Greetings! Thank you for visiting my donation page, where I humbly ask for financial help in bringing my business plan to fruition. The first thing you should know is that IT'S HAPPENING! Starting June 1st, I will be a self-employed vendor of dairy-free nut milk, operating three days a week at farmer's markets throughout Portland, Oregon.
I make a delicious blend of almond and hazelnut milk with organic ingredients and a zero waste process. The name of my business is Rose City Refillery
, and the mission is to supply a more sustainable, package free option for the nut milk drinkers of Portland. I will be the only vendor in the city that supplies fresh almond milk on tap! Glass bottles will be available for a redeemable deposit, encouraging customers to return them each week, and create zero trash in the process.
I'm so excited to be launching next month, and I would be endlessly grateful to receive your support in getting this project off the ground!Where I'm At & What I Need
While working a full time job, I've spent the last 8 months squeezing in countless hours planning, experimenting and fine tuning a product I'm very proud of, and more importantly has the potential to reduce tons of packaging waste AND sustain me financially. The approaching summer is the opportune time to begin sales, as the Portland farmers market scene takes off for the fruitful months of June through September. In order to profit from this endeavor, the only choice is to go ALL IN. The tipping point has been reached and its time to let go of the stability of my restaurant job so I can commit fully to my business.
I have generated the funds needed to cover the start up and overhead costs which include all licenses, a kitchen rental, branding and marketing, inventory, vending supplies, and a truck for hauling and transporting. After paying for all of this, my current personal savings are just not enough to get me comfortably through my first couple months in business. Because I am dedicating myself completely, I will have little to no income until I can afford to pay myself. I've done my best with what I have, and now I'm reaching out to you.WITH YOUR HELP...
If I can reach my goal of raising $5,000, I will be able to cover most of my basic living expenses for the length of the season without going into personal debt. My survival costs of rent, bills and groceries are about $2,500 per month, but all the revenue I generate at first will be going back into the business. Diving into this endeavor is going to be a full time, hands on education, and all learning comes at a cost. I will be working 50 plus hours as a one woman show, responsible for managing inventory, production, transportation, sales, marketing, accounting, tackling inevitable challenges, and anything else required to generate a profit as a sustainable business owner. A Day in the Life
For vending at 4 farmer's markets per week, my days will start with driving to my commercial kitchen rental to spend about three hours making 5-10 gallons of nut milk. All of the product will be put into an insulated dispenser to bring to the market. I'll pack up my cooler, load up my truck with all bottles and supplies, set up my 10' x 10' canopy, and spend 4 hours vending at the market. After the market ends I will break everything down, return to the kitchen to drop off supplies, clean my dispenser, sample cups, and any bottles that have been returned so I can use them at the market the next day. When I get home I will go straight to my desk to record sales, post social media updates, and make necessary orders.
On top of all of this, I have catering jobs that I will be working on the weekends to help pay for rent, bills, and groceries. I imagine some weeks will be exhausting, but it feels worth it. I'm a hard worker and I've always wanted to exert myself toward something I'm passionate about. With your help, I can tackle my goal and be relieved of the stress going into debt just to pay for my basic survival needs.The Spark that Lit the Flame
Through a personal journey of reducing waste and maintaining my waist, I developed a habit of making my own dairy free nut milk. Store bought nut milks come in single use packaging, are mass produced and shelf stable, so they usually have a high water content, preservatives and other additives to imitate the taste of milk. Out of necessity for an alternative, I fine tuned a recipe for a rich, creamy, nut milk, actually made from nuts, and not much else. As a two person household, my husband and I demand about a half gallon of nut milk each week, so I found myself in front of the blender quite often. As soon as my friends got a taste, I began making even more for them each week. And you know what I discovered? I like it. I find joy in making it. I feel like I'm doing a good thing and my heart flutters with the thought of sharing all this goodness with my Portland neighbors.
Through this discovery I also realized that this could be the perfect way to get my "big idea" off the ground. Starting Small, Dreaming BIG
Making and selling my delicious nut milk is my way of planting a seed. It's the baby step I'm choosing to take towards the ultimate vision that is Rose City Refillery. Operating under that title this farmers market season, with a single product, will present itself as a mini version of the full service, zero waste specialty food market that I hope to develop into.
The service style I'm creating will reintroduce the ways of the milkman, when it was customary to return and reuse containers. It will inspire our community to reconsider our modern era of single use packaging and support local, in a nostaligic yet innovative fashion. In this way I can gauge the response of my target market, and create a buzz about my business concept.
Bulk stores, package free shops, and "refilleries" are rapidly growing in popularity across our country, and even more so the globe. With a broader awareness of the effects of climate change, demand is rising for more sustainable options in the consumer world. Especially in a place like Portland, where thousands of people move to each year in pursuit of a creative, diverse culture with progressive environmental solutions.IF THIS IS SOMETHING YOU BELIEVE IN
, or can see me succeeding at and have a donation to share, please help me sustain myself as I attempt to sustain the planet! Your support would give me both financial help, and the confidence to continue pursuing my dreams of being an earth friendly entrepreneur.
If you've gotten this far, I sincerely thank you for reading!
To learn more about my business and where to find me this summer, visit www.rosecityrefillery.com
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead