Help Save Bitsy's Bakeshop & Cafe!

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Project by Charlotte Lavender

Help Save Bitsy's Bakeshop & Cafe!

Total raised £8,530

£10,000 stretch target 4 days left
170% 360 supporters

To raise £5000 for a deposit on our building, allowing us to take on the lease and stay open.

 New stretch target

I would love to work on the Mill becoming an inclusive space for everyone including creating cozy seating spaces, holding groups for mental health support, community workshops and providing affordable space for small independent businesses to trade. This includes the building of retail spaces, purchasing cozy furniture and making sure we have an accessible space for all.


For those of you who don't know my name is Bitsy and I run a small independent café and bakeshop called Bitsy's Emporium Of Awesome. Just over three years ago I decided to take on a café space in an old mill building by the canal on Frog Island, just outside of Leicester city centre. Although I'd been baking delicious treats for years, I'd never really planned on having a shop, and it was almost on a whim I decided to give it a go. I never really dreamed that over the next three and a bit years my little shop would blossom into the gorgeous and vibrant hub of amazing food, drinks, and of course baked goods, that it is today. With the help of my amazing team I've grown Bitsy's into a warm and welcoming spot for everyone to come and hang out and enjoy my yummy creations. 

If you've been to Bitsy's before you will know that we operate in a shared space with a few other businesses, namely Graffwerk, who lease the building and who I rent the café space from. A few weeks ago I was told that Graffwerk had decided to give up the building and were moving onto pastures new. This of course threw the whole future of Bitsy's up in the air. All of sudden it seemed that I might have to give up the lovely little spot I'd worked so hard to create, it felt like everything was tumbling and with so many questions I had no idea what to do. To add to my worries was the fact that all this was happening on an accelerated time frame, and that by the end of June I'd have to be moved out and gone. Needless to say, I had a little bit of a wobble. 

I spent some time looking at options and the prospect of moving was a daunting one, the finances just wouldn't stretch to accommodate a move, and the spaces available on such a short time frame were either unsuitable or unaffordable. I worried about losing my team and my customers and it began to seem like there wasn't much hope for Bitsy's. 

I was urged by the good people around me to have a good hard think about what to do, and the more I thought the more I realised that what I want more than anything is to stay put exactly where I am. Truth is I love it here. The building is old and run down and a little bit quirky, but so am I! The Mill is our home, and I couldn't imagine Bitsy's being anywhere else. 

I began to look at the space and imagine all the possibilities for the future, a building all for Bitsy's with lots of warm and cozy spots for my customers, retail spaces for small businesses, spaces for workshops and meetings and activities and events. Not to mention of course the endless space for shiny things. All of a sudden my brain kicked into gear and I began to see the situation as an opportunity instead of a catastrophe. 

Then reality came back around bite. After a meeting with the landlord I was told that I was welcome to take on the building, but it would require a hefty deposit of £5000 to secure it. With six weeks before Graffwerk moved out this was going to be impossible. Cash flow can be tight for a small business like mine at the best of times and regular customers will know that we had to close for a couple of weeks in April due to road closures, the cost of which I was still trying to catch up on. Again it seemed like the future of Bitsy's was in doubt, and the prospect of closing up was back in my mind. 

With that we come to now. 

As a last ditch resort I decided to set up this crowdfunding campaign to try and raise the money for the deposit and keep Bitsy's alive. 

Anyone who knows me knows that I find it very hard to ask for help with anything, and asking for donations is not something I take lightly, but the truth is I love my shop and I don't want to give up on it without trying everything I can to keep it going! Bitsy's is a place for the whole community, and I'm hoping that by appealing to the community for help I can overcome this hurdle and keep Bitsy's going for a long time to come. 

Any and all donations no matter how small would go a long way and be massively appreciated, I've never used crowdfunder before but I've done my best to try and offer some unique and fun rewards for those of you who are interested. I understand money is tight for everyone these days, so if you aren't in a position to donate but would still like to help out please share the project and spread the word!


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Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£50 or more

26 of 50 claimed

Wall Of Fame Year Book Style!

Provide us with a digital photo of you, your name and a year book style quote and we will mock it up to look like a year book page and frame it on our wall of fame at The Emporium.

£150 or more

1 of 5 claimed

Balcony Hire @ Bitsy's

Your donation covers hire of the Bitsy's balcony space for up to 3 hours. This also includes a consultation to discuss further details/additions.

£400 or more

0 of 5 claimed

Hold A Catered Kids Party!

Hold a kids (or adults!) party for 10 at Bitsy's! 10 small Overground grilled cheeses, 10 small shakes, cookies and icing and sprinkles so you can be let loose to decorate to your hearts content. 3 hours max to be booked at a mutually convenient time.

£500 or more

1 of 10 claimed

Free Coffee Friday!

Free Coffee Fridays @ Bitsys. Send us a digital photo of you and you will receive a personalised membership card for unlimited free hot drinks for yourself on Fridays at Bitsy's for 6 months.

£1,000 or more

0 of 5 claimed

Unlimited Drinks!

Unlimited drinks @ Bitsys. Send us a digital photo of you and you will receive a personalised membership card for unlimited free hot drinks for yourself at Bitsy's for 6 months.

£2,500 or more

0 of 5 claimed

Have A Bitsy's Wedding Party!

Your donation covers your cost of the entire Bitsy's space for private hire for your wedding (or any other occasion) on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday! This includes bar staff for the duration of your event, set up and clear down and a consultation to discuss further details/additions. Drinks from our menu, bakes and other items are available at an additional cost.

£3,000 or more

0 of 3 claimed

Be A Bitsy's Cup Sponsor!

Wanna be a Bitsy's take out cup sponsor? Get your logo/website on our take away coffee cups for 3 months including socials promo on the Bitsy's Emporium accounts.

£20 or more

50 of 50 claimed

Wall Of Fame Participant!

Your name will be painted on the thank you list on the wall of fame at The Emporium

£250 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Get A Grilled Cheese Named After You!

Does what it says on the tin! Get a grilled cheese named after you on our menu board!

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