A Belgian-style fries restaurant is seeking to raise £30k to launch its vegan sauce range onto supermarket shelves.
Brighton-based BeFries launched a 30-day-long kick-starter campaign to raise the funding needed to purchase “key” industrial equipment and scale-up its sauce production.
This will allow BeFries to launch its sister company BeSaucy within UK supermarkets and independent wholesalers, with Planet Organic interested in stocking the brand’s entire vegan range.
With around 20 days left, the restaurant has raised just over £5k from 126 backers and is “confident” to reach its ambitious target within the time-frame.
“We have had a lot of interest from wholesalers wanting to stock our products, the biggest being Planet Organic, and we do not feel confident to really push the wholesale arm of the business until we have a better set up in terms of the production of the sauces,” BeFries co-founder Chan Beevers said.
“It seemed the right time to launch the kick-starter and raise the funds to purchase the equipment we need and then go out and really start pushing our sauces to wholesalers.”
Beevers, who has previously worked as a chef, is currently making the sauces mostly by hand resulting in “big limitations” to the batches’ size with production of around 100 jars per week.
The company will use the funds raised to acquire a large emulsifier to increase weekly production by ten-fold to 1,000 jars, a dispenser to fill jars quicker and more precisely and a labelling machine.
BeFries was launched in 2016 by Chan Beevers alongside its siblings Dashal and Ezda drawing up on their childhood spent in Amsterdam.
Since December 2017, it has produced and sold over 10k jars of its 11 home-made sauces – 6 of which vegan – receiving a “huge response” from customers.
The vegan mayo range uses aquafaba, the left-over liquid from soaking chickpeas, as a base in addition to a variety of fresh ingredients.
Initially, BeFries will focus on getting only its vegan sauces in supermarkets as they are the ones that have been “really picked-up on”, Chan Beevers added.
“The vegan range is really where we are putting our effort. That’s the area where we feel there is the largest growth opportunity for our products,” he explained.
The brand’s vegan basil mayo was awarded two stars in last year’s Great Taste Awards, the highest awarded mayonnaise of 2018.
Based on the success of the kick-starter and on future demand from wholesalers and supermarkets, BeFries will then seek further expansion, securing new premises with bigger equipment to do the “second-round of upscaling”, Beevers concluded.