Black Cat Farm Shop expansion

by suelang in Bedfordshire, Bedfordshire, England

We did it
On 17th December 2016 we successfully raised £1,400 with 26 supporters in 56 days

We sell Fresh, Seasonal, Local vegetables, fruit, other foods and crafts. Be a part of the team, help me open more days and work smarter!

by suelang in Bedfordshire, Bedfordshire, England

The Black Cat Farm Shop was opened in October 2014 - based in a small wooden cabin in the grounds of a garden centre. The cabin had previously been used as an outlet for a local vegetable box scheme.  It's called the 'Black Cat' because it is just off the [in]famous Black Cat Roundabout on the A1/A421 junction.

Specialising in Fresh, Seasonal, Local produce, we mainly sell Vegetables and Fruits, but also selling a wide range of locally produced foodstuffs - Bread, Cheese, Honey & Preserves, Rapeseed Oil, Bread Flour, Apple Juice, Coffee, Cakes and Quiches, and other locally crafted items.  We support over 20 local small businesses.

A little bit of history......

The shop is owned and run by Sue Lang. Sue worked in the catering and brewing industries for 25 years, but after being offered redundancy, turned her hobby of beekeeping and preserve making into a small business. She spent the next 5 years attending farmers markets and craft fairs selling her honey and beeswax products, homemade jams, marmalades and chutneys, and also teaching beekeeping and cookery courses.

In 2014, Val and Mark who owned and ran 'Garden Friends' vegetable box scheme and Farm Shop decided to retire. They offered to sell her the farm shop, and Sue jumped at the chance of having a permanent base. 

From having challenging weather at the markets, life in the cabin has its challenges too - freezing in the winter and boiling in the summer - but that's part of what the project will help with.

Where we are now.....

Sue's had the shop for 2 years now, and is enjoying building up her customer base, and also working with her suppliers to provide the best quality products possible.

Currently the shop is open 3.5 days a week. As Sue continues to look after her bees, and also make all the preserves sold in the shop, she cannot open any more days - the cabin is 4.7m by 5.7m and currently has no water or waste connected. This means she has to do a lot of cooking at home (where she is registered as a Food Business).

The future.......

The project is going to be able to do several things:

Expand the selling space, including some 'serve over' fridges - allowing more 'deli' type products to be stocked such as cheese and olives.

Create a 'working' space with extra fridge, freezer, cooker and washing up facilites - Sue can then make all the preseves on site, rather than at home. She can also expand the range of cakes and savoury items, and bake several times a week.  Sue will also be able to host small groups for things such as breadmaking courses.

Kit the new area out to Environmental Services standards (washable floor, ceiling, walls), and insulation to keep the cabin warmer in winter, and cooler in summer.

Employ someone part time so that Sue can get regular days off, working 7 days a week is fine, but she doesn't get much time with her husband!

The rewards are based on the shops products, and events that we will be able to do once the building work is done and the the equipment installed.

Please help Sue to fund this project - the Farm Shop is the only one of its kind within a 10 mile radius, and whilst it provides a great service already, it can do so much more.  Thank you!

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£10 or more

£10 Reward

Your name on my 'Wall of Fame' for all the projects backers and my eternal thanks for believing in me!

£20 or more

£20 Reward

One jar of home made preserves (jam, chutney, marmalade) from the range made by Sue and stocked in the shop. This will be for collection from the shop, or delivery within 10 miles of the shop only. Plus - your name will appear on my Wall of Fame.

£25 or more

0 of 10 claimed

£25 Reward

One free place at a Tasting Event, to be held in the shop once the cabin is built and kitted out. We will be tasting local cheeses, breads, vegetables, Oils. Plus - your name will appear on my Wall of Fame.

£50 or more

1 of 10 claimed

£50 Reward

A lunch pack for 4 people. Containing 6 crispy white rolls, 2 quiches (bacon or vegetarian - your choice), one piece of Wobbly Bottom Cheese, one jar of homemade chutney, 4 tomatoes, 4 small bottles of still or sparkling water, paper plates, plastic cutlery and napkins. To be collected only from the shop, this cannot be couriered. Requires 3 days notice for collection. Plus - your name will appear on my Wall of Fame.

£50 or more

£50 Reward

A 10% off voucher for fruit and vegetables sold at the shop. Single Use voucher, to be collected from the shop. Plus - your name will appear on my Wall of Fame.

£50 or more

2 of 10 claimed

£50 Reward

A cotton shopping bag for life, with Black Cat Farm Shop logo on it. Will include postage to you if you cannot get to the shop to collect. Plus - your name will appear on my Wall of Fame.

£50 or more

7 of 20 claimed

£50 Reward

3 jars of home made preserves (jam, chutney, marmalade) made by Sue and stocked in the shop. This will come gift wrapped, and can be couriered to you.

£100 or more

4 of 10 claimed

£100 Reward

Free place for one person on a cookery course, based at the shop once the extension is built and kitted out. Courses are likely to be held in Spring/Summer 2017. Plus - your name will appear on my Wall of Fame.

£100 or more

0 of 10 claimed

£100 Reward

A 20% off voucher for fruit and vegetables. Multi-use voucher valid for one month from date of posting. For collection at the shop only. Plus - your name will appear on my Wall of Fame.

£500 or more

0 of 10 claimed

£500 Reward

A 20% off voucher for Fruit and Vegetables from the shop. Multi-use voucher valid for 3 months from the date of posting. For collection from the shop only. Plus - your name will appear on my Wall of Fame.

£1,000 or more

0 of 5 claimed

£1,000 Reward

A 20% off voucher, for fruit and vegetables from the shop. A multi-use voucher valid for 6 months from date of posting. Items to be collected from the shop only. Plus - your name will appear on my Wall of Fame.


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