About this project
1. Fusion Flours wants to find the sweet spot in between happy and healthy. We make real deep fried donuts, pizzas and sweet treats. By no stretch are we a health food company. Rather, we are a place for the gluten-free community to come, when they just want to enjoy treats that have been virtually impossible to find. The happy little kids make it alI worthwhile...for example, we were in the kitchen working on Donut Saturday and heard a little tiny voice from up front shrieking the word “DOOOOONUTS!”
2. We don’t strive to be great tasting “for a gluten-free product,” we strive to be great tasting, period! We supply a few local restaurants with our pizza crusts and customers have actually returned a pizza to the wait staff saying that a mistake was made and they weren’t given the gluten free pizza crust. Now that’s a compliment!
3. We want to be your everything....If you prefer to bake at home, I’m going to present you with the best gluten free flour blends on the market today, along with my own recipes.
Do you have multiple food allergies? Alternative flour mixes and recipes needed? I want to help you to find your own healthy/happy sweet spot, regardless of restrictions.
Do you want a hot pizza? Choose between 8 specialty pizzas or choose your own toppings. Hot or Take and Bake.
Hot, fresh donuts? We are pushing to make Doughnut Saturday a “thing” all over town. We are working with other shops and espresso stands so that if you are gluten free and it’s Saturday, you’ve got a donut in your hand!
4. Tara loves to share her knowledge of gluten free baking more than
anything. She believes that it should be a "required" part of all
culinary and baking instruction programs across the country. She is
offering a 48 hour certificate program for any student who desires to
learn the fundamentals of gluten free baking for their resume.
Eventually, Tara would love to have a small classroom and a kitchen
large enough to offer multi-student classes on a regular basis.
Meanwhile, Fusion Flours has two summer projects:
(1) our equipment and appliances are too small and inadequate to handle our projected increased work load, and (2) we must move to a new location that is big enough to accommodate the larger equipment that we need. Unfortunately, we cannot even try to obtain new wholesale contracts until we have larger ovens, mixers and freezer space.
Since our current location will not accommodate any larger appliances, we are on the lookout for a location that already has a basic existing operational kitchen with walk-in freezer and refrigerator.
There are an abundance of new lease options for us to choose from in Spokane and, frankly, our retail customers will be delighted to hear of Fusion Flours relocation plans. It is amazing that we have done as well as we have in such a bad retail location. So, as a bonus, we expect our retail business to flourish in our new more desirable location.
We were recently approached by the CEO of a Northwest-owned sandwich chain. He wanted to know if we could develop a hoagie bun for his gluten-free customers. The answer is yes, however, we cannot move forward with this plan until we have the ability to produce the hoagies in volume. For this we would need the larger capacity equipment and additional freezer space. Specifically, we will need to purchase a used baker’s oven, range top, fryer, floor mixer, and stainless-steel tables.
In our new location, we do not anticipate putting a lot of money into the retail space. We are all about utility over beauty at this point in time. We will probably need to paint and perhaps purchase a counter, but other than that, all of our displays and signs are moving with us.
With a lot of help and encouragement from family, friends, customers, and mentors, we have built and grown this little family business. And with your help we believe we can meet our relocation and expansion goals, continuing to fill this need in our community for great tasting, superior quality gluten-free products.
Risks and challenges
Getting your products to you in one piece and on time is very important to us. We are trying to prepare ourselves, based on other Kickstarter businesses’ experiences (good and bad) of the fulfillment process. We made sure that all out-of-town orders would be easily shippable, with all fresh baked goods on board. It’s not exciting or fancy, but, better you receive a value-packed product in one piece, than a squished upside-down cupcake! Use the flour mixes and recipes that you receive to create your own, amazing, right-side up cupcake!
We have allowed ourselves a reasonable amount of time to fulfill the orders and many of these local orders will be filled at your convenience, not ours. We decided to go with practical rather than creative or cute. That may be boring, but it’s good business. We want your support right now, of course, but I also want a happy, loyal, return customer.
Money, time and licensing: those are the biggest concerns as we push this business forward.
Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Purchasing used equipment is always a nerve-racking experience. I have done my homework on different makes/models, etc. and will continue to educate myself to ensure I obtain the best possible deal. To help keep the chaos to a minimum, I intend to order all used equipment through one single dealer. Why? Volume discounts. The terms of our purchases will include free delivery and set up as well as a minimum 90-day warranty on each item. (Those three areas are where all kinds of unexpected trouble can come in) I expect it could take as long as a month to move in, set up, get re-licensed and calibrate our recipes to work with the new equipment. The best time to do this is between July and August, typically the slowest months of the year. We will make items ahead of time that have a long shelf life, such as trail mix, croutons and baking mixes, and sell them at our local farmer’s market for income during that month.
We are licensed through the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health. Since we have been through many inspections over the past few years, I understand what is expected of me. However, I will ask for a pre-inspection before we move in to make sure that all is up to code. No nasty surprises.
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