A St Neots-based cafe and restaurant is currently raising some dough after undertaking a month’s Kickstarter fundraising campaign in order to bring an artisan bakery and baking school to the town – and they need your help.


Elsie May’s Electric Lounge Café & Bar – which opened up on St Neots’ Market Square in 2018 – is aiming to crowdfund £15,000 towards its goal to transform its annexe outbuilding into an artisan micro-bakery and baking school to bring business back into the local high street.


“In 2018, we decided to open Elsie May’s Electric Lounge Café & Bar as we wanted to be able to go to a dog-friendly place which has locally sourced homemade food and a good cup of coffee. However, we always had the dream of opening a bakery and a bakery school in the back of our minds”, said owner Naomi Rose.


The Kickstarter campaign, which is now live, will run until Wednesday 10 November and will only be successful if 100% of the funding goal is reached. If £14,000 is raised, for example, Naomi and her team will not see a penny of it. 


Backers of the project will not be left empty-handed, however, with a range of tiered rewards and goodies on offer depending on individual pledges. A simple £10 pledge will see your name put onto the cafe’s ‘Wall of Backers’ once opened, or a £25 donation will get your name on the wall, a tote bag, focaccia, two loaves of bread and two coffees.


Naomi said: “Apart from lots of delicious freshly made loaves of bread and scones, you will be part of our story and help us shape Elsie May’s Bakery. We want to create a bakery that is right for our community. By pledging – however big or small – you will be contributing towards the future of our business, town and high street. Not only that, you will be giving people the opportunity to learn new skills in the bakery school.”


Following the significant impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on local businesses, both through lack of footfall and increased online purchasing, Elsie May’s owner Naomi Rose, is hoping to reinvigorate the local area through her passion and knowledge of baking with as many people as possible.


“The impact of the last 18 months has challenged us in ways we never could have expected and we’ve worked tirelessly to keep the doors of Elsie May’s open – with a lot of help from our loyal, caring and supportive customers. However, it has also presented us with an opportunity to focus on what we really love to do, which is bake cakes, scones and bread,” Naomi continued.


“Building a bakery kitchen, even a small one, costs a lot of money and we really need the public’s help to raise the funds so we can make this dream a reality. We’ve scrimped and saved around £15,000 towards the project but we still need another £15,000 in order to buy essential equipment and install the correct electrics and plumbing for what we need.”


The publicly-raised funds will allow Naomi to purchase items such as mixers, sinks, ovens, extraction units, and pay for significant contracting work to make the annexe fit for purpose.


To pledge your support and back Elsie May’s campaign, visit the Kickstarter page or the Elsie May social media channels for more information.