Companio Bakery is an innovative community business model that needs a creative form of community funding. Bakery owner and founder Russell Goodwin explains, “By not relying on bank loans but instead allowing ordinary people to invest and get involved in the start-up and development of this business, I believe it has a greater strength and is more likely to succeed. I hope people will feel genuinely engaged with Companio Bakery, I hope they understand that it would not be possible without their help and I hope they share the excitement of creating something new that ultimately belongs to them, whether they live locally or globally”.
I worked as a Director and Artisan Baker at the Handmade Bakery which is a brilliant example of a thriving Community-Supported Bakery in West Yorkshire where £55,000 was raised to fit-out and equip bakery premises in Slaithwaite. The Handmade Bakery also pioneered the selling of bread at Huddersfield Train Station which has proved to be a huge success.
I will initially run Companio Bakery as a sole trader and operate the business by myself with the help and support of family and friends. As the business develops I will be able to offer employment opportunities and will want to give volunteer placements for those interested in learning more about bread-making.
Companio Bakery needs to raise a total of £30,000 to set-up and get fully established as follows:
|Bread bike trailer||£890|
|Purpose-built wooden trailer box||£1985|
|Fit-out of permanent bakery premises||£10000|
Here are the ways you can help Companio Bakery:
BREAD LOAN SCHEME
Companio Bakery Bread Loan Scheme aims to secure £30,000 to complete the fit-out and fully equip bakery premises in Ancoats, Manchester. This is an investment opportunity for people who are willing to loan £1000 or £2000 for 3, 4 or 5 years.
The interest on your loan will be paid either in artisan bread or bread-making courses at Companio Bakery.
On a £2000 loan, the interest is payable in a large loaf of freshly baked artisan bread with a retail value of £3.00 as follows;
- One loaf every month ie 12 loaves each year for a 3 year loan period (interest equivalent to 1.8% per annum)
- One loaf every fortnight ie 24 loaves each year for a 4 year loan period (interest equivalent to 3.6% per annum)
- One loaf every week ie 48 loaves each year for a 5 year loan period (interest equivalent to 7.2% per annum)
On a £1000 loan, the interest is payable in an artisan bread-making course with a retail value of £150 as follows;
- One course for a 5 year loan period (interest equivalent to 3% per annum)
- One course for a 4 year loan period (interest equivalent to 3.75% per annum)
- One course for a 3 year loan period (interest equivalent to 5% per annum)
INTEREST FREE OR REDUCED INTEREST
If you would like your loan to be interest free or at a reduced rate then this would obviously be extremely beneficial to the bakery. For example, you could make a loan for 5 years but only take one loaf every fortnight rather than weekly or take two courses rather than three courses. If you are in a position to do this then your additional support would be greatly appreciated.
For details of Companio Bakery’s Bread Loan Scheme including terms and conditions, please see Companio Bakery Loan Scheme Agreement
Companio Bakery launched a Crowdfunder Campaign in May 2015 with the aim of raising £10,000 in 4 weeks for the following:
- bread bike trailer (£890)
- purpose-built wooden trailer box for transporting and selling bread at train stations (£1985)
- bakery equipment including deck oven and spiral mixer (£2125)
- fit-out of permanent bakery premises including electricity, water and lighting (£5000)
The Campaign generated a huge amount of excitement and interest in having a community bakery in central Manchester. After 28 days there was £3,945 pledged from 41 backers which was an amazing achievement but unfortunately this was not enough to reach my target so I didn’t get anything! Whilst this felt like a bit of a set-back at the time the Campaign has proved to be vitally important in terms of raising awareness of the business and promoting Companio Bakery to the local and wider community.