UPDATE Nov. 17: To Live For will open for business on Sat., Nov. 19 at 10 a.m. Before opening day, the To Live For crowdfunding campaign raised - and slightly surpassed - its $30,000 goal, bringing in $30,201.
Vancouver blogger and influencer Erin Ireland has made her line of plant-based baked goods a staple in local cafes and retail spaces for the past several years, so news of her opening a To Live For bakeshop was met with much enthusiasm from fans.
Announced in early June of this year, To Live For is setting up an expanded prep kitchen and a retail cafe-style space for customers in East Vancouver at Grant and Nanaimo streets. Now, Ireland says, she's turning to future customers to help fund the last stretch of construction which will help get the doors open on the business venture.
"We don't have any investors, so to try and save money, we’ve been scouring the auctions and marketplace to find used ovens, mixers, freezers etc. Even so, the project is now exceeding our budget," explains Ireland on Indiegogo, where To Live For has launched a crowdfunding campaign.
Supporters can chip in to help see the project through to completion with as little as a $5 contribution (for a "digital high-five") all the way up to $5,000 for a top-tier corporate sponsorship. In between are a variety of options, including discounted gift cards, a cake-decorating class, and more.
"We’re pre-selling gift cards, swag and experiences to help finance our final month of construction. and as part of this campaign, we’re making all of the gift cards worth more than what you pay, so hopefully, it’s a bit of a win-win for everyone!" describes the campaign.
And, no worries for prospective customers; Ireland tells V.I.A. "the bakery will open regardless of the outcome of our crowdfunding," adding that getting some gift cards and experiences pre-sold would avoid the business having to go back to the bank for more funds.
Ireland says she is "passionate about proving the future of baking is plant-based."
The new bakery space means To Live For can better serve its many wholesale clients, as well as expand its product line.
For bakeshop customers, Ireland is planning to make smaller-batch items available, like croissants, soft serve, and cake - all fully vegan. The plan is to also use the cafe's community space to host events like a book club and run club.