Coffee culture is being put in the hands of customers as a business looks for help in finding a place to call home.
Holmeside Coffee launched in its first guise in 2013 and has become a hub of activity, hosting writers’ groups and a book club, film screenings, music events and art displays.
Now, after running within Independent nightclub, it is looking to spread its wings and find a base of its own so it can develop the project further.
To fund the move, it is running a Kickstarter campaign, which is asking its customers to make a donation, with their loyalty and help to be rewarded, from double coffee credits in return for a donation, a personalised postcard, part of a living plant wall, brunch vouchers and limited edition prints.
The search is on to find it a purpose-built new space with the aim of “bring even more top quality food and drink to the heart of Sunderland city centre”.
But the man behind it has pledged it won’t be shifting far from its existing base.
A nightclub doesn’t really lend itself to that and we need our own space and sometimes, it’s clashed slightly.Joe Collins
Joe Collins, 27, from Ashbrooke, leads the venture and has been supported by Independent’s boss Ben Wall, with plans to expand its menu once it has its own dedicated kitchen, as well as serve beers and cocktails.
His campaign has already attracted 155 pledges of support, raising more than £4,900 towards the £7,500 goal with just days to go before the campaign closes online.
It is hoped in time more than £10,000 can be generated to fund the move.
He said: “We feel like we’re ready to take the next step and that involves a kitchen set up.
“It’s not that we don’t want to stay, it’s that we need somewhere else to be able to do that.
“A nightclub doesn’t really lend itself to that and we need our own space and sometimes, it’s clashed slightly.
“The idea is to raise the capital and we have a few places in mind, just because it has to be somewhere with space for a kitchen, so we’ve been making inquiries.
“We don’t intend on moving more than 200 yards away from where we are now and we don’t want to lose our regulars.
“It will be a stand alone place, but somewhere that has potential to be more.
“We want to sell really good coffee, and that’s a growing market in the UK and something people really support.
“The way the coffee shop is set up, it’s very reasonably priced and we’ve never been in it to make a lot of money, it’s a labour of love really.
“I understand it could make more, but we’ve never been able to put money back into it and that’s why we set up the Kickstarter.
“It’s great because it gets people involved in playing a part in the shop and its future, and that’s what’s important.
“The reaction we’ve had has been fantastic.”
Joe has been advised by Joe Meagher, who runs Flat Caps Coffee in Newcastle and ran a similar campaign for his business’s move, with thanks also sent to Ben for his support.
The Kickstarter page for Holmeside Coffee can be found via http://kck.st/2rnPJD8