Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How do we do this?

It's been a very interesting few days. People are telling me they like the idea of a Virtual Village Bakery - but how will it be done?

I see it as an exercise in resource management. In order to optimise our resources, Bertha needs to pump out a hundred loaves a day for three days a week. This capacity allows scope for two full time bakers and a part time retail and delivery assistant - and these people we have, already trained and ready to go. When we can establish and satisfy that demand, we can extend to four days operation - provided we have more people trained.

This means that we need to find homes for three hundred delicious loaves of woodfired sourdough bread each week. We found homes for almost twice that many from SourdoughBaker Cafe, so I believe this is a realistic number.

If we also leverage the community to assist by way of distribution, in other words, provide free bread subscriptions to customers who perhaps look after a certain delivery area (your suburb and surrounds, perhaps), then we can truly offer a fresh bread delivery service three days a week.

Now, the subscription itself is based on one kilo plain loaves as the basic unit - there will be a white sourdough, a wholewheat, a light rye and a 100% rye. There are also some fancy breads in the range - fruit sourdough, friendship fruit cake and kamut loaf. Everything individually priced between $10 to $15 per kilo. So a $50 subscription would buy five of one kind of plain loaf, or one of each, or a mixture of fancy and plain. It doesn't matter what you select - you get $50 worth of bread, delivered, one at a time if necessary, or all at once. Some people will buy bulk and freeze, others will just want one each week. We keep track via emailed order slips initially. We also have $100 subscriptions, or ten loaves worth, and I'm working on a commercial one for traders too. But for now, just 300 homes for 300 loaves each week.

So, peeps, what do you think? Have I covered it? There are lots of other details which will have to be worked through for this to succeed. However, by subscribing to this community enterprise now, you'll be helping me to put all this together in a timely fashion (I'm aiming for the weekend after next) and you can have your bread back asap.

Just wanna say that I've had a lot of conversations with customers, coop workers and investors, mentors and interested members of the wider community - and the overwhelming thing I'm hearing is just how much what we are doing has affected them in some way. They all know there is more to this than bread, and they want it to do its thing. They want to see some of these ideas (many of which are contained in earlier posts of this blog) get off the ground. Thanks one and all for the support. You know where my heart is. If we can carry it off, it will mean a lot to so many people.

If you want to subscribe, here's where:
Subscription No. 5
Subscription No.10

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