I echo the sentiments of both Ed and Annie.
I am a patisserie owner and operator. I do a full from scratch, hand made product line with the finest quality ingredients. If it wasn't for wholesale dessert accounts and wedding cakes I'd have to shut my doors.
Hiring staff to do things that you don't want to do isn't really an answer. Labour costs can kill a bakery....and definitely eliminate any profit margins you might make. If you hire a cake decorator to do wedding cakes only....they are going to want a hefty amount of money per hour.....and wedding cakes take ALOT of time and space....your profit margin would go right out the window.
In order to stay in business...and get people through your doors...sometimes you have to make product you have no interest in whatsoever. For example...I definitely wanted to do from scratch croissants, brioche, and focaccia. But I had no interest in traditional breads and rolls. I found out pretty quickly that while there was a market for what I wanted to make....I had no choice but to give in and make the traditional breads that the public demanded. I had to start making cookies...and not fun and interesting cookies but your run of the mill peanut butter, chocolate chip...and so on and so on. I appeased myself by making the best breads and cookies I was capable of making. If I was going to do it...I was REALLY going to do it and do it well. These were concessions I had to make in order to build and maintain a customer base. People were square nuts in this area.....if I didn't make squares then I didn't get to sell my madeleines, my fancy cakes and cupcakes, my gateaux, and my choux paste creations. It was all a tradeoff. When you own your own business you indeed do have a boss--THE CUSTOMER....and they determine what you make and don't make. Because if you stick to only what YOU want to make...you may end up throwing out alot of wonderful product and putting a for sale sign on your door.
Ed is right--in this market profit margins are very, very slim...and you NEED experience in all aspects of running a business and restaurant in order to make it.
Not to discourage you...but I had everything going for me going into this venture...I had commercial baking experience, a strong business background...I KNEW what I was getting into. And STILL in the end I feel I was unprepared for the realities of owning and running my own bakery.
Another thing that people fail to realize is working as a chef can consume your whole life....but when you are a chef/owner....you REALLY have no life. Seriously. You don't own the bakery....the bakery owns you.
I would not recommend owning a bakery to anyone. And the pastry chef who trained me...a brilliant man who owned and operated a very successful and award winning bakery tried to tell me the same thing. I love what I do....but there's a huge difference between working as a pastry chef FOR someone (and that's an extremely demanding and difficult job in itself!) and owning and operating one. Finances are usually such that as an owner you can't afford to hire additional staff so you have to wear all hats yourself. Some you may be good at...others you may not...but regardless you have to GET GOOD AT IT. It's far more than just showing up to work and baking...which by the way for me means 15 hours of straight baking alone EVERY DAY. That's just the beginning of the work. And that's the beginning of the work with one full time staff member and one part time to help me.
I don't have any children...but I do have a husband and two dogs. I rarely see them. I usually stumble home long enough to get a few hours sleep and go back to the shop again.
Please...I don't mean to discourage you or sound negative. But you asked for a reality check....THIS is the reality of what you are considering.
Okay...back to wedding cakes now....