Christians at Blind Jack's - Kickstarter
Back in 2012, I used £1,000 left over from a student loan, borrowed £500 from my parents, and opened my first cafe at the Harrogate Antiques Centre on Leeds Road. Since then, the Christians concept has evolved into a thriving business with a reputation for amazing coffee, cake and the very best Sunday lunches.
My fiancée, Alice and I were raised in Knaresborough, so it’s a place that’s really close to our hearts. We’ve always been ambitious; owning both a cafe and pub in our hometown has always been part of our plans – so when the opportunity arose for us to put in an offer for Blind Jacks, a landmark freehouse in the bustling market square, we knew it was fate.
But in order to make this a reality we need your help!
We have just opened our latest ad-venture; Christians, Silver Street, Knaresborough. We're really excited; Knaresborough is abundant with both man-made and natural attractions that blend in harmony to cast a spell over the many visitors that arrive daily. It's a town that is perfect for retail and relaxation, and never more so than now. Our aim is to complement the features of the lovely old building whilst giving it a modern contemporary twist.
Blind Jack's is the next step in our plan...
The pub has a charm and magic that we're keen to preserve, but we feel we can further enhance it and create a space that both we and the local community are proud of. New toilets, an on-site brewery - anything is possible with the help of your donations.
We started back in 2012 with a small café at the side of an antique centre in Pannal. Two years later, we'd built up a brilliantly loyal customer base, so we upscaled into Christians Crimple Hall. This was a huge challenge for us to say the least; our floor space doubled, increasing our covers from 40 to 100 - but we rose to the occasion and have since served up more than half a million covers.
AWARDS & STUFF
The Harrogate Hospitality Awards named us Newcomer of the Year and Café of the Year, as well as giving us a nomination for Waiter of the Year.
We were shortlisted in the Food Porn Awards.
Recently, we were named as one of Harrogate's most Instagram-able spots, and the Telegraph listed us as one of the top cafes in England. We have accumulated a fiercely loyal following due to the quality of our coffee, and our Sunday lunch menu in particular has proved to be incredibly popular - perhaps due to the size of our Yorkshire puddings!
OK, COOL - HOW CAN I HELP?
Our goal is to raise £20,000 through this page. The plan is to keep the originality, but create a space at Blind Jack's that is even more friendly, warm and welcoming. If our funding exceeds expectations, we plan on developing the Blind Jack's offering further...
If our project goes past £25,000, then we're adding food. We have some really exciting menu ideas which we'd love to share with you; with this contribution we can install all the kitchen appliances we need to produce the quality, locally-sourced food we've built our reputation on.
Finally, if we make it to our ultimate target of £30,000+, we will be able to accomplish the dream of brewing our own beer on site. This not only sparks our creativity, it fits in with our ultimate brand vision; to create a totally-locally-sourced Yorkshire venue in a stunning market town.
Risks and challenges
As with all new endeavours, we recognise there will be challenges ahead. We're able to mitigate against potential risks by utilising our existing business networks, and by fulfilling pledges through our Christians Knaresborough venue.
Historic buildings all come with their own unique quirks, and whilst we're not underestimating the amount of hard work it will take to get it to a place we can all be proud of, we're absolutely relishing the challenge. Blind Jack's will be our fourth venue, and we're determined to make it the best yet.
- (29 days)