Welcome to the "Our Hearts Beat Hunger" Campaign
This campaign is about something bigger than just funding a business. It's about radically shifting the vision of one. Here's how:
From this day forward Nello's commits to giving Nello's Sauce annually to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina as a part of its core mission and to begin an annual Food Entrepreneur Mentoring Program for a person supported by the Food Bank or its partner organizations.
"The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina is delighted to join efforts with Nello's to help provide support to individuals, families, and children in our service territory who struggle with hunger every day. The fine folks at Nello's have made a wonderful commitment to give back to our communities in need and we are grateful for this new partnership." --The Food Bank
To get this started, here's what this campaign aims to do:
- For every dollar you give to this campaign, 10% will go directly to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. A check will be presented in person, photographed, and documented here at the end of the campaign. Keep in mind that every dollar that you give can be used to purchase the equivalent of ten dollars worth of food by the Food Bank.
- Nello's will make a donation of sauce to the Food Bank to be distributed to families or individuals in need. This contribution will be the equivalent of 2% of all funds donated to this campaign. If we hit the $50,000 goal, that'd be roughly 500 jars of tomato sauce.
- A small portion of funds ($200) will be set aside to cover costs associated with the establishment of the Food Entrepreneur Mentoring Program. This money will cover the participant's cost of travel to and from meetings (bus tickets or gas), phone calls (when possible), and lunches out.
We just had a great Food Drive and Bash at Lonerider Brewery in Raleigh, N.C., on May 11, 2013. Thank to all for coming! We collected nearly 300 lbs of food! https://www.facebook.com/events/303810926415652/
What's the story behind Nello's?
Nello's Sauce produces a line of premium tomato sauces that are responsibly produced, are healthy, and taste out of this world. Nello's first appeared on a store shelf in June of 2011 and has since expanded to over fifty stores in the southeast, including Whole Foods, Earth Fare, Weaver Street Market, The Fresh Market, and other great shops and natural foods stores (check 'em out here). I began Nello's with just a few hundred dollars and have since sold tens of thousands of jars, each hand-crafted in North Carolina. I'd be nowhere without my wife, my family, and my friends. Now I turn to you for some help in taking Nello's to the next level and to establishing Nello's as a business with a heart for a long time to come.
How will the Food Entrepreneur Mentoring Program work?
Each year in partnership with one of the various agencies working with the Food Bank, Nello's will select one person from the community between the ages of 18 and 30. I will provide the following:
1) Offer personal mentoring to one person per year for a period of six months, three hours of time per month; 2) Work closely with Fellow to take a food product idea to market (providing insight into the process of product development and evaluation, packaging, food safety, introduction to legal agencies); 3) Help write a business plan to assure first year business success; 4) Identify appropriate market for Fellow's food product (such as farmers market, local grocery stores, etc.); 5) Introduce Fellow to contacts in the field (other entrepreneurs, agencies, store contacts); 6) Cover the costs of bus fares, gas, or phone expenses up to $200 per Fellow per year; 7) Help Fellow identify and make use of library materials for building a business; 8) Help Fellow set up free online website and social media pages (accessible via public library, if necessary); 9) Last, introduce Fellow to Indiegogo through which he or she might be able to raise business funds.
The program Fellow will be featured on the Nello's Italy website each year and updates will be made about advances in their projects! I welcome other established food entrepreneurs to contact Nello's to offer their time and advice. Please note that the mentorship will be named after the givers at the $5,000 level. If there's one giver at that level, the mentorship will forever be named after him or her, if two or more, the mentorship will change its name each year on a revolving basis.
What will Nello's do with the funds it collects for itself?
Funds collected for Nello's (those remaining after fees have been taken, charitable contributions have been made, and perks have been filled) will be used for the following:
Nello's is poised for great growth, but to take things to the next level, we'll need to step up production tremendously. This will require capital in excess of $20,000. This campaign will support the three products already in the market and two new innovative sauces that really rethink pasta sauce. One is still a secret, the other not-yet developed (certain backers will help create the recipe!) but with your help we can get them produced. You'll be the first to know about them. Your help will make this happen, not to mention it will assure that Nello's can continue to grow and to provide to the Food Bank every year for many years to come. In essence, you are supporting the Nello's mission.
What do you get for giving?
Please have a good look at all of the rewards to the right. One heart, two hearts, three . . . four . . . twelve. We've got many!
International backers: Before you give, please send us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Shipping is very expensive overseas and customs regulations vary regarding food products. We'll work out a personal reward at your level of giving.
Special thanks to the brilliant Robert Opperman for the outstanding film. Contact him to discuss your future project at email@example.com.
Thanks to Derrick Minor and Gregory Ng. The idea for this project and new vision for Nello's came out of a brainstorming session we all had a couple of months ago, and for that I am very grateful.
Thanks to Lonerider Brewery for allowing me to host the Nello's party at the "Hideout."
Thanks to my family, my friends, and especially my wife, for standing behind my crazy vision to start Nello's in the first place.
Together Our Hearts Beat Hunger. Thank you!