Monday, 10 March 2014

Scottish Foodie Crowdfunding Projects

Thanks to Crowdfunding I'm an investor in a Cafe, a Cheese Shop and a Summerhouse on Wheels. Move over Dragons Den this is where the real deals are done. No idea what I'm on about? Here's the definition

crowdfunding
ˈkraʊdfʌndɪŋ/
noun
noun: crowdfunding; noun: crowd-funding
  1. 1.
    the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.
    "musicians, filmmakers, and artists have successfully raised funds and fostered awareness through crowdfunding"

I knew a wee bit about crowdfunding and a couple of projects had caught my eye on social media but I'd never actually taken the next step and put my hand in my pocket and got involved. This was about to change. My first foodie investment was in Foodstory Cafe. Lara and Sandy's story and plea for funding for The Next Chapter really captured my imagination and their passion for the project and love of food shone through in their proposal. I tentitively dipped my toe into the crowdfunding water and pledged £10. Along with 139 other backers the £8,000 goal was reached and surpassed with a total £10,070 being pledged.
I eagerly followed the process of the cafe build on the Foodstory Facebook Page which was not without its ups and downs and delays. By pure chance we managed to be some of the first people through the door when they opened on 11th November. Amazing decor, food and atmosphere. I've been back again since and there's always a warm welcome, great food and fantastic coffee. Its also the new home for the Aberdeen Gourmet Gals Food Swap.
As a backer I got an invite to go along to the official opening event, a voucher for a gluten free brownie, Foodstory sticker, thank you via Facebook & Twitter, an emailed photo-montage of the shop and my name on the Foodstory thank you Chalkboard. Most importantly I also got a warm and fuzzy feeling inside for helping to support the project.
My next deal was in Cheese. Regular readers of this blog will know that its a passion of mine so investing in it was really a no brainer. Caroline and Alex were aiming to raise £3,000 to Save The Guid Cheese Shop in St Andrews. I was getting a bit braver in my investments by this point so opted to pledge £25 with the reward of being officially thanked on the Guid Cheese Shop Website as well as appearing on the Wall of Fame in the shop, plus free entry to a Cheese Tasting event as a VIP or an Olive Wood Cheese Board. This project was touch and go right up to the last minute in terms of whether it would be 100% funded or not. The money you pledge only gets removed from your paypal account if the Crowdfunding is successful. I was anxious to insure that it went ahead and spent the final couple of days tweeting cheesy friends about the project and urging them to get onboard. At the eleventh hour 103% funding was reached by 105 backers. Goodness knows how the crowdfunders deal with what must be a really anxious time. I can only compare it to the final seconds of an ebay listing when you find out if you have won or if you've been gazumped at the last moment!
The final investment opportunity that I've bought into is still active so you can take part too. What's not to like about the prospect of being part of a Lemonade Summerhouse on Wheels? Claire at Berry Scrumptious in Aberdeenshire is expanding from chocolate strawberries and fruity confectionery into real lemonades under the Summerhouse Drinks branding. She needs your help to fund a Summerhouse on Wheels which will be used to take their new range of natural, Scottish lemonades to festivals, foodie events and exhibitions.

I've got a £50 stake in this project and that will get me an invite to an exclusive VIP tasting event on the van's maiden voyage round Scotland. A case of 12 bottles of the first lemonade flavour and 15% discount for a year at the Berry Scrumptious website. I must admit being very tempted by the £250 reward to spend a day at Berry Scrumptious HQ learning the secrets of strawberry chocolate dipping and making truffles, fudge and toffee. The £750 exclusive use for a special event would be fantastic for a garden party.

 
Have a look at their video and support if you can. Minimum pledge is only £10. That's the amazing thing about Crowdfunding. All the wee bits come togther to make a project happen. I'm proud to be a fizzy friend and can't wait to try their Hint o' Mint Lemonade with a sneaky gin. Lets get the totaliser pushed right to the top. Currently sitting at 76% funded with 122 backers and 13 days to go.

Are there any other Scottish foodie Crowdfunding campaigns on the go at the moment? Have you successfully invested in something foodie that gave you a warm fuzzy, cheesy or fizzy feeling?

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