whisk, sugar. Bakery, Sweet Sugar Cakes and Wooden Spoon Bakery are all cute bakery names (sadly, they’re all taken, but you get the idea).
Build a cake business you’ll love forever!
Learn how to perfect your pricing strategy, build a strong financial foundation and so much more, in business guru Michelle Green’s online Bluprint class.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2013 and was updated in January 2018.