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CA$ 17,116
pledged of 40.000 CA$ pledged of 40.000 CA$ goal
78
backers
22days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, June 13 2019 9:55 AM UTC +00:00.

Laura MacLeodBy Laura MacLeod
First created
Laura MacLeodBy Laura MacLeod
First created
CA$ 17,116
pledged of 40.000 CA$ pledged of 40.000 CA$ goal
78
backers
22days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, June 13 2019 9:55 AM UTC +00:00.

About

Our Story

In 2015, after cooking school in Vancouver, I knew exactly what I wanted to do - open a bakery. With a dream and not much else, I leased a space, sight unseen, across the country in my hometown of Halifax. What you now know as The Old Apothecary Bakery. My daughter Katie, my General Manager, and I have been at it for four years now.

When I chose the location on Barrington Street, I chose with my heart. I remembered shopping there, hanging around Barrington Street and Spring Garden Road as a punk wannabe 80’s teenager. I loved the brick, loved its history as a drug store which naturally led me to its name. The interior designer in me saw all of the great possibilities. The brand new, fresh-out-of-culinary-school-baker in me had no idea about running a bakery and the challenges this location would hold. 

Oh that first summer. That was when reality of an old building set in. Customers kept coming in and then getting out as fast as they could. It was like walking into a sauna - the heat hit like a brick, especially upstairs. They asked us how we could stand to work in the heat. But we had to. Yes, the heat affected our product, especially the bread. It was but a small window into what was to come. But at least our quantities were still relatively small. Then this incredible community embraced us. As we began to grow, we added more fridges to keep up with production. The extra energy to run them added to the heat, and as the temperature went up outside, the fridges had to work even harder inside, pumping out even more heat into the space. It’s been a vicious cycle every summer since, with every increase in production making it worse. Bread doesn’t like it when it’s too hot. Croissants hate it, proofing under our fingers while we roll them, butter melting out before we can get them in the fridge. We knew we had to do something. This, my croissant-loving friends is where you come in. 

Our Plan

Our goal is to open TOA Central, a commercial kitchen devoted to the consistent production of bread and pastries. Yes it will be located in another old building - the old part of the Alexander Keiths building - but no it’s not going to be a repeat of the situation on Barrington Street. This space has been modernized. It will have a walk-in fridge and freezer with compressors which are housed outside. It will have that modern luxury we call air conditioning. It will even have windows that open! The bakers and the bread will be happy. I’ll be happy because one of Halifax’s most historic spaces will be repurposed and reinvented. It will also give two independent female entrepreneurs and dreamers a new lease on life. 

What becomes of the Barrington TOA? Well for starters you won’t have to sweat when you want to enjoy a coffee and croissant. When we remove the fridges and oven, the air conditioning units we installed the second summer will be able to do their job, where currently (although they try) they can't compete with equipment heat. We will turn it back into a cozy café with more seating and socializing areas. We’ll supply it and our second location in the Emera Building with product made at TOA Central. We don’t want to run out of croissants at 11am on Saturday, we just currently cannot produce more in our space, and, we’ll be able to do it earlier in the day. We’ll also be able to add a wholesale stream to our business, supplying restaurants and even other retail locations with our products. 

But, we can’t do this on our own. We need the community to open their arms even wider. 

We’ve created this Kick Starter campaign so we can make this move and grow our business to a sustainable level.

Here’s what it entails:

  • Moving all of our equipment to the new location, including our four-deck bread oven and two 700 lbs mixers;
  • Purchasing equipment to help make our workflow more efficient;
  • Building a walk-in fridge and freezer;
  • Purchasing a commercial dishwasher, big enough to handle sheet pans and giant mixing bowls, because right now we do everything by hand;
  • Buying an oven that is more suited to baking cakes then our bread oven.

We have thought about our rewards carefully. We wanted our supporters to actually taste their generosity, and we wanted to share some of the love and talent that goes into what we do day-in and day-out. We hope you will consider making a donation - as they say, every bit counts. And if you believe in what we do - baking scrumptious bread and pastries with love and the best possible ingredients that NEVER contain chemicals or preservatives, then please share this with your friends. Your support of our dream, our small local business, and damn good croissants in this city will be gratefully accepted. 

About Laura

I grew up in Dartmouth, right next to the Brightwood Golf Course fence. A stones throw from Dartmouth High. Still managed to be late everyday…

My best friends growing up lived a couple blocks over, and are still my friends today. I had my beautiful daughter early in life which had me growing up pretty quickly. I went to school for interior design, while working retail at Mic Mac Mall and trying to figure out what the heck I was going to do. 

What I did was get married, have an equally dazzling son, and work as an interior designer for the next 22ish years. We moved all over the world for my husbands job. Our family lived in New Zealand, Germany and the US. All this time, I was gathering data for a business I didn’t know I wanted to own yet. The kids were off to university, Kate at NSCAD and Donald in culinary school. In October, 2013, while living in Germany, there was a big life change. I moved back to Canada on my own. A bit lost. A trusted advisor (my father-in-law) suggested that I too might enjoy culinary school. It seemed like as good a place as any to put my focus. I packed up a jeep and drove across Canada, just me and the cat, in December. Readers, don’t do this in a Jeep TJ on your own….. in winter. 

I started at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts in January of 2014, right after my son graduated from the same school. I had always cooked, and had assumed that was the road I would go down. And then I began the pastry arts portion of the program. It was love. The precise science of baking, coupled with decorating the finished pastry spoke to my perfectionist and artistic sides. Suddenly all of the bakeries I visited during my travels came rushing back. The vibe from a place in Charlotte, the variety of breads from a place in Heidelberg, the coffee shops in Auckland, the bakeries in Vancouver. I was going to open a bakery back home. 

I began planning even before graduation. I moved back on January 15, the next day there was a snow storm. It was the winter of 2015. I’m not going to lie, I asked aloud many times why I moved back during that winter. Getting construction done on time with all those storms was a challenge but I had a great crew. We opened on Open City Day. And sold out. Kate and I were exhausted and thrilled. That’s how we spent most of the rest of the year. 

Many lessons have been learned. Some of them have been very hard. I still love to bake. That has been a joy in my life that I wouldn’t have found without a simple suggestion.

SPECIAL THANKS TO

Michelle Doucette Photography 

and

Richard and Ashley, Applehead Studio 

(for putting up with two VERY uncooperative subjects)


Follow us to keep up with what's happening at the bakery

 Twitter   |   Instagram  |   Facebook 

 www.theoldapothecary.com 

Risks and challenges

Yes, there are many risks to opening a third location. Who will bake all the extra bread? What if the compressors fail? What if another bakery opens up down the street? What if we can't find enough butter in all the city? These are all practical challenges that we have addressed in our Business Plan, and that frankly, we have dealt with in the first two locations. But, as with everything we have done since the start of this business, we listen to our gut and our customers. And both are telling us to do this. We have in place a marketing campaign, a team of followers to help us spread the word, and a plan for wholesale distribution in stores and restaurants. If we don't garner the support we need through this campaign, we simply don't build TOA Central, and we buy another fan for the Barrington Street bakery and sweat it out. But, we have faith, hope, and the love of community. So we think we can do it. And as with anything - how will we know if we don't try? And, we're more than willing to try.

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Support

  1. Make a pledge without a reward

    CA$
    About $7
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 25 or more About $19

    Best of TOA Digital Cookbook

    Our tried and tested, most loved recipes. Including salted caramel
    brownies and sourdough. In a digital (but print ready) form.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 50 or more About $37

    Wholesale Bread Customer for 3mths

    Retail customers will receive wholesale pricing for the first three
    months we're open. No limits

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    Pledge CA$ 80 or more About $60

    Reusable Bread Bag

    This eco friendly reusable 100% cotton bag will keep your TOA Central
    Bread fresh

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    Pledge CA$ 100 or more About $74

    Custom Tile

    Put your name on a tile going on a wall at Barrington Street to add a piece of you to the community we have built.

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    Pledge CA$ 250 or more About US$ 186

    Croissant class (2 people)

    Spend 6 glorious hours on a Sunday building arm strength while
    learning to make our croissants. You'll go home with a full belly, a
    recipe and a skill that not too many home bakers have mastered.

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    Pledge CA$ 350 or more About $261

    Croissant class (4 people)

    Make a party of it, bring your partners along so that you don't get
    stuck making them all the time

    Spend 6 glorious hours on a Sunday building arm strength while
    learning to make our croissants. You'll go home with a full belly, a
    recipe and a skill that not too many home bakers have mastered.

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    Pledge CA$ 500 or more About $372

    Dessert of the month club

    Once a month you'll be able to pick up a decadent full sized dessert to share (or
    not share) with family and friends.

    1 Year Subscription

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    Pledge CA$ 1,000 or more About $744

    Bread Subscription

    Every Friday, come pick up 1 each of what we refer to as the holy trinity. Baguette, Sourdough and
    Country Loaf. Along with either 4 baked or ready to bake butter croissants.

    1 Years Subscription

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    Pledge CA$ 1,500 or more About $1,117

    Bread Apprenticeship

    For the ultimate bread enthusiast. Arrive at the crack of dawn, we
    will hand you a coffee, put your apron on and dive into learning
    exactly how we do what we do. We promise not to make you wash dishes
    or peel potatoes.

    2 week apprenticeship

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    Pledge CA$ 2,500 or more About $1,861

    Dessert Reception

    Have a 3 hour dessert reception at our Barrington location. We will provide an assortment of over the top, decadent desserts for up to 30 people.

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