Kickstarter appeals to entrepreneurs in need of a wodge of cash. Convinced that all their idea requires to be successful is a financial boost, they make videos, plan rewards, and start spreading the word via social media. Some of them are right of course, and go on to be very successful. Others, not so much. We run through our top picks of the London based proposals while trying not to sound too Dragon's Den.
The success stories
Pigeon Hole Café is squirrelled away (or perhaps nested) at the end of a Camberwell side street. Run by two art school graduates, it doubles up as a furniture shop and showroom. You can eat breakfast, lunch and dinner in this small cafe, then buy the furniture and take it home with you.
Pigeon Hole Cafe, 2 Datchelor Place, SE5 7AP
Four cousins run Carousel, a three floored dining space in Marylebone, which welcomes guest chefs to take short residencies. Past cooks have included Rosie Birkett, food writer and author of the cookery book A Lot on Her Plate, and the talented Turkish Cypriot chef Selin Kiazim, who is one to watch closely over the coming year. John Gregory-Smith, author of Turkish Delights, is up next.
Carousel, 71 Blandford St, W1U 8AB
Cake pedlars Crumbs and Doilies opened their first bricks and mortar shop in Soho with the help of Kickstarter. Londoners go all dribbly for their impressive ‘unicorn cake’ (think air brushed icing in fairytale colours) and piñata cake (filled with sweets). We didn’t think anyone could seriously get away with making cupcakes in this day and age either but the people disagree.
Crumbs and Doilies, 1 Kingly Court, W1B 5PW
The soon to be
Cheese Posties will be ‘The World’s First Grilled Cheese Sandwich Subscription'. Surprised? Us neither. Your choice of bread, cheese, condiment and extra could come shooting through your letterbox once a week. All you need to do is slap them together, put it into the supplied toastie bag and… well, then we’re not sure, but somehow it comes out the other side as a fully formed cheese toastie. A revolutionary sandwich service for the very lazy.
Project Bacon will be the latest cookery book from London based food blogger Niamh Shields (Eat Like A Girl). The book will include 80 recipes based around London's favourite cured pork product, including instructions for making it at home, plus recipes like bacon fudge, and chipotle and brown sugar honeycomb butter (with added bacon). Niamh told Londonist that, "the project has been a steep learning curve and a baptism of fire, costing much more than originally anticipated, causing delays". She expects to launch for backers in Autumn however, and for the general public before Christmas, and despite problems remains positive.
Keeping with the theme, Bacon Wrapping Paper was launched by a photographer who said he found the quality of available bacon wrapping paper, to be “a bit lacking”. A problem we've all come up against at one time or another. He raised money to fund printing of his photo of 500 slices of cooked bacon, so look out for it in a gift shop near you.
Disco lovin’ burger flippers Burger Bear are going permanent thanks to a successful campaign. They’ll be building a diner in a shipping container, where they’ll be cooking their range of burgers and dogs to signature beats.
The ones in need of funding
We’ve been long time fans of Mike and Ollie’s stall at Brockley Market, which really raised the south London sandwich game with orange blossom scented flatbreads and foraged fillings. Their supper club was always a winner too, with slow braised meats, grilled fish and local preserves. We’re very excited about the (potential) prospect of their more permanent restaurant Queen’s, but they still need extra capital to finance the refit of what has turned out to be a challenging space.
Number One Hot Sauce came to be when the founder, Arlo, went on a trip to Mexico. The habanero and Guajillo pepper based condiment has been in production for a couple of years, but shipping the stuff back from Mexico is expensive, and it’s time to move on to the next level of production. We love the personality behind this campaign, and look forward to a taste of the sauce. Hopefully.
The ones that got away
We loved the idea of a 'cheesecake lounge'. Hopefully it would've involved reclining on a chaise longue (or something that’s actually comfortable), and consuming vast amounts of cheesecake and martinis while being fanned with a palm leaf. I guess we’ll never know.
The soup delivery service promised to deliver — wait for it — soup. We think perhaps someone neglected to do their market research.
An ambitious project to start a subscription only online food magazine unsurprisingly didn’t achieve its target. We suggest they start a blog, don’t charge anyone to look at it, then think about making money later.
Finally, we’re sorry to tell you it’s too late to contribute your choice of ingredient to the world’s first collaboratively topped pizza. This wily entrepreneur wanted £100 to “change the course of pizza’s history”. Backers would be free to add any topping they wanted, providing they were listed (“no fish or olives, they’re just wrong”). Once people had paid to create this gargantuan pizza mash-up, they would’ve had the pleasure of knowing that someone else had eaten it.