The Big Comfy Bookshop Expansion

by Michael McEntee in Coventry, England, United Kingdom

The Big Comfy Bookshop Expansion
We did it
On 9th June 2017 we successfully raised £4,045 with 82 supporters in 28 days

The Big Comfy Bookshop will be DOUBLING in size very soon and we require extra funds to help make it happen right

by Michael McEntee in Coventry, England, United Kingdom

Firstly, hello! I'm Michael.

In 2014 I ran a very succesful Crowdfunding campaign that helped me realise my desire to open a 2nd hand bookshop. It was a fantastic experience that showed the people of Coventry and further afield believed in me and my vision. Fast forward two and a half years and we've become pretty popular, and now have the opportunity to expand!

Above: The Market Hall entrance, currently have 1 door but will have the unit next to us too.

Our neighbour has vacated and so the shop next door is empty. The guys who run Fargo Village (where we're based) appraoched me to see if I'd like to take it on and so, here we are! We would essentially double in size from 63 sq metres to 120!

Above: Julia Stagg book signing in April this year

Over the past two years, and especially this year, our music nights Comfy & Acoustic have continuously sold out, and our Poetry nights have started to gain a really popular crowd too. Often we have to turn people away and so to have the extra room to accomodate more would be fantastic for both the shop, the artists/musicians/poets/authors and also the audience. But there's also another reason for growing.

Above: Comfy & Acoustic has become a must-see event. 10 of 12 this year have sold out!

I purchase our home made cakes from The Rustic Rose Cake Company and Crumbs Cakes. Ali who IS Crumbs Cakes also works here and between us we've noticed there's not a great deal of basic but really tasty food here at Fargo. There's a great Caribbean place, wonderful vegan food, a fab brewery and an American diner, but the basic family lunch place seems to be missing. So, well, we're going to dive into that! We've prepared a really great menu of jacket potatos, paninis, soups and a few other bits. Nothing fancy (I can basically do toast). We even won Best Cafe in Coventry/Warwickshire from What's On Magazine in March this year, so we need to BE a cafe now.

We're aiming for Comfy basic homely food. It seems a natural progression from where we are now.

I'm excited, terrified, nervous, giddy and worried!

Above: Just one of our regular groups. Knit In Sit In here every Friday

It feels almost like an even bigger task than actually opening the shop in the first place as I know it works now, but if I expand and it goes wrong then I've ruined it all. That's kind of where you guys come in. To kick start it I'm looking at around £10000 to reopen. It seems a lot. It IS a lot, but I want to break it down to show you where it'll go:

1. £4000 - New electrics/water. Yes, it really will cost this. Shocked me too.

2. £3000 - New floor. Our previous floor was £1500 so you know, double it!

3. £2500 - New kitchen/counter/more book cases/tables etc.

4. £500 - Marketing. We do ALL our marketing on social media so an extra kick with flyers would be great.

Above: Queing up to meet author Tom Cox and get books signed, at our Literature festival in Sept 16.

It might be a case that we raise half of it, but that means we'll still be able to have electrics, which is always good. But we really do need the full whack to make it a success. Another thing. It's happening soon. May 27th actually. That's when we'll close. We plan to open sometime the week starting 12th June. So that's only 2 weeks of renovation which is super tight. We have so much booked in at the shop that it's pretty much the only window for this until December. 

Above: Retro Game Night playing Duck Hunt!

The extra room, apart from being able to accomodate more people, will also accomodate more books! We stock anything and everything, all 2nd-hand, so will be able to keep even more on the shelves. 

So in summery: Loads more books, lovely home made food (not just cakes!), alcohol (did I mention we're licensed!), higher capacity, able to attract higher profile acts (We've already had Mark Morriss, Kathryn Williams, Tom McRae and over 100 more) and open 7 days a week.

Above: Touch FM reporting live from the shop

If you like my vision, and can spare some money to help out, please pledge. We're fully independent and live or die by your support. Find out more about the shop at www.thebigcomfybookshop.co.uk and please follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Thanks

Michael

Above: ME!

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation

£5 or more

£5 Reward

A thank you on our website

£10 or more

£10 Reward

A ltd edition bookmark available only to pledgers and a thank you on our website

£25 or more

£25 Reward

A ltd edition Big Comfy Bookshop Mug and bookmark, both only available to pledgers and a thank you on our website.

£50 or more

£50 Reward

Name a bookcase. Be it a business, a person or a made up alien. The bookcase will forever have your name on it. Great promo option! The ltd edition bookmark and a thank you on the website too.

£100 or more

£100 Reward

Get MORE for your money as we give you £125 worth of store credit for £100 with NO time limit. Spend it on books, cake, tickets, etc...anything! Literally get your money back and more.

£150 or more

£150 Reward

A professional Big Comfy Session video for you or your act, to be featured in our email list, social media and website. A thank you on the bookshop website. Dates to be discussed.

£275 or more

0 of 1 claimed

£275 Reward

Original Doctor Who comic page from Al Davison. See Updates for details! A thank you on the website page and ltd edition bookmark too!

£300 or more

£300 Reward

Sponsor our events. Our Comfy & Acoustic posters are seen by over 8k people over social media plus in several newspaper sites such as Coventry Telegraph, Birmingham Mail, What's on Magazine and more. You'll get your logo on every Comfy & Acoustic poster plus be linked into each tweet we post the poster (around 5-10 times). Free entry to the gigs.

£500 or more

£500 Reward

The Big Comfy Package. The ltd edition Mug and bookmark, free entry to all events forever. Free food and drinks for you forever.

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