both creators of new restaurants, bars,
coffee shops or bakeries and accredited
investors who wish to back them. In
essence, backers invest in a venture
capital fund that in turn invests in the
project. EquityEats charges a 1 percent
fee on the total investments and charges
entrepreneurs a bookkeeping fee. Once
the business is up and running and
investors have been paid off, EquityEats
charges 20 percent of future returns.
Tom Wellings and his wife Camila
Arango are bakers/pastry chefs with
extensive experience at restaurants in the
New York and Washington, D.C., areas.
Their dream is to open Bluebird Bakery.
The couple envisions a community
oriented bakery with an excellent coffee
program and breads and pastries. They
will serve breakfast and lunch. Toward
the end of the day, they will offer fresh-
from-the-oven bread for people to take
home after work.
To prepare themselves, the couple
developed a detailed business plan,
compiled bios on themselves and
selected a location. Working with
EquityEats, they have set out to raise
nearly $500,000. So far, they have not
set a deadline, but are hoping to move
quickly because both of them left
“regular” jobs in March.
Among the things they’ve been
doing to promote themselves is to
participate in Prequel, EquityEats
pop-up restaurant project in D.C. By
showcasing about five chefs at a time,
Prequel’s goal is to expose chefs and
their food to potential backers.
tips for successful
- Find a successful business that
inspires you; study it.
- Establish a solid business plan and
Be sure to consider legal and
Add in the commissions paid
to crowdfunding platforms.
- Set up a fundraising strategy.
- Set your financial goal high enough.
- Choose your market and target it.
- Tell your story clearly, honestly
- Stress that your project is a
creative vision, not a cause.
- Prelaunch your campaign to create
interest before the clock starts ticking.
- Set up a website:
Create a video.
Include press materials.
Introduce your team.
- Provide regular updates for
contributors and potential contributors.
- Consider doing pop-ups, charity
events and other activities to
Suzanne Hall has been writing about
chefs, restaurants, food and wine from her
home in Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee, for more
than 25 years.