After two years working out of rented commercial kitchens, a small, Fremont-based pie company is launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for a place of its own.
Niles Pie Company aims to raise $25,000 to open a new pie shop and bakery with a fully equipped commercial kitchen and room for classes and events – another step in the spread of the local food movement southward along the East Bay.
It’s up against a tight deadline: the all-or-nothing campaign launched October 12 and ends Friday, Nov. 16. If it falls short of raising $25,000 in online donations, the campaign will have failed and the money will be returned to investors. But it looks like, with the help of the community, it may just be a rousing success.
Already, one week after launch, the project has raised over $12,000, 51 percent of its goal. Visit http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nilespieco/niles-pie-company to see the Kickstarter campaign.
Founded by chef and baker Carolyn Berke, Niles Pie makes sweet and savory pies and pastries from ingredients purchased, whenever possible, from local organic farms and producers. Its menu changes with the season from local sweet berry tarts in the Spring to pumpkin pies made with Fremont’s Perry Farms organic pumpkins in the Fall. Customers place their orders online for pickup twice a week at locations around Fremont. The company also provides pie and pastry for local restaurants and eateries, and offers special orders and pastry catering for events. The business has steadily grown to the point that an investment in a permanent kitchen is the next logical step.
But getting traditional financing for a small business — even one with a good track record — is still tough, even in an improving economy. So, Niles Pie is turning to the same community that has made it a success for help in this crucial next step.
To help kick off the fundraising effort, Niles Pie teamed up with The Vine restaurant on Niles Blvd. and held a bash during happy hour Thursday Oct 18. About 200 people turned out to raise a glass to the future of their neighbor's company. The Vine kicked in 30% of the bar revenue for the event.
With the move into permanent kitchen space, the company will expand in both capacity and reach by adding retail customers, more wholesale customers, more sales booths at specialty and farmers’ markets and a comfortable, inviting and flexible space for private events and cooking classes. It will also expand the menu with a line of frozen pot pies and dinner pies. See Niles Pie’s website at www.nilespie.com.