The Thoughtful Bread Company reached its £55k investment target in nine days, thanks to an online scheme called Crowdcube.

A total of 34 investors pledged money to the bakery, which is to use the funds to open its first bakery and patisserie shop and bakery school in Bath.

In return for the money, the bakery has offered up a 20% share of the business, which will be split between the investors.

Duncan Glendinning, founder, told British Baker he had been prepared to go knocking on friends’ and family’s doors, but the initiative was so successful that he didn’t have to.

“I’m yet to get the biographies for all the investors, but there was only one I knew by name,” said Glendinning. “The bulk of people are customers, some are people who have our book or have seen some of things we’ve done on TV, and then there are people who have just found us through the Crowdcube website.

“There’s a solicitor, a pyschologist from Denmark, and a student from New York University. When I saw where the student was from, I emailed to find out why they had decided to invest, especially as it coincided with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. They replied saying that they had a keen interest in sustainable businesses, and they just felt that, with all of the bad things going on, they wanted to be part of something that was really positive.”

The bakery is due to sign the lease for its premises next week, which is located in the heart of the heritage area of Bath. Glendinning said the shop was due to open before Christmas, with classes in the bakery school to start in the New Year.

Crowdcube is designed to help start-up and growing businesses raise business finance by letting people invest via its equity crowdfunding platform.

Investors are invited to put in between £500 and £5,000. In return, they will own a share in the bakery, and will also get some rewards, such as places on its bakery courses, and a spot on the founders’ wall, planned for the bakery shop and school.

The bakery currently supplies its breads to local farm shops and restaurants.