What Do We Need Money For?
We have been VERY fortunate to receive support from some amazing people, but opening a space is a very expensive undertaking. We won’t sugarcoat it: we need your dollars. Here’s what your support will go toward:
1. Build Out of The Physical Space - construction for our specific electric, lighting, and plumbing needs
2. Purchasing Equipment - fridges, freezers, sinks, a cold display case, a sheeter, etc.
3. Start-Up Ingredients - because we all know vanilla ain’t cheap
4. Start-up Labor - pastries don’t make themselves, except bread kind of does #yeastiseverywhere
5. Decorating the Space - while we love the industrial chic look, we don’t want it to feel like you
are entering a Lowe’s every time you pop-in for a pastry
Below is a breakdown of our estimated costs so you can get a better picture of where your money is going and why we need it. We appreciate ANY amount that you are willing and able to give.
It all began when a young Earl Vallery emerged from the swamps of Louisiana with a singular dream: to make and create for a living. Fourteen years ago, Earl’s obsession with bread brought him to pastry school, where he developed a love for the craft of cakes and pastry. After culinary school he slowly moved through the food world, baking in the fluorescent caverns of various Austin, TX kitchens, teaching at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, growing organic vegetables on a CSA-focused farm, and aiding in the launch of the popular Richmond bakery Whisk. Two years ago, when he settled in his new home of Charlottesville, VA, he pursued a project all his own: Bowerbird Bakeshop, whose mission is to create interesting, eclectic, and delicious french-inspired pastry in a non-fussy and accessible way.
Bowerbird Bakeshop began as a solo operation in Trinity Episcopal Church’s Bread & Roses Commissary Kitchen, but soon demand became more than Earl could handle on his own, so he amassed a dream team. First up was the spunky, can-doer from South Dakota (they really do make ‘em nice in the Midwest) -- Maria Niechwiadowicz (knee-shadow-wicz)! Maria began as a pastry assistant and is now joining Earl on this wild ride as a co-owner and operator. Next came Fran Rinaldo -- sweet weirdo, grand & animated storyteller, and scone-maker extraordinaire.
And so here we are, conservatively 1,000,000 pounds of almond flour later, with a shared love of food and community in our hearts, opening a space all our own!
A note on community…
While this is our dream of opening a brick & mortar, we do not want it to be solely a self-serving operation. We owe so much of our success to the support we have received from this community (aka YOU!). Charlottesville is a unique place in that small businesses are still valued and thrive in a world where chains reign supreme. We want to ensure we continue to give back to this community that has made this dream possible! Since the beginning, we have been committed to sourcing local ingredients from Virginia farmers and using in-season produce wherever possible. Money is necessary (Why else would we have this GoFundMe?), but we also do not want profit to be our bottom line. We have and will continue to pay our employees a living wage, donate to local nonprofits, and try to cultivate a space that is accessible to the entire community. We all deserve the opportunity to eat fancy-ass pastries.
***NOTE: 10% of all donations over our original goal amount of $5,555 will be donated to City of Promise to work towards food security in our new neighborhood***
And now for the INCENTIVES…
We really do appreciate any amount that you are willing to give, but we also want you to be rewarded for your generosity. If you give:
***NOTE: Please indicate which perk you would like to receive with your donation.***
$5 and Up - Receive a personalized Thank You postcard signed by the BBBS team
$25 and Up - Receive a personalized Thank You postcard, a Bowerbird sticker, and a free macaron at the bakeshop after we open
$30 - Bowerbird Tote Bag and Vinyl Sticker
*Limit First 5 Donors Only*
$50 - Bowerbird Bakeshop T-shirt and Vinyl Sticker
*Limit First 15 Donors Only*
$75 and Up - Invitation to our Celebratory Preview Party!
Drink champagne with us and experience an exclusive preview of our menu in our brand new space! Taste and see before anyone else! Chef EV and the crew will point at things, tell you stories, answer questions, feed you food, and likely do a little fun demo! Date and time TBD.
$75 - Reusable Macaron “Gold Box”
You will receive a reusable metal macaron box filled with three FREE macarons. Bring your “Gold Box” back for two additional FREE refills.
*Limit First 20 Donors Only*
$500 - Private Cooking Class at Bowerbird Bakeshop for You and up to 6 People
You and six of your friends can choose from a list of available pastry classes to attend privately at Bowerbird Bakeshop.
*Limit First 4 Donors Only. Local Only.*
$1000 - Earl’s Croquembouche Demo Experience
Chef Earl Vallery will come demonstrate and subsequently produce an entire Croquembouche for you and your friends and family. Available in the greater Charlottesville area only… unless you are also buying a plane ticket.
*Limit First 2 Donors Only. Local Only*
$2000 - Naming Rights to our Sheeter
A sheeter is a large piece of equipment that is used to help roll out and laminate Viennoiserie such as Croissants and Danish. It is very expensive and an integral piece of equipment. We will hand-paint a name of your choosing on our brand new Sheeter to be beheld in glory for all of it's days.
*Limit First Donor Only*
$5,000 - TOP SECRET Matcha Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
Receive a dozen Matcha Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies in a fancy box along with the hand-written recipe for this magical, perfectly-balanced blessing of a cookie!
*Limit First Donor Only*
- Judy Cincinnati
- Lily McWilliam
- Isaac Ployd
- Morgan Botwinick
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