WELCOME TO MY PAGE!
Thank you so much for taking the time to view my indiegogo page. If you have not already watched my video do that first because it sums up all this information pretty well. If you already viewed the video and you are still wanting to know a little bit more, then by all means continue reading :)
My name is Derek, and I love baking.
It has always been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. It's always been one of those things that put me in a good mood. It combined creativity,art, and food which are things that I love to involve myself in. During my time at Baldwin Wallace University, I decided to make the lifestyle change and become a vegetarian, and for me IT WAS HARD. My friends were all vegan and wanted me to take that next step, to become vegan, so I gave it a chance and started with 30 days. We would make our own food and go out to eat, but what I found really disappointing about going out to local restaurants and pubs was that while I could order the black bean burger or french fries, what I couldn't find was a nice slice of chocolate cake, or pie, or ice cream, ANYWHERE. Unless I went to a specialty store or a restaurant solely made to serve the vegan/vegetarian population, finding any desserts were slim to none.
One day I decided to put my love for baking to the test and make a few vegan desserts. I made some chocolate cupcakes and some chocolate chip cookies and found that (not to toot my own horn) they were really really REALLY good. I was running all over the house finding everyone and anyone to try them and they all had the same reaction: "These are vegan?!?"
SO LONG STORY SHORT I added a minor of entrepreneurship and started running with the idea of creating a vegan bakery. People thought I was crazy for trying this idea out, but just one bite of a chocolate chip scone or a strawberry cupcake and I had them hooked, wanting more. I graduated and saved up some money and registered my future bakery with the state of Ohio.
But I had to give it a name, something that represented what I wanted to bring to the table. I wanted a place that served vegan pastries and desserts and also offered a calm and relaxing environment where people could just come in and forget about their worries for an hour or two...
THEN IT CLICKED!
I decided to call it...
Veg'n Out Cafe (get it???)....
It was a fun little play on words that truly represented what I wanted my bakery to portray. We are an all vegan establishment but we want people to come in and "Veg Out" and just relax and have a good time.
I started sampling my products everywhere I could. I gave them out to people at work, I made birthday cakes for family and friends, I even got the chance to be a part of an event sponsored by the American Heart Association, and recently I was featured on WKYC (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbrcBoDopJs).
People were raving about my cupcakes and cookies and I knew this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
I was having trouble finding a place of my own to set up shop. I was looking into renting properties, trying to find a commercial kitchen, but was having no luck. I was then told about an opportunity to set up my shop inside a local church in the Berea community. I was so excited! Not only was this place the perfect spot to start my endeavor (right next to the college I attended, great community, surrounded by other great communities) but it had a fully equipped kitchen that they were also agreeing to let me use (cut a lot of the future expenses!!).
SO FAST FORWARD A COUPLE MONTHS LATER...
I set up a meeting with the city of Berea building department, the State of Ohio Board of Health and a few other head people and had them all look at my potential space and we hit a few obstacles.
NOW THIS IS WHERE YOU ALL COME IN...
We were told that the kitchen and store space were missing a few key items in order for us to start:
we need a three compartment sink in the kitchen for sanitation purposes
we need a grease trap
we need a new ventilation system for the two ovens that they had
we need a hand washing station inside the store area for sanitation purposes
And there were also some construction issues I wanted to address myself:
I wanted to build in a sit in area for people who wanted to stay for a bit
The room needs a fresh coat of paint
Additional shelving is needed to sell merchandise and other packaged products.
So this is where all the money raised from this site is going towards. I am hoping to raise and hopefully surpass my goal of $100,000 to make this place something EVERYONE will be talking about regardless if you are a vegan or not.
Now your incentives....
Each donation tier gets you a reward whether it be a bracelet, t-shirt, tote bag, some pre made cookie and cake mix for you to make at home, etc., and I hope you take the time to consider donating to my page.
The higher the amount the better the perk is. I won't go into detail about all of them but I wanted to explain one of the higher perks (because I think it's the best one!)
If you donate $500 or more you get a cupcake named in your honor. BUT THAT'S NOT ALL you will have a chance to do some extra good with your newly named cupcake!
Since we are based in a church I wanted to find a way to give back through baking, so I created a program through Veg'n Out Cafe called Cupcake For Charity where through the purchase of your named cupcake a percentage of the proceeds go to a charity of your choice (charity will be agreed upon after the site ends, and percentage of profits go up as the donation increases). It's a great way to donate AND do a little good as well.
To sum this all up...
If you made it this far I thank you for taking the time to once again view my page and your consideration in donating to Veg'n Out Cafe.
If you like my page but can't donate at the time THERE ARE OTHER WAYS YOU CAN HELP!
- Scroll back up to the top of the page and press the "like" button for Facebook/Twitter and share it on your page.
Find us on Facebook and Twitter:
- www.facebook.com/vegnoutcafe @vegnoutcafe
- Tell one friend about us...then ask them to tell one friend...start a chain!
- Copy and paste our indiegogo link in your status/tweet and donate your status/tweet for one day.
There are plenty of ways to get involved even if you can't financially. If we all work together we can make a place where we can all "Veg Out"
Thank you for your time and consideration