Adventures of a start-up part 11: e-book letdowns, funding alternatives and how to make a scene in yoghurt

The latest trials and triumphs of the Raglan Coconut Yoghurt start-up.

Image: Chunky Fix & Fogg triple nutty chocolate cake

Cookbook update

As you may have seen from the last update, we launched ‘The Coconut Cookbook’ as a fundraiser for building our own kitchen. And let’s just say that if you’re wanting to raise thousands of dollars for a kitchen, it appears that an e-book is not the way to go! The book itself is beautiful, and we had fantastic contributors, but for whatever reason it appears that not many people want to part with $11 for an e-book. I’m guessing that the online world is over-crowded with free recipe options. We’ve sold copies, and the feedback from purchasers has been great (we really do value those people who have made the effort to buy one and support us!) but it wasn’t the golden egg we were hoping for. Lesson learned.

New funding options

This means we’ve had to consider other options to fund our kitchen, and one of those was re-igniting a conversation with someone who had expressed interest in taking equity in our little business right back at the start. At the time we’d said ‘Thank, but no thanks’, thinking that we’d fund things ourselves, but have realised that without sufficient access to capital and the right partners it’s hard to make the kind of growth you are capable of happen. Mr. Coconut’s financial modeling background has come in handy over the last week to put together our financial model and forecast. We’re meeting with the potential shareholders this week and it’s super exciting to think of what we could do with the right people backing us.

We got stage presence, yo!

In a previous post I mentioned how we have felt a little ‘outshone’ at events where other companies have fancy stands and big banners. Well, we’ve now got a pretty sweet banner of our own! We’re also getting some funky little signs printed on hessian material and are making a tablecloth out of coffee sacks. A coconut shell bowl purchased at TradeAid this week is completing our new look….excited to pull it all together at the next tasting event.

Image: Mr. Coconut's birthday cake

Highs

  • Lululemon in Ponsonby invited us to be part of their ‘Buzz Day’ event – lots of fun!
  • Mr. Coconut turned 29 last week, so all the yoghurteers and me organised him a surprise birthday party; an Indian-themed dinner followed by a quiz night. It was a big hit – topped off with a vegan carrot cake & coconut yoghurt frosting, mmm yum.
  • Meeting even more lovely healthy food-people! This has got to be the nicest industry in New Zealand. Fix & Fogg and Goodbuzz Brewing Co. are our newest foodie-friends and have been great to swap stories with.

Lows

  • Due to an unusually early-morning start for yoghurt brewing this week a certain yoghurteer (no naming names) accidentally mislabeled 150 of our 700ml jars with the 400ml jar labels – which meant a late night relabeling session was required.
  • We’re approaching maximum capacity, and our own kitchen is still a wee while away.
  • Two of our favourite yoghurteers will be off on overseas travel in August – will be tough to replace them as we all work so well together (they’re practically family now!). 

Image: Lululemon's Buzzday event with DJ Shaun.