The Cookie Project has launched its first crowdfunding campaign to help accelerate its next phase of growth in providing employment pathways for Kiwis with disabilities.
The social enterprise is looking to raise $40,000 from everyday New Zealanders, which it will put towards new equipment such as mixers and other baking accessories, and operating costs such as production overheads, product packaging, backend systems upgrade and marketing resources.
The capital raise, which is now live on PledgeMe and will run for two weeks, comes ahead of the key Christmas trading period, when The Cookie Project expects to see an influx of orders.
“We’ve reached a level where industrial mixers with larger capacities are essential to cater for the number of orders we receive each week – which we think is a great problem to have,” The Cookie Project co-founder Graeme Haddon said in a statement.
“It’s incredible that what started in my home kitchen just over 18 months ago has developed into a full-fledged operation – we even have a number of corporate organisations already placing their Christmas orders.”
Founded in June 2018, The Cookie Project aims to break down social stigmas and demonstrate the value of people with disabilities to themselves and society.
It only employs bakers with disabilities, and thus far has provided over 700 hours of paid employment. All bakers are paid at least the national minimum wage of $17.70 per hour.
Last month it unveiled a new tracking technology on its packaging, which allows customers to see exactly which baker made their cookies, and learn more about their disability.
Those who pledge to The Cookie Project campaign can choose among a range of rewards, including cookie flavours not yet released to the public, branded merchandise, hampers with products from partners Lewis Road Creamery, Pic’s Peanut Butter and Trade Aid and interactive baking tour experiences.