I encourage everyone to try something crazy like this at least once. Heck, if you want help making pretzels I'll help you start out too :)
We got the idea from travelling and being in Key West looking for a Sno Cone place. We joked that we should start one, and the idea just sort of grew from there. The original idea was sword shaped pretzels, but the "hilt" part never cooked or tasted right. So we stuck to the regular ones. Kept the Medieval theming though :)
I came home and took a job in a bakery for a month to learn the ins and outs, then we saved up and got to planning. I know some doughnut store owners, and they make great money, but have no life (Up at 2 AM, asleep by 6 PM). We hoped a concession would allow us to work about 6 months a year and goof off the rest.
I designed the trailer and we had it built by a company here in Oklahoma City. The trailer was a little over $20,000 for everything but the flags and pretzel inflatable (a pool toy) I added afterwards. We got a commercial loan from a local bank for most of it.
The business started on our tax return of about $3,000 with some savings, so maybe $5,000 total. That's an oven, mixer, some warmers and utensils. I found a supplier who has all my dry ingredients out of Missouri, and we use locally milled wheat from Shawnee, Oklahoma. They mill it the day we go pick it up, so the first couple of people I bake for get to eat flour that is just a few days old.
It makes a huge difference taste wise, so everyone thinks I have a secret ingredient. But it's just fresh stuff from the right places. Oklahoma flour, Cheese and butter from Wisconsin, and Yeast from Milwaukee. That's basically it.
We sell them for $3.50 a piece, and it costs me about .25 cents to make one. Yep.
All the equipment and materials paid for themselves about halfway through our first event. I am hoping the trailer will follow suit.
Concessions is a racket for sure, but when I set up next to people charging $7 for a hot dog, I am pretty cheap in comparison. And I can afford to give them away to people or do buy one get 3 free for people at the end of the day. The only thing I had to change was I give away free cheese (Since I hate getting dinged for stuff like that, I didn't want to do that to anybody else) but people would ask me for like 3 and 4 of them with one pretzel! :)
Are they drinking it? I dunno. So now an extra one is a quarter.