London bakery smashes crowdfunding target

The Snapery founder, Richard Snapes
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The Snapery, the London-based artisan bakery, has soared through its crowdfunding target of £5,000 to raise funds for the installation of a new bakery.

By the end of the campaign, the Bermondsey-based sourdough specialist has been pledged £9,213 by 288 backers. The money will help the bakery move to a new site and install larger equipment, including a five-deck oven, which will increase production capacity by five times.

Backers have been promised a range of rewards, from a free loaf to sourdough bread-making lessons at the bakery.

Richard Snapes, founder of The Snapery, said of the funds: “It’s going towards the cost of the installation of the space and a new staff member.”

“We’ve got the oven and we’ve got some retarders but we don’t have the mixer we want yet.”

He added: “With this oven we can employ someone and get everything done in a fraction of the time, it’s so exciting.”

The Snapery supplies sourdough, ciabatta and focaccia breads wholesale to local foodservice clients including Casse Croute and Bar Tozino. Although it currently only supplies to the public by request, Snapes is keen to find a retail outlet to sell his bread, saying: “We are looking for a market at the moment.”

The bakery was founded by Snapes in 2014, after he decided to turn his hobby into a career, and has gone from strength to strength. His favourite sourdough starter to use was born from Ukrainian hop flowers, which he says gives his bread a unique taste.

Fans of Snapes’ bread include food writer Olia Hercules, who featured his bread extensively in her cookbook Mamushka and on TV appearances including Saturday Kitchen and Sunday Brunch.

Filbert's Bakery

Crowdfunding is increasingly being used by bakeries both to avoid onerous bank loans and to gain publicity for their businesses. Another recent example is Lancaster-based Filbert’s Bakery, which has nearly raised the funds needed to replace its mixer on website Indiegogo after the previous one broke on Christmas Eve.

Joe Duirwyn, co-owner at Filbert’s, said: “We are a small business that barely covers costs and we still have outstanding loans and investment to pay off from our opening three years ago, so we couldn't really afford to take on more debt.

“We were going to try and finance it ourselves but would have had to look at very low budget machines, which would have been a false economy.  A number of our customers gave us a bit of cash towards it and suggested running a crowdfunder; enough people suggested it so we thought we’d give it a try.”

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