The Great, A neighbourhood store & cafe

by The Great - A neighbourhood store & cafe from Imogen Owen in Market Harborough, Leicestershire, United Kingdom

Total raised £4,213

£20,000 target 19 days left
21% 45 supporters
Keep what you raise – this project will receive all pledges made by 2nd July 2024 at 6:00am

Help us open the doors to a great welcoming neighbourhood cafe & store celebrating brilliant food, beautiful design, and British crafts!

by The Great - A neighbourhood store & cafe from Imogen Owen in Market Harborough, Leicestershire, United Kingdom

Help Us Create Something Truly Great!

After successfully running my luxury stationery brand & calligraphy and lettering studio for over a decade, I've decided why not open our very own bricks and mortar shop and cafe!

The past 18 months have been challenging. Losing my dad and becoming a partial carer for my mum following her accident hasn't been easy alongside running my existing business and managing a solo household, especially in the current economic climate. It means working away in London has become difficult alongside supporting my mum. 

When a lovely shop space became available in the next village, I couldn't ignore the niggling seed of an idea that grew within me. This picturesque spot, just minutes from my house, could be something great and I couldn’t stop thinking about what I could do with it. 


As many of you know from following me on social media, my passion for design is matched by my love for food and cooking. I've always dreamt of incorporating a food element into my brand, initially envisioning pop-ups in London or overseas. But this sunny little spot in a village down the road from my house just stuck in my head. 

A Warm and Friendly Community Space

Why not create the kind of space I am missing from my favourite cities and places on my doorstep?

This is my plan, to create a neighbourhood cafe and store that combines the best bits and inspiration from my favourite places. A warm, inviting space with a great atmosphere where people can enjoy simple yet delicious food and buy beautiful contemporary crafted products.

Living in a village myself and caring for someone has highlighted the importance of community and social interaction, especially for those who may be older, live alone or work in solo creative endeavours. 

I feel very strongly about creating an inclusive space that feels warm and friendly, where local people can meet and socialise. 

The flexibility of the space also allows us to run creative workshops and small events, giving us lots of opportunities to be a meaningful part of the local community.


Simple and Exceptional Food 

I care about good food, properly made with the highest quality ingredients. Our food will be kept simple but the best it can be - we'll serve great coffee and scoop artisan gelato and stock pastries and bread from our friends' bakery, who share our values. 

We will also make small batches of delicious things - such as granola, jams, caramels and more -  which will also be available for purchase on our website. We want everyone to have a taste of what we do, even if they don't live nearby!

Beautiful Contemporary Products Celebrating British Craftsmanship 

The shop will stock my own brand's letterpress stationery, printed just down the road at our studio on vintage, nearly 100-year-old printing presses. We are also expanding into designing and making more homewares - including linens, candles and ceramics.

Alongside our own products, we will showcase the work of other exceptional, primarily British makers who share our values in breathing fresh life into contemporary crafts and products  properly made by preserving traditional skills. 


Be part of Something Truly Great!

To bring my vision to life, I need your help to transform the space. I've scraped together everything I can, but I still need your support to make this warm and inclusive community gathering place a reality.

It is a former post office and general store that has been empty for a while. With your support, I will renovate and convert this space into a warm and welcoming cafe and shop, breathing new life into the village.

Your contribution will help to:

Refurbish the interior to create a cosy and inviting atmosphere

Install essential cafe equipment and shop fittings and purchase initial supplies

Add thoughtful design touches to make the space feel special and prepare it for opening!

See our video / images for a taste of what we have in mind!

But our aspirations extend beyond the cafe and shop! If we exceed our initial fundraising target, we have even grander plans in mind.

For those who follow me on Instagram, you'll know about my ongoing renovation - a deeply personal journey transforming my parents' former workspace into a place where I now live and work.

Alongside my own renovation project, there is another untouched derelict barn with holes and daylight peeking through where it shouldn't! But this space holds the potential to become a great space to scale up our cafe's food production, including creating unique gelato flavours in-house using local ingredients. 

With your support, we can breathe new life into this neglected space, expanding our capabilities to bring more joy to our community through our products and delicious creations.

By contributing to our fundraiser, you'll be helping us bring this dream to life, creating a warm, inclusive community space that celebrates simple brilliant food, beautiful design, and British craftsmanship. Donate now and be part of creating something truly great!


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

£30 or more

Letterpress Card Mixed Pack

A mixed pack of 5 of our letterpress greetings cards

£10 or more

Letterpress Greetings Card

One of our letterpress greetings cards, and of course and our undying gratitude!

£25 or more

The Great tote bag

One of our new tote bags for the store we can't show you yet, but they are going to be super cute!

£35 or more

Cursing Calligraphy

For this reward I will write in elegant calligraphy, whichever insult or swearword or phrase you'd like for your very own profanity by post.

£60 or more

£60 Letterpress Art Print

One of our range of A4 letterpress art prints, printed in black.

£80 or more

Online Calligraphy Workshop

You will be signed up to my online introduction to modern calligraphy workshop. This online workshop will guide you step by step through the basics of modern calligraphy. Please note this excludes kit.

£150 or more

0 of 50 claimed

Learn to make pasta

Come and hang out and learn how to make your own fresh pasta, it's easier than you think and lot's of fun, and I'd love to show you how.

£200 or more

1 of 36 claimed

Supper Club Ticket

I'm going to run a series of supper clubs at my house in the Autumn. This pledge is for your ticket for a supper club dates tbc.

£250 or more

One - to - One online Calligraphy Lesson

One to one online modern calligraphy lesson - going over anything you like from starting from scratch, or feedback and improvement on your work. Whatever you'd like.

£500 or more

Your own bespoke personalised stationery set

Your own set of personalised stationery. A custom calligraphy monogram, or full name, whichever you'd prefer, hot foil printed on A6 350gsm paper, with matching lined envelope. Set of 30 cards & envelopes

£1,500 or more

1 of 3 claimed

A special supper for 6

A dinner party just for you, along with 5 of your friends. I'd love to cook a special supper for you all at my home, for a memorable evening.

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