Hi there, First I will give the TLDR and then below I will give the full explanation.
We are Nels and Ian. We have a small bakery in an awesome little town called Thermopolis Wyoming.
We are doing this fundraiser as we found out the building we rent for our bakery is being deeded in lieu of foreclosed and only have a few weeks to buy it.
We really want to buy it and not have to rely on luck that the next owner still wants to rent to us.
We have worked hard to open this place and just passed the landmark of our 1 year here. We had planned to buy the bakery from the owner in a few years once we had everything, we invested in the equipment to open this place fully paid off, this was our retirement plan which is why we sank everything we had into getting it up and running.
Why is the goal so high? 130,000 should be how much we would need to cut a check to the owner and buy it outright. We are not expecting to reach that goal but we are allowing ourselves to dream. If we do get a loan for it we will need a substantial down and to pay off the equipment we bought to open the bakery.
Now the longer explanation for those who don't know us.
Ian and I lived in Denver for a long time but wanted something new. I had come here many times as a child as the town has wonderful hot springs and in a beautify valley I have always loved. I brought Ian up here and it took no time for him to fall in love with the sleepy and friendly hot springs town. We worked for years to get approval from his job to work remote fully like many of his co-workers and finally with the pandemic they granted our request. We bought a duplex so that my Mom and Uncle could have a place to live too.
We were in our new home for less than a week when Ian's work(of 10 years) laid him off. We were shocked and hurt but Ian was a professionally trained chef and baker so began doing farmers markets to make a bit of extra money while we tried to figure out what to do. We were astounded how much people loved our baked goods, often selling out within an hour. We had so many folks come up and ask what we were doing after the farmers market and ask if we had considered opening a bakery since the town could desperately use one.
We started asking around and were told about a building that was for sale but we might be able to rent to keep it from going into deeded in lieu of foreclosure. It was dusty from not being used for years and needed a lot of work but we fell in love with it.
We talked with my Mom and Uncle and decided to go all in as a family on this business. We cashed in what savings we had and paid for the first few months rent and got to work. There was a lot of equipment in the building but the more we looked the more we realized most of it was broken beyond repair. The building had 3 very nice commercial refrigerators but after a look from a repair person they were deemed beyond repair after sitting disused for so long. The proofers were in the same boat and we needed a better oven as well as many other things.
We had received the keys in August but due to shipping problems from the pandemic we were not ready to open till the end of November. We took the time to give the place a deep deep scrub down and lot of work repainting and repairing.
Once we were able to open it was a crazy winter. The wonderful Mexican restaurant burned down next to us leaving us one of the last things on the block. Despite that we were lucky enough to be asked to help with a lot of community projects like baking for fundraisers and events and acted as a drop off point where local gardeners could donate their extra produce and help it go to a needy family. It was only our first year but we had over 900lbs of produce donated that was distributed to local families in need!
As we started getting more and more known in the community business picked up. We started expanding our menu to lunches and now do dinners on 2 nights of the week!
It was on one of our dinner nights last week we got the call letting us know that the building was being deeded in lieu foreclosed despite us never being late a single time on rent.
We had planned to rent for a few years and get established and then buy the building from the owner so we could continue to improve and maybe one day expand it. We thought we had much more time and this has completely blindsided us. Not only were we not prepared but also this was in the middle of the slowest time of the year for us.
So now we are asking you all for help. We love this place; we love getting to work together. It is amazing to get to spend every day working with Ian and my family. I am incredibly proud of what we were able to build and all the hard work we have put into it. Barely a day goes by with out someone here telling us how grateful they are to have a service like a wholesome bakery in town.
If you can spare some to help us keep this place open and stable and to keep this service in our small town we would be incredibly grateful.