About This Project
WHO WE ARE: Third Coast Bakery is a gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and (mostly) vegan bakery based in Suttons Bay, Michigan. The bakery was created in 2013 with one mission: to provide incredibly delicious treats for everyone, regardless of food sensitivities, intolerances, dietary restrictions or lifestyle. At Third Coast Bakery, everyone is welcome at the table!
For the past four years, we've distributed our products around Northern Michigan, building a healthy wholesale business with clients like Munson Hospital, Oryana Natural Foods, Edson Farms, Oleson's Markets, and many cafes, shops and coffeehouses. At the same time, we've developed a loyal following of our artisanal, allergen-free, vegan baked goods at area farmers' markets and through online sales. And we've done it all with only two ovens and a crew of four relentlessly passionate women!
THE BACKSTORY: Third Coast Bakery was started by owner, Heather Burson, in a tiny apartment kitchen as she struggled to create foods that both she and her cancer survivor husband could not only tolerate, but also enjoy. As friends caught wind of her culinary creations, requests for her baked goods poured in and Heather realized she had stumbled on her life's work. In 2013, Third Coast Bakery was born.
THE PROJECT: With wholesale accounts booming, a waitlist of new vendors, and continual requests for a storefront, it's time for Third Coast Bakery to expand. After long nights, many cups of coffee, countless building tours, and a lot of creative planning, we're ready to launch our first brick and mortar location in Traverse City, MI. This 2000 square foot facility will house expanded wholesale operations, a beautiful cake consultation room, and a cozy retail space to welcome customers, with large, sunny windows, plenty of natural light, a beautiful stone fireplace, and cafe-style seating. The bakery will be 100% allergen-friendly with no outside food allowed to ensure customer safety. Additionally, we will offer organic, fresh brewed coffee and tea, plus the region's first full-service, dairy-free coffee bar! Our menu will include hand-crafted coffee drinks made from 100% dairy-free, soy-free, and vegan milk alternatives.
The lease is signed, the work crew is gathered, the permits are secured and the design is finalized. The grand opening is scheduled for Spring 2018!
THE VISION: Our sincerest desire is to create a warm, welcoming space where customers can gather with complete peace of mind. We want to be a destination for the Northern Michigan families who struggle to find delicious, artisan quality, and, most importantly, allergen-SAFE food options. Finding a quality bakery that offers vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free options is challenging. We are the only full-service, allergen safe bakery in all of Northern Michigan. We feel our community will benefit from having a health-focused bakery that caters to families struggling with food sensitivities.
JOIN US! We're asking for helping raising funds through Kickstarter to make our vision a reality. Funds raised in this campaign will be used in three specific areas:
- to purchase much needed baking equipment
- to pay contractors to help us build the facilities
- to ensure that we open on time this spring!
OTHER WAYS YOU CAN HELP: Share our exciting news with your friends! Tell your colleagues! Tweet, Snap, Instagram, and Facebook the heck outta this page. We sincerely appreciate your financial pledges and all of your efforts to spread the word about our one-of-a-kind bakery.
**THE FINE PRINT** Kickstarter rules state that if we don't raise our full goal, then we won't receive any of the pledged dollars. So if you're as truly passionate about vegan, gluten-free, allergen-safe food as we are, then please pledge your support!
FREE PRIZES! REWARDS! INCENTIVES! ALL THE GOOD STUFF! Did you look at the list of financial incentives on this page? So much good stuff to be had! It's our way of saying "thank you" for each level of financial support. We can't wait to welcome you to our bakery!
Risks and challenges
Leaping into brick-and-mortar is not without its risks. We are converting a former office building into a commercial bakery. That means the building must undergo extensive plumbing, electrical, drainage, sewage, firewalls, flooring and HAVC updates. To meet the growing demand for our products, we must also purchase equipment and hire and train additional staff.
We've worked hard to secure our financing and need this last push to help us cross the finish line.
We are proactively incorporating steps to reduce risk and ensure a long-term, successful outcome for our storefront:
Our extensive business plan is regularly reviewed by SCORE mentors.
We utilize legal counsel specializing in small business matters.
Our staff is fully trained and ServSafe Certified.
We've secured a 10-year lease with a local property owner passionate about small business success.
We've secured all necessary permits and regularly communicate with city officials through each step of our project.
We've hired experts in commercial kitchen design, interior design, landscaping, HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and marketing,
We've electively submitted a full site plan review to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, our licensing authority.
MDARD approves of our plans!
- (60 days)