Experience of setting up something from nothing helps here; I've got a track record of making the impossible possible and have won the FSB business award Triumph Against Adversity for doing so. I am passionate about combining food with community. Food brings people together. The Allotment Club is a 24 seater restaurant aiming to open January 1st 2020. It is a welcoming place to connect, learn, socialise and eat good local food. Workshops, free weekly meets to discuss what to do in your garden each month, ways of growing your own produce, cookery demonstrations, local wildlife talks, community tables. So many possibilities.
I've leased a beautiful place in an incredible building in the conservation area of Okehampton with beautiful huge window space for people watchers, working area for lunch meetings and most importantly a huge community table made from recycled iron stands and benches. We aim to reduce isolation and invoke good discussion.
The main produce suppliers are two community interest companies; Made-Well and Easterbrook Farm, hobbyists and organic suppliers. There will be weekly allotment garden planning & social meets, talks and recommendations. Much warmth and shared knowledge.
Kitchen equipment is lacking. My budget has been depleted by an urgent need to upgrade the electricity and completely strip and replace the entire floor. The ceiling in one room is unsafe for food preparation areas. We spent two days just removing and making good the previous tenants branding and that cost more than expected in materials. This crowdfunder will enable me to buy a commercial second hand oven or two domestic ovens, a decent sized mixer, new counter, one of those groovy dinner lady trolleys and all sorts of things that I either need or want to make your experience here better. A set of knives, they don't have to match but a working set! A commercial under counter fridge and any kind of dishwasher. It will replace the ceiling, include extraction and cover expenses for fitting a changing unit into the toilet.
In addition, if it became possible I'd love a sign for the outside of the building. The quote for the letters is £480. I'm in a conservation area so can only replace like with like. Currently I'll be drawing on the windows but to be seen I really need decent signage. I'm looking into trying to recycle something.
Thank you for reading. I'm lucky enough to have had Mooplehog, a tiny award winning ten seater cafe, but I need to draw a wage. The Allotment Club means I stand a chance to feed my family without benefits, keep working with not against my disability and allow me to keep giving continued community support thanks to people like you helping people like me. I'll still be offering meals to those that need them desperately, working with the food bank again and continuing to run our local waste food project. In an uncertain world I believe that community is everything. Mooplehog had to close for me to take the risk with The Allotment Club. A huge challenge but a privilege to have the opportunity.
Huge gratitude, warmth and foodie wishes. Thank you.