Building a Future: Building a Cheese School and Tasting Venue
2020 has changed lives, it has changed communities, it has challenged food producers and retailers alike. The global Covid-19 pandemic has created an uncertain landscape for millions of British small businesses, ours is no exception.
Who are we?
No2 Pound Street is your local independent wine and cheese retailer. We have been supplying wine and superb British cheese to our customers for almost a decade. We love wine and cheese and our mission is to share this with our customers ~ to make it fun!
2020 the challenge
With the Government calling time in March this year, we had to make a decision. Close for the foreseeable future or diversify. We chose the latter, we immediately removed all tables and chairs from the shop – no more tastings, coffee, wine, platters. Instantly losing the revenue from all those seats. We kept two staff, putting the rest on furlough and switched up to a retail operation – serving customers through a hatch in the front door. We created overnight the lifeline of a home delivery service to support a community in need. Every day we fought a 20hour battle to survive and keep our business operating. Thank you to our loyal customers (old and new) and to the army of volunteers who leapt to the cause.
2020 and the Future
With all the changes of 2020 happening in such a short space of time, there has been little time for reflection. But we know the battle is not over. We need to protect our business, the people we employ, the small hardworking artisan producers from whom we buy and create a future for No2 Pound Street.
How can we remain competitive in this new retail landscape? We need to continue to diversify, but how?
Cheese Tasting Room and Event Venue
We no longer have seating space in the shop, we have lost an entire revenue stream from customers who wanted to engage with our first class produce; be it wine or cheese. So let’s make a new space. We need to purpose fit a currently unused space to create a cheese & wine tasting room and event space for private hire. This space will allow us to teach about cheese as a recognised partner with the Academy of Cheese, to host wine and cheese tastings and to make available for private hire, for both business or pleasure.
In addition this re-fit will enable us to create a purpose built cheese-ageing room. This will enable us to become affineurs of cheese, making us the only affineurs in the region. Our product range can become enhanced and will make us the preferred choice for cheese lovers and businesses needing first class cheese boards.
We need to raise money for this project and that is where we are calling for your help. Please take a look at the packages available. We would love this project to be a collaboration of lovers of wine and cheese.
When will this happen?
We need to get this project underway as soon as possible, so that we are equipped to begin earning income from this new space before the end of 2020. The re-fit will take 6 weeks and we will combine this with a programme of promotion. We aim to make the space fully functional by end November 2020 and to take bookings for December 2020.
Why is this project important?
The creation of a cheese & wine tasting room and event space for private hire will allow us to maintain our current staffing levels and secure jobs. It will also allow us to build for the future, we will be looking to employ new team members, cheese affineur, tasting and events co-ordinator and a new team member for the shop itself.
Wendover will have a purpose fitted event space for the love of cheese and wine, available for private hire for business or pleasure (or a bit of both!). We will have a Cheese School run by No2 Pound Street as recognised partners to the Academy of Cheese. We will be able to run Wine School and accredited WSET classes.
As a result of opening up our catchment area for customers we will be introducing new visitors to Wendover, with a shared love of food and wine we are certain that other eateries and our superb independent shops on the High Street will also benefit.
The project provides a vision and a pathway for the future.
Our shop is widely known as the county’s top cheese-mongers. We only champion local and national farmhouse cheese. These cheese-makers and cheese farmers need all the support they can get. By allowing the crowdfund to make the room a reality, will mean we can promote these passionate producers. The public need to know why farmhouse cheese is so important. If we can help safeguard their livelihoods through education, it would be amazing
Please help us to make this vision a reality. We have come this far into 2020 with a true sense of community and how we can all get further if we work together. Please let’s work together to build something great for the future of our town, county and region.
Please take a look at the options available to help sponsor our project ~ and please remember every little really does help!
Re-fit and alterations this is to bring the space up to modern specification and to include fixtures and fittings including chairs and tables. £6,000.
Refrigeration and all works for cheese ageing room. £31,000.
AV equipment, electrical upgrade, wifi connections. £2,000
Other smaller projects we could really do with a helping hand…..
E-commerce – the continued growth an development of our website and its offering. This is an element of our business never really given much time or energy, but having seen the positive impact a few alternations have made, we now needs an injection of both to make it a nationally competitive platform for the online retail of wine, cheese and hampers. £4,000.
Shop re-fit – with the change around from part service / part retail to being fully retail, we have had to re-consider our shop fixtures and fittings, we need to build more versatile shelving as we plan for the future. To ensure we can continue to exist as a destination deli and wine shop and to improve our market share vs supermarkets this is very important as we embrace our future £3,000.
Grab n’ Go refrigeration – as we have seen shopping habits change we are looking to enhance our grab and go range of cheese and deli offerings to give a more complete range to our customers again ensuring we maintain our market share vs supermarkets. £4,000.