The oldest recorded town in Britain! Something anyone from Colchester will almost certainly tell you if you ever give them just half a chance. Something to be proud of maybe? Unfortunately it seems the food in the town centre might be vying for the same title (except noodle bar. if you know, you know). Yes, the town centre has 'the chains' and a fair few places to get that guilty (but so good) burger after a night out, even a swanky new hotel to go and posh it up at, but let's be honest that's about it! Hardly blazing a culinary trail are we. Could it be we're getting left behind?
That's where we come in. grain. Yes a pretentious one word restaurant name, is going to change all that. We are going to redefine how a restaurant in Colchester operates. No more of the boring, run of the mill menus. Instead we're going to offer modern British food, small plates all starter sized and all priced that way. Of course fresh, of course the best we can produce and of course as local as we can get, that is the promise we aim to fulfill at grain. So instead of the usual, getting stuck with the 3 courses you settled for, have 4, have 5, have 6, have the whole menu if you want. After all variety (not nutmeg) is the spice of life. Then leave feeling full, satisfied and not wondering if you missed out on the 'other' dessert the table next door had. With money left in your wallet or at least invested in a nice bottle of red rather than in the 'discretionary' service charge we're all too polite to refuse nowadays.
We want you to feel comfortable. There'll be no front of house/back of house divide, the people that cook your food will serve your food, one team completely immersed in every aspect of making grain tick. A dedicated bunch of multi skilled, uber-passionate hospitality professionals. Trained in some of the top restaurants in the area and across Europe, we're talking about top quality food (or at least the best we can muster) in a comfortable, relaxed environment. You can have a chat with the chef that cooked your meal, indulge in some top drawer cooking, enjoy a bottle of quality wine (or two) or discover a new craft beer and above all else feel at home from the minute you walk in to the time you leave.
Who are we?
Chances are you won't know us, but we are committed to making grain happen. It all started with a shared vision working together 3 years ago, wanting to open a restaurant we wanted to eat in, serving top end food, our food, without all the stuffy pretentiousness that normally goes with it. We're passionate about doing things our way, and it just happens our way meant throwing the rule book out the window. But we're still conventional chefs, we'll be using local produce, making everything fresh, from scratch to the highest standard and in time we hope to work with the community and support not just the local trades but also you, if your allotment is overstocked with tomatoes or you have a garden full of chickens laying eggs, let's talk. We want the people of Colchester to feel part of the project too. Let us turn your hard earned efforts in to something fantastic and sharing the rewards from it.
Where does Kickstarter come in?
Now we've kind of fallen on our feet. After years of graft and hard saving it just happens a property came on the market. In our home town of Colchester. In the town centre. In good enough condition that it's almost ready to go. So, we scraped together every penny we have between us (£30000), did a little creative borrowing from the bank (£25000) and we just about have enough to open. But we don't want to just 'open' we need just a little lift from you. To enable us to make grain the restaurant experience we always imagined. So the £10000 we hope to raise through kickstarter will give us the funds to stock the wine shelves, fill the fridges, buy the pots, the pans, the cups, the plates, the knives, forks and spoons. Generally to make sure we're 100% ready to give you the experience we think you deserve.
The beauty of Kickstarter is it's not a charity. You're not just giving us your money. You're buying something from us, the moment you pledge your money (if we're successful) you're a customer at grain: a restaurant that will exist, by hook or by crook by the end of the summer. Just look at it as pre payment, and how nice is it to think that at some point you'll get to come and have a meal and perhaps a few drinks and not have to worry about the bill at the end of it (because lets face it, that's the part everyone hates regardless of cost)
Risks and challenges
Anyone that knows a thing or two about the restaurant trade will know its tough. The hours, the stress, the surrender of social life - but we're used to that, unfortunately so are our loved ones.
But the reality is a very high percentage struggle to make it past the first year and even less make it past five. Its a sobering statistic but we've considered it, done our research, crossed our t's and dotted our i's and we're confident we can make it work on our business plan in the current market. It will be tough but we're ready for every challenge it throws at us, more to the point we're looking forward to conquering them and for our customers to be part of the journey and grow with us.
Something else to consider is this is going to be our first restaurant and that will only add to the challenge. Professionally we are up to the challenge. We've amassed the skills we need to run a successful restaurant, we've even opened one or two for other people. Along with the contacts we have developed in our careers and friends in the industry that are already offering their support along the way so we certainly don't feel like we're doing this alone.
Yes there will always be competition, yes there will inevitably be somewhere newer or cheaper to eat, we know that. But we are offering something different, somewhere everyone can feel comfortable, where the food is as good as if not better than anywhere in the area, run by people who genuinely care about their craft and their customers. We're confident we'll go from strength to strength with you.
- (30 days)