EL PASO, Texas - Three business partners took a chance on the opportunity in El Paso and are now set to open their bakery, Savage Goods, this week.
Savage Goods, located at 1201 N. Oregon Street, got its start at the Downtown Art and Farmers Market and got a major boost with crowdfunding.
Crowdfunding is a way to raise money for a business venture without the use of bank loans. Potential projects rely on friends, family and complete strangers to make donations.
"Part of what we wanted was that ownership from the community. We want people to know they made it happen so when they come in everything they see here is only here because they helped us get here," said Michelle Savage, president of Savage Goods.
Michelle Savage and her husband Tyler moved to El Paso after Tyler's sister, Mariah, spent time here working for Congressman Beto O'Rourke's 2012 campaign.
Mariah Savage is the one with the baking talents that got them started as a home bakery business four years ago.
Savage Goods will offer coffee, breakfast, lunch, appetizers, beer and wine.
"We're really excited about the menu, it's going to be simple but very satisfying," Savage said.
Savage Goods used Kickstarter as the platform for the crowdfunding efforts.
"It definetely was scary with Kickstarter because it's all or nothing funding," Savage said.
The initial goal was to raise $15,000, instead, the crowdfunding page generated more than $30,000 among more than 170 investors, exceeding their expectations.
"We were just blown away by the support," Savage said.
In return, Savage said their investors got gift cards, free coffee and other incentives.
UTEP professor, Dr. Tom Fullerton, said there is some risk to crowdfunding especially when a business venture is relying on the funding of others. Fullerton added the crowdfunding schemes have also increased in the past five years.
"Crowdfunding has actually been around for a long, long time. Awareness of crowdfunding opportunities is now greater than it's been at any point in economic history," Dr. Fullerton said.
Fullerton said crowdfunding dates back to more than a century when authors and writers would get published with the funding of others.
"The more people that become aware of the project, the higher the likelihood that a certain percentage of them will be interested enough to invest a small portion," Fullerton said.
"For four years people have been showing up at farmers markets supporting us. We would not be here without their support," Savage said.
Savage Goods is located in the Sunset Heights neighborhood along the route of the El Paso Streetcar.
The building was formerly Jimmy's Grocery Store that went out of business and was vacant for more than a year before it was taken over by Savage Goods.
When they took over, Savage said it took a lot of work to overhaul, gut the place and start from scratch, but they did leave an homage to Jimmy's by leaving the original facade of the building.
"We really wanted to be part of the Sunset Heights community and be respectful to the historic nature of the community," Savage said.
For more information on Savage Goods, click here.