ARMR Store Kitchen

by kathleen o'connor in Manchester, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom

We did it
On 25th March 2022 we successfully raised £4,191 with 92 supporters in 14 days

ARMR Store in Ardwick is crowdfunding for a new kitchen.

by kathleen o'connor in Manchester, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom

ARMR Store: The What, Who, How and Why

My name’s Raph. In 2019, I used a start-up loan of £10k and some investment from my family to open ARMR Store – a cafe, health-food shop and community space, all in one. It’s a lively and inviting place. Our customer base is local, loyal and varied. Everyone gets a warm welcome at ARMR.  

An important part of the ARMR store ethos is giving back to the community where we are based. Here are just some of the things we’ve been doing in the community since we opened:

  • Offering the space for a food bank during the pandemic
  • Providing mentoring for local young people
  • Providing a platform for local independent brands, circulating money within the community
  • Sourcing local produce where possible rather than big national chains. 
  • Providing employment opportunities to local people 
  • Put money back into the local community
  • Providing culturally appropriate free food to those in need during the pandemic
  • Providing a no cost space for women's well being and men's mental health groups 

Ardwick, where ARMR Store is situated, is one of Manchester’s most deprived neighbourhoods. It’s characterised by high levels of unemployment and low levels of self-employment. Research shows that people living in deprived communities believe that owning their own successful local business is an unattainable aspiration.

I’m a big believer in ‘If you see it, you can be it’. It wasn’t that long ago that my background and my situation would’ve led many to write me off. I had no formal education. I fell short of my goal to become a professional footballer. Age 19 I found myself spending time in prison.

But now, thanks to hard work and tireless support, I’m running a thriving independent business. I want my story to inspire others and to help create opportunities in my community. I truly believe that Ardwick is more than just deprivation, it’s an untapped source of potential. 

The ARMR Store ethos is best summed up by our tagline “Bringing better options to the community.”

So what comes next?

Currently, I do most of the cooking for ARMR Store at home before bringing it into the cafe to serve customers. It's not ideal. I need a fully fitted kitchen for ARMR so that I can serve more people, more quickly; expand the menu; extend the opening hours; and continue to defy expectations and grow my business. 

ARMR Store has benefited from some investment from three local individuals. This money has helped keep our doors open during a difficult time for business – and so now we need some help.   

I want to take ARMR Store to the next level. Your investment will allow ARMR Store to provide:

  • Training and mentoring opportunities for local young people, across areas such as cooking, hospitality, retail, event organisation and business management. 
  • Expanded operational hours, with food served in the evenings. 
  • A space for events showcasing local artists, community leaders, business people and other inspirational figures. 
  • A space for events focused on physical and mental wellbeing. 
  • An expanded menu of freshly made, culturally appropriate vegan food for an area disproportionately served by fast-food outlets. 
  • Support for local non-profit Eat Well MCR, along with other grassroots organisations.  

    I’ve put together a whole host of rewards for people who donate. Some can be bought outright, while others will be awarded at random to people who’ve donated – no matter how big or small their donation may be.

    Thank you so much for your support, it makes a real difference, not just to me but to the area where ARMR store operates.

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation

£20 or more

13 of 50 claimed

Artists at ARMR: KinKai

An evening with KinKai. Amongst Manchester’s hip hop and soul community, KinKai is a man who needs no introduction. A rare chance to see KinKai perform in a small intimate gig, with only 50 tickets available. Delicious Caribbean Food and a welcome drink included. Event date tbc.

£3 or more

Raffle: ARMR wellness hamper

Someone will be picked at random from the people who pledge this reward. A hamper packed with amazing goodies from the range of independent businesses stocked at ARMR Store. ARMR Store has always supported local business people and creators within the community. *The winner will be notified via email by the 1st of April and will have 48 hours to claim before the next winner is selected.

£5 or more

14 of 250 claimed

Your name on the wall at ARMR

Have a permanent place on the wall and in the heart of ARMR Store.

£10 or more

Supporting ARMR and Ardwick £10

This is for anyone that would like to donate just because they care about the project.

£10 or more

Food at ARMR

ARMR Store serve delicious Caribbean vegan food. This reward will be available to redeem against food in ARMR from June 2022 onwards.

£20 or more

12 of 50 claimed

Artists at ARMR: Superlative and Karis

Showcasing some very special Manchester talent at an intimate private in-store event, award winning rapper and producer Superlative with his regular collaborator Karis Jade. The event is on Thursday June 16. Guests will be provided delicious Caribbean food and drinks while enjoying the lyrical talents of Superlative and Karis. Tickets are limited to 50 per event. Food and welcome drink included.

£20 or more

14 of 50 claimed

Artists at ARMR: OneDa

An evening with rapper and hip hop artist OneDa. Selected as One to Watch by BBC Radio 1 and 1xtra, OneDa resurrects Hip Hop in her truly unique style. An opportunity to see OneDa up close and personal with only 50 tickets available. Delicious Caribbean Food and a welcome drink included. Event date Friday 9th of September.

£20 or more

Supporting ARMR and Ardwick £20

This is for anyone that would like to donate just because they care about the project.

£100 or more

Supporting ARMR and Ardwick: £100

This is for anyone that would like to donate just because they care about the project.

£250 or more

Supporting ARMR and Ardwick £250

This is for anyone that would like to donate just because they care about the project.

£500 or more

Supporting ARMR and Ardwick £500

This is for anyone that would like to donate just because they care about the project.

£1,000 or more

Supporting ARMR and Ardwick £1000

This is for anyone that would like to donate just because they care about the project.

£60 or more

16 of 16 claimed

Caribbean Supper by Mary-Ellen McTague&Raph Evans

Six courses of incredible vegan food inspired by Caribbean cuisine and cooked by chefs Mary-Ellen McTague and ARMR Stores own Raph Evans. This small dinner will be held at ARMR store and has only 16 places available, bringing a flavour of the Caribbean to Ardwick. Event in September. Date TBC. Guests can expect delicious food and a drink on arrival included. There will be more expertly mixed drinks available to buy on the evening.

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