Set on Woodoaks Farm in Maple Cross, Creative Juices Brewing Company was the hidden gem that was starting to get people in the area talking.
We were a craft brewery, producing high quality beers and selling them through our unique taproom. In addition we supported other small local independent breweries by showcasing their beers too, and we hoped to support creative arts based charities along the way as well.
It was quite a mission to get the business off the ground in the first place and we had invested heavily in salvaging the farm's old dairy building before we invested further, installing a brewery and taproom to open to the public.
Then the global pandemic hit.
We had no sooner opened our doors, than we had to shut them once more. It was heartbreaking, but we were determined that our story wouldn't end there.
After a couple of weeks we had managed to cobble together a website and started doing free local deliveries to try and keep the business ticking over until we could reach a "new normal"... which brings us up to date.
Our New Chapter
We offered something different to the regular watering hole; an inclusive, welcoming, safe environment filled with families, couples, cyclists, ramblers, dog walkers (and their dogs of course), and craft beer fans... all enjoying a chat and a smile over a glass of their chosen drink. And people - maybe even your good self - loved what we were doing for the local area; we had become a little hub for the community in a short space of time.
We want to continue that offering, but the harsh reality is we can no longer use the taproom space. It is a quirky old building that was never intended to be used as we were in the first place and certainly doesn't lend itself to any form of social distancing.
Being based on a farm though, we are lucky enough that we have access to some modest outside space and we hope to convert this space into an outdoor area reflecting what we achieved inside before.
And that is where you can help...
We need to innovate; to change our operation going forward and are looking to raise some money to invest further into this new outside space for the taproom.
It will be a relatively simple set-up, but a culmination of lots of little bits and bobs starts to add up to a fairly sizeable bill overall. At a basic level, once we have prepped the area, we need to erect a fence, put in a child-safe entrance gate, have signage dotted around explaining the safe operation of our new set-up, put in tables and chairs, create a contactless ordering system, have a service area of some kind, and have PPE and hygiene equipment in place for our taproom hosts and visitors alike.
Depending on how much we can raise, we can also then potentially look at things like sun shades on hotter days, keeping punters warm on colder days, having suitable low-level lighting on darker days, even planting some hops to help the sustainable nature of our business.
And how much we can raise depends on you.
How You Can Help
In line with Crowdfunder's "Pay It Forward" campaign, what we're actually asking people to do is buy themselves a pint for a fiver now to drink in this new outside space once it is open in the future. Simple.
If you can afford to offer us more than a fiver (perhaps you are a kindhearted millionaire who wants to do a good thing), your generosity will obviously be greatly appreciated; not just by us at Creative Juices, but by the local community.
But by the same token we know that this pandemic has created uncertain times and worry for people and businesses around the country, not just us. We appreciate that even a fiver might feel like a stretch at the moment. If that is the case, don't worry because you can still help. All we would ask is for you to share our cause on your social network of choice. That doesn't cost a penny and a simple mention on your Facebook might help us find that kindhearted millionaire after all!
Please give as much or as little as you can afford at this time.
Most importantly however, if we can manage to hit our full fundraising target in just two weeks, the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership will contribute a further £2,000 to our cause... and we can go on to achieve even greater things.
But that is a big "if".
So, thank you in advance for your help and kindness. And we hope to be welcoming you to our new garden very soon. Cheers!