Help us open our artisan bakery in Earlsdon

by Lily & Fox Bakery in Coventry, West Midlands, United Kingdom

Help us open our artisan bakery in Earlsdon

Total raised £3,336

£15,000 target 34 days left
22% 54 supporters
Keep what you raise – this project will receive all pledges made by 17th May 2024 at 3:18pm

We're hoping to expand our micro-bakery business into new premises on Earlsdon High St & need your help in getting funds for new equipment

by Lily & Fox Bakery in Coventry, West Midlands, United Kingdom

Hello.

We're Charlotte & Daniel and we run Lily & Fox Bakery right here in Earlsdon in Coventry. For the last year we have been running an artisan micro-bakery at home, supplying several businesses in Coventry, as well as having several pop-up events and markets selling our delicious baked goods directly to you. We absolutely love doing this, and we are now ready to take this to the next level in order to keep up with demand.

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We created Lily & Fox bakery out of an obsession with good food. We opened our micro-bakery in Coventry in March 2023, making delicious artisan baked goods, using local, high quality ingredients. Our range of bakes continues to grow thanks to our baker, Charlotte who has trained with Wayne Caddy, the UK's representative at the baking Coup de Monde and Master de la Boulangerie. The name of our bakery is very close to our hearts. Lily is our daughter’s middle name, and the name of Charlotte’s great grandmother - a baker in Coventry in the 1950s. Fox is our son’s middle name and the family name of Daniel’s late uncle.

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In a short amount of time we have had an incredible amount of positive feedback from customers, with comments such as "I cannot recommend them enough!" - @the_foodie_filofax / "I bought one of your sourdough house loaves and l just had to find you online to congratulate you on an amazing product"- Tricia M / "The best bread in the world!" - @lilysamuelsnutrition.

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When looking at our options for expansion, we looked at several options such as expanding to an industrial location in solely supplying more wholesale business in the area. However, when we considered this option (and several like it) it didn't sit right with us as it missed a key element - retail.

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This expansion discussion of our artisan bakery lead us to the empty shop of the old R.J. Pennycooks at 44 Earlsdon Street. We were approached about the opportunity of opening up a bakery there and everything seemed to click in place for us. An opportunity to be a bigger part of our local community, be close to home & school for our family and help give more to the high street here in Earlsdon after some challenging years of many closure of essential businesses. With the owner of the property being such a patient and collaborative partner, we soon found out they also shared the same values and thoughts as we did about the importance of local business here in Earlsdon and our approach to have a business that worked around our family. We are hopeful to be ready and open by the summer of 2024 to start supplying Earlsdon with high-quality, artisan baked goods.

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So here we are. A newly renovated (and expanded) retail location, a growing business that we feel would be great for the local community and 2 people with the drive and ideas to make it work. The challenge we have reached is that in order to make all of the above happen, we need to seriously upgrade our business from the current at-home micro-bakery that we currently are to a modern wholesale and retail bakery.

We have been meticulously budgeting our business for several months now (both of us worked for several years in the film industry doing similar), and in a nutshell bakery equipment is expensive! Bakery ovens, mixers, fridges, worktops, storage etc are costly for the upscale we are aiming for and we need all of that ahead of opening up this summer. Add to this all of the work needed to setup a retail shop environment (the shop is currently renovated but an 'empty shell' so lots of work to be done here) and you can understand why initial setup costs are so high. 

With all of the above in mind, we have costed up this initial cost at £25,000. £10,000 of this amount we have managed to pull together from our own savings from the business, and several people looking to help us get started, leaving us a total of £15,000 still to cover. We have been researching, meeting and discussing this cost gap with local council programs, private companies as well as bank loans, grant applications and any other programs we can find to help. As you can imagine, all of these options are challenged by a very difficult application processes which can take many months to move to the next stage with only a small chance of being successful. So, sought advice from many of the bakers and bakeries we have gotten to know all over the world this last year and overwhelmingly they suggested to start a Crowdfunder. 

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With the passion so many have for the local Earlsdon community, the interest shown for a real bakery opening up and the growing need for more retail businesses to open and thrive on the high street, we have now opened this up to others just like you, to help us with the remaining funds. We want to be as clear and upfront as we can be about what those costs are and they would cover the following:

  • Oven. We have opted to have 3 medium sized ovens in our bakery, 2 of which we have already bought. This will be tripling our existing output and allowing for more baked goods to be made.
  • Refrigeration. Keeping dough and ingredients and specific temperatures is vitally important for making good quality product. Many of our processes for loaves for example can take nearly 40 hours to complete. We will be getting several different refrigeration items that will help in this process.
  • Mixer. As you can imagine, making enough mixture for product at a bigger scale will require us to upgrade to a much larger mixer to combine with our existing medium floor mixer.
  • Dough Sheeter. A very important piece of equipment that we currently do not have. This is key for making pastries, which we would love to have on offer in the shop.
  • Work surfaces / Prep area. In order to fold, roll, shape and refine our dough, a lot of space is needed to allow product to be made correctly and allowed to rest. A key challenge we currently have with our at home setup, is the lack of space to lay things out. This will assist us greatly in scaling up our bakery.
  • Ventilation. A very important aspect, is making sure that as much ventilation is installed as possible to maintain a healthy and safe environment. This will also need to be up to health and safety standards.
  • Other Costs. There are many other lines of costs that cover areas such as point of sale, signage, shelving, sinks and flooring.

With all of the above covered, we will be in a great place to finally expand our bakery as we aim to do the following when we move in:

  • Expand our current wholesale business to allow us to support other local businesses, not just in Earlsdon, but in the wider Coventry and Warwickshire areas. In the last 6 months alone, we have had to turn down over a dozen or more wholesale opportunities that our current setup would not allow. The more businesses we support, the more high-quality product they serve, the more successful their businesses become.
  • Open our retail business for the first time. This will initially be for a couple of days a week as we find our feet and manage costs of staffing etc. With time, this will expand to more days as week to make sure we continue to offer Earlsdon a great artisanal bakery.
  • Hire locally. We will only need a couple of people to begin with, but we are aiming to have employment opportunities in the bakery as we expand. Offering more jobs in the current climate is such an important part of our local community and economy. 
  • Obtain local and high-quality ingredients. It is very important to us to balance local, high-quality and ethical products with maintaining affordable costs to you, our customers.
  • Build a business around our family. Our family is so important to us and with two very young children we want to make sure they have as much time with us together as possible. With our home in Earlsdon, our children at school and nursery in Earlsdon and our opening work days/hours, allowing flexibility is vital to make happen.

And what about products? If you've not had our baked goods before, here are just some of the products we will be offering regularly in the shop:

Sourdough loaves / Brownies / Blondies / Yeasted Loaves / Cookies / Focaccia / Cakes / Cinnamon Buns / Pastries / Brioche / Soda Bread / Bagels / Scones + much, much more.

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If you've read this far - thank you! We feel very fortunate to be in the position we are and we feel our bakery will be a long-term project giving back into the high street, back into our local community and most importantly give incredible, delicious artisan baked goods to you. We want to thank you so much in advance for any amount you would be willing to help with at this time. We understand times are tough, and honestly any amount will help us get to the finish line. Your positive and encouraging comments have helped us get to where we are and your generosity will make a dream come true for us. We have set a few rewards for your donations that you can see on another part of this page and we are here or via our many other points of contact for any questions you may have. We will continue to update this page as often as we can with what is happening. Thank you so much!!

Charlotte & Daniel x

Lily & Fox Bakery

Rewards

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

£25 or more

£25 Reward

For the £25 amount you will receive 1 sourdough loaf of your choice and 1 x brownie/blondie of your choice once we have our shop open

£50 or more

£50 Reward

For our £50 reward, you will receive a sourdough loaf of your choice, 2 x brownies/blondies of your choice and an exclusive Lily & Fox Bakery Tote bag that will only be available to you.

£100 or more

£100 Reward

For our £100 donation, you will receive 1 x sourdough loaf of your choice a week for a whole month, 2 x brownies/blondies of your choice and an exclusive Lily & Fox Bakery tote bag, only available to those that donate.

£250 or more

£250 Reward

For our £250 donors, you will receive 1 x sourdough loaf of your choice a week for one month, 2 x brownies/blondies of your choice, an exclusive Lily & Fox Bakery tote bag only available for reward donors + you will get 10% off your first full price order in the shop and a very special behind the scenes tour of the bakery once we are in there.

£500 or more

1 of 30 claimed

£500 Reward

For the very generous donation of £500 you will receive 1 x loaf of your choice a week for 3 months, 10% off your full price orders in the bakery for 3 months, an exclusive Lily & Fox Bakery tote bag and a behind the scenes tour of the bakery.

£1,000 or more

0 of 15 claimed

£1000 Reward

For this unbelievably generous donation of £1,000 you will receive: 1 x Loaf of your choice FREE for 6 whole months. 1 x Exclusive Deluxe Lily & Fox Bakery Hamper (including breads, sweet treats, cakes etc) 1 year L&F Taste Tester (Taste our bakes for us before we sell them in shop!) 10% off all full price orders in store for 6 months 1 x Tour of bakery You +1 Invite to our private opening event 1 x Exclusive L&F Bakery tote bag

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