AOA Startup Grant 2018

All Good Bakers

All Good Bakers interior.jpg Who:
Nick and Britin Foster of All Good Bakers

Signage, equipment and advertising for new Albany bakery

We are Nick and Britin Foster of All Good Bakers.  We have been preparing wholegrain breads and from-scratch baked goods for the last 7 years at regional farmers markets (we joined the Saturday Delmar market that runs June - December in Nov. 2009 and will continue to vend there this season).  We began the Capital Region's first and only Community Supported Bakery in November of 2010.  With the investments of our members, we were able to begin using all organic flours (now with 60% of our grains sourced from NY state) and other primarily organic or organic-practices ingredients from local farms and businesses.  We will end our first season May 4 with 49 members who purchased a total of 69 shares.  All Good and our CSB members have sponsored more than 50 wholegrain loaves to Albany Catholic Charities' Women's Shelter and Refugee Resettlement Program this year. We will continue donating to these programs after our season ends.

On April 8, 2011, we opened our first retail location at 160 A Quail St. in Albany, where we are maintaining our relationships with local farmers and businesses that supply us with our extremely high-quality ingredients.  We will continue to provide our customers with breads and baked goods free of GMO, hormones, antibiotics and trans-fat.  We offer 10% off for those who arrive to the bakery car-free, wrap our loaves in compostable parchment to reduce plastics use, offer reusable mugs for coffee (no one-use paper cups), and are recycling as much of our waste as possible to reduce local landfill trash.  We believe in supporting New York state residents and business owners by spending the majority of our dollars for ingredients and supplies with independently owned businesses within the state.

All Good Bakers.jpg

Why we could use the grant:
Although we've only been open two weeks, our customers have told us several times already that they are having difficulty finding us.  We've clearly advertised our location and painted our logo very large on our front window, but our awning currently has a former tenant's logo that we'd like to replace with our own.  Having clear signage will result in more customers at the bakery, which will help us maintain success. (Potential budget: $150-$300)  If there is enough room in the budget, we would also like to have a professional sign painter re-do our front window.

We have managed to barely equip our baking space and could desperately use more cooling shelves, stainless steel bowls, loaf pans and possibly another prep table.  These minor pieces of additional equipment would enable us to prepare our breads and baked goods more efficiently and handle more business. (Potential budget: $300)

We need to bring more Albanians and people from the greater Capital Region to our shop in order to be successful; for that, we need mainstream advertising.  We've been using low-cost tactics so far (social media, flyers, interviews, blogger-invites) but would like to step up to professional advertising with Metroland, WAMC and WRPI, and possibly the Times Union if funds allow.  Targeted advertising would let more people in the area know that we have opened and inform them of our philosophy, drawing more customers into the shop. (Potential budget: $600)

We would like to add outdoor café seating this summer and need funds for permitting, surveys required by the city, and tables/chairs.  Outdoor seating at an establishment without alcohol would create a positive addition to the livelihood of Quail St. and allow for more seating for the bakery, thus hopefully leading to further success. (Potential budget: $300)  If additional funds allow, we would like to install a bike rack in front of the shop.  There are many people in the neighborhood who ride or walk with their strollers, a bike rack would enable their property to remain safe while they are in the bakery.

All Good Bakers interior.jpg

Opening our first brick and mortar location will allow us to establish a stronger foothold with community groups like the Northeast Organic Farming Association and Local First (with whom we have informal relationships). Joining these organizations require membership dues but offer a wealth of networking and outreach opportunities.  As we grow, we would like to become members of these and other related groups that support local farmers, businesses and residents.  Grant funds would allow us to officially take part in these partnerships. (Potential budget: $180 for NOFA & Local First business memberships)

We will continue to develop relationships with students, residents, business owners, visitors landlords, city planners and university representatives in the Pine Hills neighborhood as we all work together to help make the area a more pleasant place to live.  We don't expect this to cost us anything but time; however, if our business is run more efficiently, we will have more time to dedicate to these efforts.  We regularly donate small amounts of breads or baked goods to various fundraising efforts and would like to increase our level of donations over time.

What's Next:
We are currently open only 3 days a week.  We would like to expand these hours potentially as early as this summer, but our landlord is going to raise our rent if we do so due to increased liability, maintenance and utilities.  Opening for more than 3 days a week would also require a need for more inventory of ingredients; right now we don't have the fiscal ability to order enough bulk ingredients to cover more days.  The initiatives outlined above could bring us enough business during the days we are currently open to allow us to afford the additional overhead expanded hours would create.  Hiring employees could become a possibility as early as the end of the year.

We intend to continue donating loaves and leftover baked goods to those in Albany without affordable access and have added Saturday night donations to the church across the street from the bakery for their weekly "Feed the Homeless" meal.  We would eventually like to begin a "Bread At Home" program in which we teach at-risk students and/or adults how to bake their own breads, enabling them to nourish their families more fully at home.  Teaching the ancient craft of bread making, with ingredients that won't make their bodies sick over time, to people who most need access to healthy grains could potentially benefit many in our community who live in food deserts and suffer from food-related illnesses.  

All Over Albany
Sunmark Grant Application
April 20, 2011

Our landlord is going to tear down the abandoned house next to us as soon as he can afford it; he plans to put in grass. With his permission, we would like to create a green space with a garden and patio seating.  If and when this happens, we would purchase seating and plant perennials, with the possibility of hosting a small Quail St. Community Garden, or at least growing and giving away sustainably-grown, fresh produce to neighborhood residents.

All Good Bakers is a fledgling business, our success will depend on the support of our community and the ability to expand on our ideas.  We are just getting on our feet as an official retail business and could use these ideas to boost our income so that we may continue to build our community involvement.  When we see a need that our skills can benefit, we take action.  We will continue to come up with ideas that facilitate healthy foods getting to those who need it most.

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