by N Nina Siljanovic
Ended on August 31st 2018
I never looked for seed capital at the beginning of this journey.
Six years in, the time has come to ask.
In the early days of The Nutty Baker, circa 2012, I would say “Yes” to almost every opportunity which came knocking.
If someone ordered a Chocolate Cake, I would trot off to the shops and purchase a cake tin and ingredients, bake the cake, receive $50 and reinvest the small amount of profit into the business.
Of course, the next order would be for something completely different, so out I went, to buy the next lot of equipment and ingredients, fulfil the order, receive payment and reinvest the funds.
I built The Nutty Baker from scratch, leaving my Investment Banking career to retrain in Patisserie. I developed recipes, supplied cafes and built a client base.
In 2016, I took a new level of risk and signed a lease on a small kitchen and shopfront in Vaucluse. At the time, I expected it to be a mini-factory, a space for me to develop the wholesale side of the business. If I sold a muffin directly to a customer in the shop, I considered that a bonus. After just 6 months, as the retail side of the business grew quickly I cancelled all of my wholesale contracts with the cafes to focus on retail.
To my absolute surprise, The Nutty Baker was welcomed as a new and much loved addition to the Vaucluse community. More than once have I heard a customer exclaim, “What on earth did we do without you before?”
As the business grew, I took on full time and casual employees, supposedly doing my bit for the Australian economy, as the Government rhetoric would say.
The increasing frustration I feel as a Small Business Owner is the sheer difficulty to get access to funding from any of the local banks to develop the business, despite having positive cash flow, a growing customer base and some of the best damn cakes in Sydney!
Which brings me to the case in hand. We have recently been selected by a major Australian airline to supply our signature Amaretti biscuits to their passengers for a six month period commencing September 2018.
This is a great opportunity to take The Nutty Baker to the next level. The catch is the required working capital I need to get the project off the ground is well beyond my means.
I have looked into funding from various bank and non-bank lenders. I have been offered loans with disgraceful 30-34% interest rates. Of course, all the usual credit card providers are more than happy to “help,” with their compounding 20%+ interest rates which will simply corrode the entire deal.
If you would like to pitch in and help me to take The Nutty Baker into the skies, a donation of any amount, no matter how big or small, would be with received with absolute grace. Asking for help is one thing, receiving it, another.
100% of contributions received will be applied to the start-up costs of this project. This means financing the ingredients, labour, packaging, graphic design and other production/set up costs. We literally need a tonne of Almonds!
Contributions of any amount will help me to maximise the opportunity on offer. In turn, this will enable me to continue to develop and grow The Nutty Baker.
As a thank you, all donors will be invited to a Kick Off Party on 1 September 2018, when the Amaretti finally achieve take off. What a relief that will be!
I am committed to making this opportunity happen, no matter what. I came to this crowd funding idea by thinking outside of the box, and if it doesn’t work, then I will take advantage of the other avenues available to me.
The fact that you have even read this far suggests you have already supported my business in one way or another over the years – for that, I can already say Thank You.
Wish me luck!
PS SBS Small Business Secrets TV recently did a feature on The Nutty Baker: click here to view the story:
Thank you to everyone who has made a contribution! Whilst it may look like I didn’t achieve the result I was looking for, in fact I did. This crowd funding campaign led me to meet a suitable investor, someone I would not have met had I not bared all and spoken about the challenges I was facing.
Tomorrow, the first 12,000 Amaretti biscuits will be delivered into Sydney airport, to be airborne from all major Australian airports this coming Saturday!
To say the last few weeks have been majorly stressful would be an understatement. I imagine the next couple of weeks to be intense, and then hopefully the process will become as smooth as peanut butter.
It was my plan to throw a party on the 1st of September to thank you all for your contributions. I’m not backing down from that deal, I just need a few more weeks to calm down from the stress and organise it all.
I’ll be in touch with an invitation! In the meantime, if you’re flying Business or First International from SYD, PER, BRIS or MELBOURNE over the next 6 months, take a photo of the Amaretti and eat as many as you possibly can!!