WHO AND WHAT IS PORTERHOUSE CAKE CO?
Porterhouse Cake Co is a microbakery dedicated to providing Leeds with an independent source of high quality, handmade, and creative baking. Up to this point it has been run by me, Liz Richardson, singlehandedly out of my home kitchen. Over the last two years, the business has grown and it is time to take a big step and move into a professional kitchen space.
Porterhouse Cake Co began in 2017 when I left an office job to renovate our kitchen and make a go of baking full time. Orders from friends for wedding cakes had given me confidence and I finally took the plunge.
Since then the business has developed steadily from private orders, street food events and pop ups, to supplying more than 5 cafes and catering for weddings. You might know my cakes from Laynes Espresso, Workshop, and Stage Espresso amongst others, or from events like Belgrave Feast, Leeds Indie Food festival and Eat North.
I've also done pop up events, such as Parisian patisserie at And Other Stories.
At this point, just keeping up with demand from my busy clients in a domestic kitchen has become more and more challenging as the business has outgrown the space and its limitations and I have a waiting list of new clients who I would love to supply. I need a larger kitchen, professional ovens, greater storage space and more specialist equipment to continue to grow. Having this space will also allow me to hold workshops, events and have a pop-up shop once or twice a month.
VISION FOR THE FUTURE
My business is focused on creating high quality, flavourful, handmade cakes. What I really want is for people in Leeds to have the option of choosing locally-made, great-tasting, and out-of-the-ordinary bakes as opposed to the monotony of big brand options you can buy everywhere. I want to grow and supply more coffee shops across a wider area, increase the number of events and weddings I can take on during the year and I'm also aiming to hold workshops in the new kitchen space and have a regular pop up shop open to the public.
WHY SHOULD YOU PLEDGE?
It’s independent businesses that give a city its character and we are lucky that Leeds has many passionate business owners who want to bring that variety and interest despite competition from big business, but it is only through the support of customers like you that our businesses can be successful. By supporting my campaign you’ll be helping another small independent grow and become more established. I’ll also, wherever possible, be trying to use other independent suppliers throughout this project (for example Seagulls Paint) so your money will be going to other local enterprises too. I hope you will see that I’m not asking for money for nothing but offering a chance to invest in the growth of our independent scene and to choose a great reward too.
HOW WILL THE MONEY BE SPENT?
I have already secured a small industrial unit at Armley Link, an ideal location as it has easy access to the city centre for deliveries. The unit was previously a motorbike repair shop and as you can see in the video below, it’s lacking the key ingredient – a kitchen – and needs quite a bit of work! I will be doing as much of the work myself (with help from my husband and friends!) as possible, such as cleaning and painting, but I need your pledges to help cover plumbing, carpentry and equipment costs. I will need to have a new double sink installed and plumbed for pot washing, an inner glass door to let in some daylight, work benches, cooling racks, storage bins, refrigeration, and of course ovens! A lot of the smaller appliances and equipment I own already and will be moving over from the current kitchen. I’m also planning to have a cake counter and some seating built so I can open up the bakery to customers on a monthly basis.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO ANY MONEY RAISED OVER TARGET?
If we were to raise more funds than expected, these would go towards more specialist equipment, a dedicated delivery vehicle and initial staffing. I hope to invest in a pastry sheeter so I can include more pastries in my offering. In terms of staff - so far, I’ve been running the business singlehandedly, which includes all the baking, cleaning, pot-washing, deliveries (in my old Ford Focus), ordering, shopping, sales, social media, and admin – so I think it’s probably about time to get some help!
TARGET AND REWARDS
I am asking for £10,000, which is the bare minimum I need for the new space. In return, (as well as my undying gratitude and the knowledge you’ve helped a new business) I’m offering a wide range of rewards for every budget. There are small options such as paying for brownies and cakes in advance, mid-range rewards such as buying a monthly treat box subscription, a Porterhouse picnic box, tickets to the launch party, workshops at the unit, or for larger pledges I can provide a wedding cake or dessert table for an event. There is a really special collaborative reward of 12 seasonal recipe cards, each one illustrated by a Leeds or Yorkshire connected artist. This is a great option if you live too far afield for cake! All those who pledge will have their names on our Kickstarter wall of fame in the kitchen. Please have a look at the list of pledges to the right to browse them all!
Importantly, as with all Kickstarter campaigns, it is ALL OR NOTHING, meaning if I don’t reach the target, I won’t receive a penny. It’s vital to get off to a good start, so please pledge and/or share this campaign on your social media as widely as possible. I really hope there's a reward that you’ll enjoy and that you can get behind the campaign!
I have decided to crowdfund as opposed to funding via a bank loan because I want to actively engage with the community in Leeds, and to me it makes more sense to pay my supporters back with my time, products and expertise than make the bank free money! I’ve worked hard on a range of rewards, so that anyone who pledges, regardless of the amount, will feel they are getting a good deal! Read on to find out more about them…
THANK YOU FOR READING!
Risks and challenges
The main risk to opening the new kitchen will be completing the work that needs doing whilst maintaining my current baking commitments using my home kitchen. Friends and family will be supporting me in this by giving time to clean and paint. The work that requires specialists, so the plumbing and carpentry work, can get underway with supervision from my long-suffering husband! I hope to be in and working from the new kitchen by end of March if all goes well.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)