STRETCH GOAL: £49,000
WOW!! What amazing support we have had! We are truly humbled.
Our second stretch goal is to reach a grand total of £49,000. This will enable us to:
-Finish the Cafe to a higher standard (extra £8,000) with some amazing kitchen design, comfy chairs and sofas and awesome funky lighting!
-Create more shop display space and turn one of the original seating spaces into a delicatessen area, complete with deli counter fridge, cured meats, slicer etc. (£6,000)
-Create a cozy front room atmosphere in the far room complete with log fire (£4,000)
-Cover the entire outside area for all year round outdoor fun and create a funky/hipster area for private parties/events! (£10,000-£15,000)
Total goal is a whopping £49,000!
PLEASE tell all your friends and email firstname.lastname@example.org for questions and feedback!
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Odd John & Family are hoping to set up home in Quorn meaning a host of benefits to those who already enjoy the village, to local small businesses, local artisans and also to the community. Read on to find out more.
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What the……!? Who Are You?
Well hello there…. You might recognise the name ‘Odd John’. We’re based in Swithland and ‘Odd’ John Cooledge has ran the Griffin Inn there for almost 15 years.
What was once just a family enterprise has grown in size and popularity every year ever since and now we employ over 30 people. Most of whom full time.
We are now quite a large group of people who: Love to make a difference and do things differently. Love to impress, and most of all Love to have fun with our work.
What exactly is Odd John’s Kitchen?
We have always tried to shake things up and go against the grain.
First of all we said a big fat NO to turning our pub ‘gastro’, striving instead to find a way to keep alive the traditional country pub atmosphere.
In 2012 we shook up the wedding industry by creating a stylish venue and keeping the prices as wholesome and as real as the food, offering great individual service to boot.
Last October we realised our dream of giving Swithlanders back their long lost village shop by utilising an old disused stable (that used to house our goats but that’s another story).
Over 18 months the idea for a shop turned into a shop with seats and then into a cafe. This was all well and good but the idea just wasn’t, well, unique enough for our tastes.
We thought long and hard. Over the year we carefully developed and matured the idea into something that we could be proud to put our name to.
A concept designed in the manner of a country kitchen where everything including the service, the atmosphere and the produce reflects homely values.
We soon realised that we needed to boil all this down into a succinct statement of what we want to achieve.
Good for you. So what’s this proposal all about?
Odd John’s Kitchen was a runaway success, being received really well by our existing regulars and creating a lot of buzz. We were ecstatic.
Locally, we were a real hit amongst the surrounding villages’ residents who quickly chose it as their favourite cake and coffee stop. We also drew attention from local and national media who saw our success in diversification an inspirational story worth telling!
We were covered by BBC Radio, Cafe Culture Magazine (a national publication) and we were even recently recognised in The Guardian newspaper as number three on a list of places in the UK to go walking in/around.
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Sales quickly grew to be quite respectable, now they have levelled off. The problem is that we have become a victim of our own success. Our little kitchen can only seat around a dozen people and we often find that we are full and others want to get in. Oh no! Also, we don’t have space for the comfy seating areas that would really make it feel homely. We have decided that a larger Odd John’s Kitchen is in order.
We need to expand!
What’s the solution then?
Well, as you will have guessed, we would like to create an extended Odd John’s Kitchen in the local village of Quorn.
For a village of such a size, Quorn is renowned for its tight knit community of proud residents. Rightly so; it is an aspirational village with a buzzing centre populated by a host of other passionate small businesses of a similar nature to Odd John’s Kitchen. It just fits in in every way.
Quorn is also a great attraction to people looking to shop for quality local produce, crafts, furnishings, gifts, bric-a-brac and much more, as well as being a foodie hotspot in the area.
We would wholeheartedly love to be a part of this community and sincerely hope to bring a host of benefits to Quorn and also to those from further afield who would like to visit the village.
Benefits and advantages: To our customers. To the village. To the community. To local small/micro business.
We are creating a space:
- for community groups to meet (and we’ll also offer free coffee to such regular groups)
- that’s pushchair, child & baby friendly
- where people can find the very best of local foods and crafts without the limitations in space of the current Odd John’s Kitchen
- which will attract visitors to Quorn - supporting local business
- offering somewhere to meet in the village and enjoy great real food which is so cosy that it will be enough to tempt you out of your homes on cold winter mornings for our famous breakfast!
- for local producers of foods AND non foods to display and sell their produce and creations
- that will support local community and charity events and actively raise funds for such
- to be as eco-friendly and sustainable as possible
- that will double as a ‘co-working space’ with power points and free wifi for those who want to work from a home-from-home
- providing fresh food all week long especially for children - who get a free breakfast when parents bring them on a Saturday and free fruit all week
- where freshly baked items will be available from our bakery in Hamilton, from artisan bread and a quirky range of sausage rolls to biscuits and patisserie items
- where artists can display artwork that will act as a hub and support network for the artisans who supply us.
We have a real passion for people in business and it’s a tough gig! We want to help them!
Blimey! Anything Else?
Seeing as you asked! As with our current Odd John’s kitchen, this is a working kitchen!
This means we cook in front of people in the shop and do regular:
So far we have spoken to people about the following and are planning a calendar for 2016:
- chocolate making
- gin tasting
- jam making
- truffle making
- cake decorating
- flower arranging
- hat knitting
- barrista workshop
- wreath making
- local history
- bradgate park history
- social media for small business
- bee keeping
- cookery classes (and then eating it!)
- champagne tasting
- mindfulness and meditation
- web presence for small business
- book stitching
- Youth skills for life (such as home economics, work life, cookery)
Where is it going to be?
A few years ago, the Cooledges had the pleasure of working with the Ellisons .
Chefs extraordinaire Simon and Darren Ellison and their wives Tina and Kirsty along with their children were all a part of the Odd John Family a few years back. Three years ago they had the superb opportunity of getting into much sought-after Quorn.
We have stayed close over the last few years. Kirsty and Darren's son, Jordan, worked with us for a while and is now following in his fathers footsteps. Their daughter, Khloe, has been with us for over a year - rapidly moving towards a supervisory position. Sadly Simon passed away in 2014.
For the past 8 months, we have been talking about how our skill-sets as families are polar opposite and therefore hugely complimentary. Having realised this it would be a shame for us not to try to figure out, in spite of us both having separate successful businesses, how we could work together.
Changing the Quorn Exchange to Odd John’s Kitchen means that it incorporates our ideas and design as well as Darren’s technical skill. Kirsty and Tina’s balance of warm nature and front of house experience completes the idea, making the perfect hosts for such a homely environment.
As an added bonus, a cafe isn’t as intensely chef-oriented as a restaurant. This means that Darren will be able to move into a position to direct food operations in our expanding enterprise as this year also sees us take on a small hotel/pub and hopefully plan for further additions.
We aim to bring to Quorn residents a whole spectrum of benefits. With our combined strengths of business knowledge within the hospitality industry, food expertise and a strong ethos centred around community spirit and family values we hope to provide a buzzing second home to our extended family.
Is this definite?
In a word NO. Due to the particular style and standard of finish that this conversion requires we need a little help.
How can we help?
You already have. By reading this all the way to here, it means you are interested... which is what we need: INTEREST!
1. Firstly, pat yourself on the back. You’re brilliant!
2. Keep the interest rolling. Please, please, please share this by social media, email or in print and send this to EVERYONE who would be interested. This project solely relies upon distribution like this. If it doesn’t get a following it dies. Along with our dreams of moving to Quorn :0(
3. Pop us a quick email to QuornCampaign@oddjohn.co.uk and tell us why you like the idea and about anything we might have missed. Honestly, this will really help us! Back us on here and take advantage of some AMAZING incentives to pledge that you will not see anywhere else! Take a look at these ——>
How Much Do You Need To Raise?
This IS a community funded exercise and we are relying on the support from the community.
To make all this a reality we need a little over £26,000. We can fund a little of this so we are looking to raise £16,000 through Kickstarter and any extra raised over this will go towards some “nice to haves” which include:
-Large comfy sofa area (around £3,500) -toddler’s play area (around £500) -log burner and new chimney (as much as £4,000) -stunning village centre outdoor area (£8,000+)
Please help us smash this goal and really make Odd John’s Kitchen the place to be in Quorn.
THANK YOU for your time
Thank you for reading
Thank you for sharing
Thank you for your feedback
Thank you for your support
Thank you for your pledges
. . . And a thousand more ‘thank yous’ for any help that you can give us.
‘Odd’ John, Jay, Louise, Charlie & Little Finley. And the memory of Susan Cooledge.
Risks and challenges
We already have such a great backing and support from the local residents and our existing customers but our main challenge is in getting the project out there and spreading the word! Our aim is to make a place so utterly stunning and enticing that people can't help but remark about it to others.
Being REMARKABLE in it's truest sense is the only way that we have built our existing businesses and this means that everything we do, we do knowing that the only way that we will still be here next year is if people tell other people about us.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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