The organisers of Leeds’ first ever festival celebrating the city’s independent food and drink scene have launched a fund to support sole traders.
The group behind the Leeds Indie Food celebration have reached their £6,750 crowdfunding target with two weeks to spare until their November 9 deadline, as they bid to showcase the city’s best independent eateries, street food, cocktail bars, bakeries and more next year.
They have now pledged for half of any funds raised over their target to go towards supporting individuals, from bloggers hoping to showcase recipes to home bakers, struggling to run food and drink events at Leeds Indie Food.
The festival is aimed at complimenting the Leeds City Council-backed Leeds Loves Food Festival, which promotes more of the city’s big name food and drink brands, by running fortnight of independent tasting menus, workshops, food trails and film screenings at dozens of venues across Leeds city centre and the suburbs in May 2015.
As many as 40 independents have so far pledged to run events including Dough Boys, Bundobust, George & Joseph and Northern Monk Brew Co.
Matt Dix, who works for Fish& street food and is helping organise Leeds Indie Food, said: “I don’t think we quite expected so much support and enthusiasm from everyone, we knew people thought it would be potentially a great idea but people have really come through to make it happen.
“If we can raise more, we would like to be able to give money to people that might not be able to afford to put on an event themselves – individuals or even small traders and producers that are one-man–bands that might not have their own premises or enough stock for bigger events.”
He said the organisers are inviting written proposals, which will be judged before grants are given out.
The fact the crowdfunding total has been reached means the event will be free to participate in for independent businesses, funding everything from design work, advertising and printing to launch and closing events and operating costs.
Mr Dix added: “Leeds Loves Food has its place and plenty of people aren’t necessarily interested in seeking out independent food and drink but for us there isn’t something that represents that side of the city.”
A new series of special Kickstarter rewards that people who donate can claim are also being set up, including the chance to design and bake the Leeds Indie Food festival cake with Noisette Bakes.
To donate before November 9, when details of the first Leeds Indie Food events will be revealed, visit www.leedsindiefood.co.uk or follow @LeedsIndieFood on Twitter.