Custom edible sheets make an otherwise bland cake look attractive without a lot of cost. Start your own business printing and selling edible sheets to people who make cakes.

Introduction
Edible sheets are added to the top of the cake (and cupcakes) to give the cake a full colour image and even photo finish. This is a printing business and not a bakery business; your business model will be similar to novelty printing or sublimation business, whereby people looking to personalise their cakes or make “photo cakes” will send you an image to print that they will stick the top of the cake with icing or  frosting or buttercream.

Many people cannot afford expensive cakes and don’t have baking skills either, so they simply take a box of readymix and make a cake, and then they go to people who print edible sheets and have a photo printed on the cake. The photo is such a novelty that almost nobody cares what the cake tastes like. You can do the same for cupcakes, you just print the circles on an A4 sheet and the people will cut it out.

Getting started
To get started you will need:
 Computer (to layout and print the image)
• Printer (Canon photo printers are often used – the iP7240 is popular right now)
• Empty refillable cartridges (sometimes you can buy refillable cartridges already containing edible ink)
• Edible ink (to refill the empty cartridges)
• Edible sheets (some suppliers sell tasteless edible paper, others sell a more expensive vanilla flavoured sheet).

Process
Once the image is received it is printed on a sheet of edible paper. The edible ink papers have plastic at the back and go through your printer the same way that normal paper does, but they get printed to with edible ink. The plastic backing is then removed and the edible paper is applied to a layer of icing or frosting or cream on top of the cake.

Business model
You charge per A4 sheet printed, with the current rate around R50 – R60 a sheet. With the cost of a edible sheet being around R5 a sheet, excluding the cost of ink (your overall cost should be around R10 a sheet).

This is a business that can be operated alongside a novelty printing business such as sublimation printing or mug printing. But remember the printer should be used for nothing else but the edible ink.

More Information:
Printing edible paper on YouTube

Image credit: Best Cake


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How to Start a Business from Business Idea