With deep roots laid in their local area of Hove, Stoneham Bakehouse CIC acquired new premises after two years of using generously donated oven space across the community. The concept came after director and project owner Simon realised the benefits of baking when battling anxiety and depression, and wanting to share the therapeutic nature and experience of making bread with others, he decided to hunt out a more permanent premises for the community bakery.
With a vision of turning the newly acquired premises into a hub of activity, Simon looked to the Crowd to raise the funds needed to kit the venue out, emphasising to potential supporters that as well as producing delicious baked goods, Stoneham Bakehouse will also stand for well-being support within the community.
We spoke to Simon to find out a little bit more about their crowdfunding success.
Why did you decide to Crowdfund?
After listening to a local social enterprise talk about their recent crowdfunding campaign and it’s benefits, we felt that it would be a great option for Stoneham Bakehouse. Not only do supporters become future customers, but it’s a great way to find out the plain fact of whether people actively think you have a good idea. As a community business, having the community being able to quite literally buy into us was important.
How did you promote your project before it went live and whilst it was running?
Social media featured strongly before, throughout and after our campaign. We’d spent a year or so building a Crowd, so we asked them to back us, and asked them to share share share too. It was important to go beyond social media though; so we did newspaper articles, had a couple of open days (pop up bakery), and got an interview on the local BBC radio station.
What are your top tips to other project owners and those considering crowdfunding?
We managed to raise our money in a fortnight. We were told that the most productive weeks of a crowdfunding campaign are the first and last, so we took the decision to get rid of the middle bit. It won’t suit everyone, but we knew that constantly promoting ourselves for weeks would be hard work – so do consider a short and snappy campaign if you believe that you have the Crowd ready to succeed.
• Want to know more about Stoneham Bakehouse? Visit their Crowdfunder project here.