Little Bee Bake Shop Seeks Crowdsourced Funds for September Opening

littlebeecortland.e

Neighbor Stacie is on target to open her Little Bee Bake Shop in the location of the former Rock Candy Snack Shop on Cortland, with a September launch date on the calendar and a crowdsourced fund drive underway via Indiegogo:

Little Bee Baking is the Bernal Heights based baking company started by Stacie Pierce, former pastry chef of Chez Panisse Restaurant in Berkeley, CA.  Since starting in January 2013, Little Bee quickly outgrew its home kitchen and when a shop became available just blocks from home, it was decided that Little Bee should take a leap of faith and sign a lease.

My vision for Little Bee’s shop is that of a family friendly bake shop where everything is made in house with locally sourced and organic ingredients. It will be a place for neighbors to come to enjoy a slice of fruit tart or cake, ice cream, or cookies. The shop will also offer cakes and desserts for birthdays and other special occasions, as well as take home and bake items such as cookie dough and buttery tart dough.

Since this neighborhood has been our home for almost 10 years and is now where we are choosing to raise our daughter, it is very exciting and important for me to have this chance to expand my role as a part of the Bernal Heights community. I intend the shop to contribute to the vibrancy of Cortland Avenue and to grow with the neighborhood.

What Little Bee Needs & How the Money Will Be Spent

Little Bee is starting with a small amount of equipment inherited from the current shop, however in order to fulfill its intended vision there are some additional pieces that are needed to make this a truly successful venture. If we reach our goal, the money will be invested directly into new and improved lighting, tiling, flooring, bathroom and electrical updates, as well as new equipment for the shop. If all goes as planned, we are shooting for the shop to be open in September just after Labor Day.

With 7 days remaining, as of this writing Little Bee has raised $6400 on the way toward its $25,000 goal.

PHOTO: Telstar Logistics

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30 Responses to Little Bee Bake Shop Seeks Crowdsourced Funds for September Opening

  1. jay jay says:

    Did I just read this correctly ? “ittle Bee should take a leap of faith and sign a lease” So you sign the lease and now you dont have the money to pay for the remodeling and would like the neighborhood to pay for it ! Wow !You have got some ballls ! If you could not pay for the remodeling maybe you should have NOT leased the space. Or maybe you can walk down the street from your house and apply at the B of A for a small business loan. It is not important on how much money you make in life but what is important is how much you save.. So save your money and pay for you own remodeling !

    • Tony Tavares says:

      Yeah, I agree, but at least she’s offering some baked goods in exchange for donations, unlike the guys who own Hillside Supper Club who solicited donations in exchange for “recognition.”

      • fabuloid says:

        I agree…I think this definitely rubs people the wrong way. I understand the argument that I’ve heard many times regarding these types of kickstarters or indiegogo’s, that if you don’t like the idea, then don’t support it. Obviously I won’t support it. But it also puts a bad taste in my mouth. A few days ago, I’m sure I would have popped in after their opening to check it out and try their baked goods. Now, I most likely won’t. It’s just very off-putting.

        I like to support local privately owned businesses. But, I support them with my business (ie buying what they are selling), not by overpaying (donating) for a box of truffles or an apron.

  2. Noemonkey says:

    Exactly jay jay. when did begging to open a private business become a cool thing to do? Totally ridiculous and self entitled for this business to simply BEG for money. Get real, get serious and apply for a loan the ADULT WAY.

  3. Brandon says:

    More sweets, and still no more taqueria or pizza…

    I wish I had the dosh to bankroll some undiscovered genius chef’s dream to bring excellent tacos or pizza to Cortland. Is there such a genius chef out there looking for financing? Please?

  4. Kristen says:

    what JayJay said. and Brandon.

  5. Donna says:

    I agree with most of the other posts but there are people out there that are supporting Little Bee’s request. Are the posters mad that Little Bee made the request or are they mad that people are actually donating to her business?

    • BH Lovr says:

      I think the request is pure chutzpah. Others can do what they like (that’s not my concern.)

      • Todd_Lappin says:

        To each their own, but I don’t think it’s chutzpah — it’s savvy. It’s also how many small, community-focused businesses get started these days. Such as, yes, Hillside Supper Club, but also Cafe St. Jorge, and others. Per usual, if you don’t like the idea, you don’t have to donate. But this is the way new things happen now.

  6. jay jay says:

    Not sure i would call it savvy . I think tacky is a better word.. Hi guys me and my kid have been in the hood for 10 years and i want your money to pay for my remodeling so I can open a new business.. Really?? Give me a break ! You have not even open the doors yet and you want money to fix it up. Call your new landlord !! She want us to pay her rent , water bill and PG & E too ? What happens if she cant get the 25k she wants is she out of business and did not even get a chance to open the doors ?? ME ME AND MORE ME.

    • queenie says:

      Sheesh, Jay Jay, so much freakin’ opprobrium. Some people like baked goods & supporting emerging small business, etc. Must be tough going through life if this kind of thing gets you so goddam riled. Why not have a delicious baked good and relax?

      • Todd_Lappin says:

        I think you have your businesses mixed up. They sell *those* kinds of baked good at the Bernal Heights Collective.

        KIDDING! KIDDING!

      • jay jay says:

        I do like baked goods Miss Queenie ! I buy them at Sandbox ,Goodlife and Libberty Cafe. I will also buy them from Little Bee .supporting a new business is fine but I just think this trend of asking people to pay for you remodeling is tacky. If you dont have the money to open it then save till ya do have the money ! I will give my money to a family with a sick child or someone that had a house fire etc etc but really for remodeling come on ! Go to the bank get a loan ask a family member or even better get a 2nd job and pay for your owm goddam remodeling !

      • Noemonkey says:

        The begging for money from strangers has zero to do with liking baked goods and supporting small businesses. WHEN (and if) this little beggar store opens, THEN you are free to like and buy their products. That’s called supporting a small business. Seriously, this crowd-sourcing for money is about the cheesiest and lowest I have ever heard of.

  7. j says:

    jayjay i think your attitude is the one that makes me say sheesh and wtf?? get with the 21st century ;)

    call it savvy or not, this is called either getting small/micro investments from the community at large, something people have been doing for a long time, but now it is easier with the Internet (also easier to make dumb comments, just type something and hit send, everyone does it ;)

    you could also look at it as getting pre-orders in advance of the business, another savvy technique.

    now it would be foolish to basically sign the lease and not be able to open your business without getting a bunch of unsolicited donations, but it does not seem like the shop will open without a certain funding limit

    • DC says:

      I have never heard of “micro investments” from the community at large- care to elaborate and provide some evidence of such a historical trend?

    • Noemonkey says:

      If the shop doesn’t open, with “funding” from crowd-sourcing ( I mean begging) it means the owners were not treating this expensive business decision very seriously, and did not have adequate funds on their own, or from legitimate lending institutions.

      I have been wanting to buy this amazing two unit building on Dolores St, but I don’t have much money. I think I’ll start asking for “donations” from strangers to help me with the down payment.

  8. j says:

    jayjay and noemonkey, when i see this pitch, i dont see them “Begging for money”. Also i dont understand why you think “Borrowing money from a bank or from your friends/family” is somehow less tacky then going to your future customers and looking for pre-orders in advance. Before you say, for the $10 level the only thing that you get is a card, or your name on a web-site or some such thing that is no value, the folks contributing dont feel that way, or else they would not contribute.

    Personally i think this is a great way to take advantage of modern entrepreneurial trends. I think many people in the neighborhood, would rather contribute 10 bucks to someone that wants to build a cool business rather than seeing the storefront idle while they work a 2nd job. Hey it would be great if they already had a ton of money saved up and didnt have to look for alternative means, but they could be a great addition to the neighborhood, and I wish them the best.

    as for microfinance, for an overview you can see on wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microfinance

    Microfinance is a form of financial services for entrepreneurs and small businesses lacking access to banking and related services

    It takes many forms, including SF based: http://www.kiva.org/ or you can read about nobel prize winner Muhammad Yunus who won the award in part for work includng microcredit

  9. Brandon says:

    Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Not every project seeking crowdfunding is worthy, but that doesn’t mean that crowdfunding itself isn’t worthy.

  10. nsfw says:

    Anna@ Anda piroshki has gone the kiva loan route twice and will be opening her second shop soon.
    http://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/Kiva-Zip-loans-aid-low-income-U-S-entrepreneurs-4723319.php (paywall, sorry)

    I might be willing to support little bee with a loan vs a gift. For those other folks who are dreaming of opening yummy burger or pizza shop on cortland, give kiva a try. We probably would support you and then we would cheer you on from the sidelines as minority investors.

  11. Anon says:

    With Silicon Valley in our own backyard, isn’t it apt to remember that entrepreneurs, startups, and new businesses start with seed money from Angel investors, venture capital, and, on the smaller scale, micro-investments? If Charlie Kaufman and Zach Braff can fundraise on Kickstarter, can’t a local business do the same? I’d rather have chocolate truffles in return for my money over another Garden State any ol’ day…

    • Noemonkey says:

      I believe that most “angel investors” and VC companies also get a legal portion of the ownership of the companies they fund. For their investing, they get to enjoy future profits, which seems very fair and business like.

  12. nina says:

    I love a good pastry as much as the next person, and I’m sure I’ll be spending plenty of money at this place despite my desire to be more physically fit, but I second the motion for a different type of food on cortland. Healthy lifestyle is trending, how about some wholesome savory snacks? Or juice place? Or a place that has fresh made gimmicky meals to go for whatever is the most popular diet of the moment? (paleo comes to mind). It is hard to keep sugar out of my kids’ diets, and walking by a bunch of pastry shops doesn’t help. I’d like to have more quick&easy healthy options within walking distance… Now, if they are serving gluten-free spinach zucchini muffins sweetened with agave that tasted good, I’d be all for that.

    • LM says:

      I third the notion. I am not business savvy – so maybe I just don’t fully understand how much competition drives sales – but a little diversity on the food/store front scene would be nice. I feel pretty confident that we have enough Italian places, nail salons, massage places, random markets (J.C, Pay Little, etc…), coffee shops and bakeries. How about a french bistro or dim sum place? How about casual seafood place like Woodhouse Fish Co.? Maybe a cool women/mens clothing boutique? But speaking of kickstarters…you know who I would seriously fund? Remember Pastores?? I miss her cooking.

  13. Karen says:

    I would like to commend Stacie and I am happy to support the opening of Little Bee. Small businesses make our neighborhood, and I, for one, am glad she asked for contributions to make it work. I applaud any woman who is making a go of a business dream but I am especially in awe of someone who does so while raising a child. I hope the bakery succeeds and adds neighborliness to Cortland but, either way, I am happy to be a part of this “mom-trepreneur’s” endeavor.

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