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Yorkshire bakery raises £12k via crowdfunding
Published:  12 June, 2018

Malton-based Zuzu’s Bakery is set to expand its operations after raising more than £12,000 via a crowdfunding campaign.

The micro-bakery secured funding of £12,333 through platform IndieGogo. However, this was less than half of the £25,000 that founder Tim Smith was aiming for.

Despite the shortfall, Smith told British Baker the money would enable him to increase capacity with the purchase of an additional oven allowing him to fulfil more wholesale orders.

“We need to get clients who aren’t footfall clients. It’s lovely having a little bakery and a shopfront but, to be honest, footfall from retail is just not going to keep you going,” he said. “The wholesale business is absolutely integral. There’s no way we could survive without it.”

An oven with a 70-loaf capacity, according to Zuzu’s crowdfunding page, will cost in the region of £4,000. Part of the money will also be used to cover the next quarter’s rent, which is £1,000 a month, as well as scoping out a new floor for the bakery following a recent collapse. Smith also hopes to expand his team in the future as it’s just him and one volunteer.

“The money will be spent on things like going out to see clients, to sell the bread and then having an oven to support that.”

At present, Zuzu’s Bakery supplies local cafés, restaurants and hotels with bread, which helps support his unique ‘good bread for all budgets’ business model. As part of this, visitors to Zuzu’s Bakery can buy ‘wonky bread’ for an amount they can afford.

“When we can’t sell all the bread on a day, rather than throwing it away, what we do is put it on sale the next day and the day after as ‘wonky bread’. We clearly signpost this,” he explained, noting the loaves are made without sugar, or using treacle and other sweeteners, helping to preserve them.

These loaves are sold at a discounted price at least once a week, but Smith hopes to make this a daily activity. The scheme means shoppers who can afford to pay the going rate do so, subsidising those who can’t. For example, if a sourdough loaf cost £3 fresh, Zuzu’s might charge £1.75 for it the next day.

“If someone comes in and they’re on a zero hours’ contract or they’re waiting for universal benefits to come in and they don’t have money, then they pay what they can afford to pay. If that’s 20p, 50p, or £1.20, I’m not going to quibble.”

The bakery has also teamed up with a local food bank, which allows those using the service to get coupons for free bread as well.

Supporters of the campaign were offered rewards in advance for donations such as mugs, t-shirts, branded aprons, as well as a starter dough and instructions on how to keep it.

Smith said crowdfunding was a great way to get the community involved.

“I see crowdfunding as a way of promoting really good business ideas and really good products without the burden of having to worry about repaying lenders,” he said. “I also wanted to get people involved in the project and one way to do this is if they donate a fiver or a tenner. Some people have given a lot more and we had a couple of donations of £1,000 and £1,500. That’s just awe-inspiring and wonderful.”

To find out more about the benefits of crowdfunding, and other finance options, British Baker subscribers should check out this feature.