On February 25th we opened the first Vegan Butcher Shop in Western Canada. The response was overwhelming. We had over 1000 people turn up on opening day and we sold out within hours. We had to close down the shop for a week just to restock :O
Since then we've been hard at work scaling up our production so that we can meet the demand for our products.
We have some pretty big plans for expansion which is why we've turned to Kickstarter (and awesome people like you) for help.
Our objective at The Very Good Butchers is to produce organic, wholesome, real food without tricks or gimmicks. We want to make healthy planet friendly meat alternatives that are accessible to omnivores, vegetarians and vegans. We simply want to provide wholesome food for everyone to enjoy.
We use Organic and Vegan ingredients to craft our plant based meats using local produce whenever possible.
We've also teamed up with Ayleen who is a Cheese Whiz. She's helping us develop some amazing Plant Based Cheese products.
We've got close to 10 products available currently and are working on more!
We began selling our products at the local Denman Island farmers market in the Spring of 2016 and were selling out within hours. We struggled to meet the growing demand and started to think of ways to expand and bring our products to a wider audience.
Our goal is to make good quality meat alternatives that are as accessible as possible to everyone, whether you are looking to reduce meat consumption for environmental concerns, are already a vegan or vegetarian, or are just looking for a tasty healthy alternative.
We currently produce most of our Vegan meat alternatives on Denman Island. We have an awesome team there and have been scaling up production over the past 3 months.
We also have a Vegan Butcher Shop in Victoria where we sell our products and offer a hot food service and tasty brunch on the weekends.
So far, we've funded everything out of our own pockets and put everything we have into it. The business is doing well and already turning a profit in just the first few months of operation.
However, if we want to expand and get our product to more people quickly, we need some help.
Here's what we're hoping to accomplish:
Increase ProductionWe have a great team on Denman Island that is working tirelessly to make some of the tastiest meat alternatives out there. We want to outfit them with some new equipment to help speed up production as well as hire and train a few new bean butchers.
Develop New Products
We have a laundry list of new products and ideas we'd like to test out. Most of these require a lot of time spent tinkering and refining. We may also need to look into acquiring some special ingredients and equipment.
We want to take this show on the road! Having a dedicated food truck/cart would allow us to attend festivals, markets, and events all across B.C. (and maybe beyond!).
We've had requests for our products from all across North America. We would love to stock our products in small local businesses close to you. In order to do this we need to bring our cost of production down so that we can afford the retailer margins (usually 30%-40%). To do this we need to buy our ingredients in larger quantities as well as get a few new pieces of machinery that will speed things up a bit.
Very Good Vancouver Shop
Our next big dream is to open a Vegan Butcher Shop in Vancouver. We've had a huge amount of interest and demand and want to open up shop there in the not too distant future.
The goals for this Kickstarter are cumulative meaning that once we reach the base goal we start working towards the next one (Food Truck). The dollar amount shown underneath the goal is the total amount the Kickstarter needs to raise to make that goal a reality!
We've prepared a number of Backer rewards which we think are pretty neat.
We've tried to deliver as much value as possible with these rewards and really make it a no brainer to support this Kickstarter.
We're going to work hard to get your rewards out to you as soon as possible.
Additionally, $1 from each backer will be donated to local animal rescure organizations including R.A.S.T.A. Farm Sanctuary, Broken Promises Rescue, and The Happy Herd Farm Sanctuary.
So, whether you live a block from our Victoria Butcher shop or are halfway around the world, we hope there's something here for you.
Kickstarter Reward Pick Up
Once the Kickstarter rewards are ready they will be shipped out to you.
You'll also be able to pick them up in person from our Victoria storefront.
We'll also be setting up pick up days in Vancouver, the Comox Valley, Portland (and potentially a few other locations based on demand)
Anyone who picks up their order will receive a gift certificate for the shipping amount charged to them by Kickstarter. This can be used for additional product (either in-store or online)
ShippingWe are happy to announce that we can ship our Vegan Meats and Cheeses to backers in both Canada and the U.S.A. We briefly had an online store and successfully shipped over 100 orders. From that experience we learnt a lot about how to best package and ship our products. While our meats and cheeses are relatively low risk and are fine out of the fridge for awhile (we take them camping) it's recommended that they stay in the refrigerator. That's why we ship them with ice packs and will only ship on a Monday or Tuesday to make sure they aren't stuck in Canada Post over the weekend.
We plan on clearing all of our products through U.S. customs prior to shipping them out to you. We'll likely ship from Portland and will have a pick up day there as well.
Unfortunately we aren't able to ship our meat or cheese products outside Canada and the U.S.
However, we have put together a few reward tiers containing stuff we can ship to you (t-shirts, stickers, and other swag). We hope you'll support us and if you ever come to Canada, we'll be waiting with a high five.
We've put together a Sides/Add-On's system that will allow you to customize your order with us and get exactly what you're looking for.
To purchase a Side, simply add the amount for it to your base pledge. After the Kickstarter ends, you'll receive a survey through Backerkit which will allow you to select the Side/Add-On you'd like.
Thanks for checking out (and hopefully supporting) our project!
We're a small team with some pretty big plans, hopes, and dreams. We'd love to have you join us on this adventure!
Thanks and Much Love,
James, Tania, Mitchell
and the rest of The Very Good Butchers
Risks and challenges
Running a food business is tough.
Margins are tight and you need to keep a careful eye on all related costs to ensure you become (and stay) profitable.
We are also kind of venturing into unknown territory here.
There are very few Vegan Butcher Shop's out there so there's no real recipe for success. We are very much making things up as we go along and rolling with the punches. We think this nimbleness gives us an advantage but we also run the risk of getting in over our heads.
- (37 days)