East Durham Pie Company Turns To Crowdfunding

By Alex Dixon The Herald-Sun, Durham, N.C.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) A Durham woman is turning to crowdfunding to help grow her pie business which so far, has seen a steady stream of customers in and around the city.

DURHAM

Nearly nine months after launching a baking business out of her home, the owner of East Durham Pie Company has launched a $20,000 crowdfunding campaign to open up a shop in Old East Durham.

Owner Ali Rudel said demand for her pies has grown through custom orders and 'pop-up' slice offerings at businesses around town and that she's "at a standstill" with her production levels.

"No matter how many pies I make for these events in our current kitchen, we consistently sell out early, and the deep line of returning customers willing to wait in line on a weeknight confirms that Durham is excited about pie," she said. "Opening a bakery with a dedicated kitchen will allow East Durham Pie Company to turn out more creative and delicious pies."

The campaign has already raised more than $8,000 of its $20,000 goal and will close on August 15.

While the $20,000 won't cover all the costs to get the bakery opened, Rudel said, it will assist with the capital costs and helping to get financing from lenders.

With projects like the Angier-Driver streetscape renovations and what Self-Help Credit Union is calling a "transformative" real estate development project with space for nonprofits, small businesses and entrepreneurs, Old East Durham has seen renewed interest and commercial growth in recent years.

But, there are still vacant storefronts and businesses that are intended for commercial use only, such as the transition of Joe's Diner to a commissary, and Rudel says there is a need for a community gathering place.

"There's a real need for an eatery for (people) to hang out and get coffee in the neighborhood," she said.

The storefront will also enable customers to pick up whole pies and slices six days per week, Rudel said, with flavor varieties such as apple elderberry, blueberry rosemary and ginger peach.

Rudel said she plans to hire for the shop paying 'living wages' under Durham Living Wage certification and anticipates an opening date by the end of the year.

The funding campaign page can be found at kck.st/29RokyZ online.

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