Two Leith-based firms have given their crowd-funders an ethical slant to help them raise they cash they need to grow.
First up, soup firm, Union of Genius, are hoping to expand their business into a next door unit.
The firm has grown rapidly to employ 11 people in the area, and as well as their own cafe, they supply 30 cafes around town. Bruce Mason, of Union of Genius explained:
“We chose Leith because it enabled us to use a cargo bicycle to deliver soup to both our cafe and the wholesale cafes we supply. If we had moved out of town we would have had to deliver by van but we have tried since day one to minimise our carbon footprint. The unit in Leith is great for us because it is within just a few miles of everywhere we supply. That’s why, each morning, if you live in Leith, you may see our colourful if rather odd-looking contraption being pedalled by “Thighs of Steel” Bob. (Bob is also a fire juggler but we’ve banned him from fire juggling while pedalling the bike for health and safety reasons.)
“We are delighted by our first two years here in Leith. We now supply over 30 cafes from and have just started working with a nursery in Edinburgh to provide high quality food for toddlers: no Turkey Twizzlers here. We’ve been able to keep our van and car use to an absolute minimum. It will be even better if the council builds proper cycle lanes on Leith Walk. The delay is a sore point: literally in Bob’s case.
“Now though we have run out of room again: we can make more soup but have nowhere to store it. We were trying to find a way to squeeze in more fridges when, as if by magic, the next door unit came up for rent. This offers us a chance to expand while maintaining our environmental commitment. We can continue using cargo bikes and continue working with the Care Van. Two years after our Kickstarter we find ourselves at a crossroads again so we have launched a second Kickstarter.
“The beauty of crowdfunding such as Kickstarter is that it is a way to bypass the banking system and share the growth with your customers. One of our last Kickstarter backers has now had, we believe, the best part of 500 lunches for free. From our point of view it gets us the money when we need it and then we pay it back through various rewards over time. It also means that we can afford to keep giving back.
“For this Kickstarter as well as providing rewards for pledges we are also providing free “suspended soups” based on the number of backers. That way we can continue to grow our business in a sustainable way as well as increase the amount we give back.”
There are only a few days left to support Union Genius before their Kickstarter deadline kicks in, so if you can, go here and see if you can bag a soupy perk and help them provide even more soup to local homeless folk too.
The second local firm is therapies business KnotStressed. They too are moving into new premises in Abbeyhill and as part of their crowdfunder are offering people the chance to support local charity CCLASP by purchasing a “suspended therapy.”
Valerie Simpson, the Managing Director/Founder of CCLASP said: “We are touched that the therapists at KnotStressed are offering their support for the parents we work with. Of course, there’s no magic wand that will make a parent feel better when their child is seriously ill but being offered some personal time out to relax with a massage could make a world of difference at such a challenging time.”
You can find out more about the KnotStressed crowdfunder and the perks they have on offer here.
Disclosure: One of the Directors of KnotStressed is married to the author of this post.
Top Photo credit: Brendan MacNeill