The Fields Beneath 2
The Fields Beneath 2
We're a London cafe that took a gamble at the start of the year and turned vegan. It paid off and now we're looking to open shop #2.
We're a London cafe that took a gamble at the start of the year and turned vegan. It paid off and now we're looking to open shop #2. Read more
We’re a small coffee shop in North London that has you covered from breakfast to lunch. We use a lot of creativity in our menu, focussing on whole foods and banging flavours. As for the coffee, we roast it ourselves at Tate Britain and have been known on London's coffee scene for making a fine brew since the day we opened in 2012.
Our community has always meant a lot to us. We buy fresh produce from the local primary schools, we sponsor the local football academy and get involved in homelessness outreach in Camden.
We've come a long way in the last five years since we opened. Really in the last two years a big transformation started to take place. In 2015 we started looking into where our food came from differently - where did it come from and how did it get here? After over a year of asking questions and challenging everything we thought we knew about all the food we loved, one of us went vegan. That was back in January 2016. By October, others followed and a couple of us started getting involved in activism - that was when we took a good hard look at the business.
The way we saw it, The Fields Beneath was either going to have to go plant-based, or we find something else to do. Over 80% of our menu had butter, milk, ham or cheese in it, so this was no small task. Not only did we have to relearn baking without eggs and invent a slew of new sandwich recipes - we knew it had to be good. We went through 50 banana loaf recipes alone, to get to one that could replace the famous one we’d been selling for years.
Over the course of 6 months, we tested like crazy, dropping meat from the menu in December, yoghurt in January and in February we stopped with cheese. The last thing to go was milk, which we did with a little fanfare on Mother's Day this year.
Since then our menu has become better than we could have ever imagined. The creativity everyone in the kitchen team has brought to the table is inspiring, and now we're in the best possible position to really grow this business. Right now we cook everything in a few days at the local primary school. Their kitchen is big, and after the kids finish lunch, we step in to batch cook our menu. We've been there for a year and it has allowed us to create all the great food we've been coming up with - but it comes with its limitations. We only get 5 hours each day and we can't be in there during the mornings.
Having a kitchen of our own will mean we can not only make things we can't make right now, but we'll be able to get into office catering, takeaway deliveries and special events. And we can start bottling Andy's rarebit sauce.
This very moment we're scouring every website and estate agent for a new site and as soon as we find it, we'll bid for it. Having the necessary cash ready at that moment is important, which is why we're choosing to run a Kickstarter campaign before having secured a site.
We're looking to stay within North London, as close to Camden as we can. This second cafe space will house our production kitchen to feed both sites. Within 2 years we plan to open more sites, which this main kitchen will supply too.
We plan to open the second site with money from the Kickstarter, combined with the money we have already. This will cover us from the moment we sign a lease to our fourth month of operating. We've got over half, and we're looking to get the rest here.
The main items we'll buy with the Kickstarter money are the Rational oven and a big portion of building the bar and kitchen space.
Before we show the rewards, a quick note if you want more than one...
On top of the selection of food and drinks we'll be offering which'll be dished out between the existing cafe and the new site, is some art.
Back in June, we asked three outstanding illustrators to help put together some epic rewards for you. The brief was 'A loving embrace with an animal'. We absolutely love what they came up with and now have some smart tees and prints with their work on it.
Art prints come in A2 for the pig and A3 for the goose and cow.
They come unframed, and packed into poster tubes.
The pig (by @Bloozchicken) is being printed by Make-Ready, a fine art silk screen printer, round the corner from the cafe in Kentish Town. Turns out they are neighbours to Mouse's Favourite too, the amazeballs vegan cheese makers. We're certainly looking forward to chowing down on some when we go to get your prints made.
The cow embrace was watercolored (by @BecciMaryanne) and so we have chosen giclee printing in order to reproduce the colours and detail.
The goose hugging the fireman (by @jennyboatdraws) is to be printed by Hato Press on an old school Risograph printer. We'll be heading over there during the campaign to see how it all works and make a little film about it.
The pig and the goose are being screen printed. Because of the fine detail of the cow's lovely face, it's being printed using a technique called DTG which is basically a high resolution inkjet printer that you put t-shirts into.
We'll be visiting all the places we get the stuff done at, so you'll see all that on instagram stories and the like.
These are the unisex t-shirt colours and they’ll come in S,M,L and XL. Once we've completed the campaign, we'll send you a survey to ask questions like "what size" and "which design".
The ladies versions come in these colours and also are available in S-XL.
All garments are organic cotton, and will be printed using vegan ink.
This reward is either a six month or one-year subscription to our coffee. You get a 250g bag of it every month. We‘ll change the coffee throughout the year and it will always be sourced from people who work closely with the farms they source from. In the survey we'll send you after the Kickstarter, we'll ask if you want whole beans or for us to grind it. If you need it ground, we’ll do it just before we post it so it arrives as fresh as possible. We'll also ask how you brew, so we know the grind size.
We also have a coffee gold card, which'll get you unlimited coffees for yourself for a year. According to this week's news, this is a good thing.
Take a good look through the rewards on the right, that involve us cooking for you and yours. They range from bunches and lunches, to film nights, and we're even keen to do some road tripping to visit vegan activists around the country. There are also some cookery school nights to grab.
And that's all, folks.
Any questions, ask away and we'll start getting that FAQ section busy.
Blank & Kytt for their song 'RSPN'
Figure for making our video
Jenny Boat for The Goose
Blooz Chicken for The Pig
Becci Maryanne for The Cow
Hato Press for their Risograph Printing
Vegan Print for our flyers
The whole team at The Fields Beneath for their epic work in making this year such a ride, a success and such a solid foundation for the next chapter. x
Risks and challenges
Many of the risks in opening a second site were present in the first site, so in that respect, we've been there and done that. As much risk as possible will be mitigated by having site surveys done before we sign on a new lease, to remove the risk of 'unknown' building costs.
The benefit we have is that we have the experience of the first site, and a team we can bring into the new site (not all of them of course).
Finding this second site is the tricky bit, but we're working our arses off to find it and we want to make sure when pen goes to paper, we have all the funds ready. Even then, unforeseen things can happen that can drag out the process namely planning permissions and building regulations. Everything depends on the site when we find it.
Whatever the difficulty, we'll be keeping you all updated throughout the journey in finding, securing and building this perfect second shop.
Any reward that doesn't specifically need to happen at the new site (e.g. launch party) will start being fulfilled as soon as we finish the campaign, provided we get all the money we're after. ;-)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (24 days)