Hello there! I'm Annie Krause of The Rogue Cellar!
I started my culinary adventures over twenty-five years ago and I am so incredibly grateful to all of you who have supported my micro-bakery since I opened in June. I know I would not be where I am today without the love and support you've shown week after week, and I fully recognize that I will not be able to keep on growing without your continued involvement. So, first and foremost, THANK YOU!
After two decades of cooking and baking, using recipes I've collected from around the globe, in my home kitchen and through my International Dinners I created and hosted at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo and the last six months in my incubator kitchen, I am ready to open a store front. I want the space to be a fun and lively gathering place, a place where you can find the delicious vegan and vegetarian baked goodies you crave, and in a place you truly feel good supporting!
This Rogue's back story:
Ever since I was a little girl, I daydreamed about opening an eatery of some sort. As sometimes happens to daydreaming girls, that girl was talked into a completely different carreer. I taught for twenty years! But I never forgot the little girl who dreamed big, even if some of those eateries seemed to end up in a D&D type town with a serious goblin problem or on a distant planet with irritating stormtroopers. I craved a fantasy with delicious food. Nothing says an adventure like a flaky croissant and a crusty bread, snatched from a dragon's lair. Or mouth watering dark chocolate brownies or piles of double dutch chocolate cookies or loaves of Italian chocolate and cherry bread hauled up from a pirate ship's secret stores.
After years of teaching I was ready for my next adventure, and my mission couldn't be any clearer: if I couldn’t find these sweet treats and delectable breads in another galaxy, I was going to need to make them a reality nearby! With the support of my family I set off in the wee'st (400 square foot!) incubator kitchen and started churning out massive amounts of breads and sweets.
I got my start on Thursdays at the North Buffalo Farmers Market and Sundays at the Kenmore Farmers Market where you may have seen me selling French baguettes and Moroccan Flatbreads out of steel and copper baskets. These markets, along with various seasonal festivals, gave me the opportunity to meet all kinds of AMAZING people and begin to develop my community connections further, in addition to creating lasting retail partnerships with nearby cafes and breweries. Since then, I've steadily grown my business and expanded my product lines to offer other desserts and breads from the far corners of the Earth, and am proud to announce my spent-grain pretzels, Spentzels, are now trademarked!
Along the way, my greatest joy throughout this journey has always been connecting with my community face-to-face – meeting new friends, dreaming with my customers about fantastical ways to make seasonal ingredients shine, and hearing the passion in the voices of the other food producers of Western New York. So now, I'm ready to level up!
So, why a storefront? And why Riverside? I am busier than ever and the demand shows no signs of slowing. While I'm busy receiving an ever increasing number of inquiries about catering for all sorts of celebrations, lots of people are asking where my store is located, even when standing in my incubator kitchen where I sell my goods. To really meet demand, I need better accessibility to and for my customers, more space to create in, and more hands on deck than an incubator kitchen can accommodate.
Having a permanent address for The Rogue Cellar means I’ll gain that daily face-to-face time with my community that is so near and dear to my heart AND all of you will be able to find me more easily and conveniently whenever your sweet tooth kicks in. Yay easily! Yay conveniently! The other big advantage of my own location is that I can offer a spot to sit, a cuppa tea or a mug of fresh brewed Overwinter Coffee, and a chance to enjoy a tasty scratch-made English muffin, done Rogue style with beet hummus and sultanas, minced dried apricots, and pumpkin seeds! As the name The Rogue Cellar suggests, every loaf is a treasure, every sweet an adventure. I endeavour to incorporate local flavors from the bounty of Western New York and offer outstanding and unique vegan and vegetarian baked goods. Without a retail presence and commercial kitchen, my dream will die, but with more space at street level, I will be able to provide larger quantities and a wider variety, and in my neighborhood, Riverside, which is just about to see a resurgence. I'm asking you to back my project to help me get there.
This is a busy area with a growing diverse population, lots of foot traffic, and happens to be lacking a full-line bakery. The Rogue Cellar aims to fill that void and offer the neighborhood an approachable and creative menu featuring seasonal, organic, local and ethically produced foods made by knowledgeable staff in a comfortable and well-designed space.
What will The Rogue Cellar Bakery be like? In my bakery, I’ll be serving much more than just the expected donuts and cupcakes that other bakeries offer, I'll bring back the favorites that helped me make a name for myself, like my Lebanese and Moroccan flatbreads, Sour Rye Miche, Lebkuchen, and more. My upgraded menu will include products my customers already enjoy along with new items such as sweet + savory pastries, hearty veggie and fruit loaves of bread, breakfasty options, and coffee + tea.
I imagine a space that will become a hub for our community—a place where memories are made, ideas are sparked, and friends + family connect over locally sourced, fresh, flavorful food. Come plug in your laptop and get some work done over a coffee and a slice of hot bread slathered with rose orange marmalade, gather with good friends for a slice of vegan mincemeat pie, enjoy a book 'n brunch on the weekend, or just pick up a warm baguette on your way home for dinner.
Why I need your help + what I plan to do with all that DOUGH:
It’s probably no surprise that a commercial kitchen can be expensive. I'm reaching out to the community through Kickstarter for help in funding my expansion because conventional financing only takes me so far. I need your support to ensure that this venture is totally successful.
Any money raised will help to finish the transformation of my operation from a micro-bakery tucked in the back corner of a basement into a full-fledged bakery with an expanded product line including bakery staples such as croissants, pastries, and breads. In order to offer my customers the full bakery experience so desperately craved in the Riverside/Black Rock neighborhoods I need help making the leap. I'm still missing some key tools that will enable me to bake you the goods all the time. I’ve already purchased the equipment to create all of the deliciousness, but for the new expanded space I'll need ... a space, as well as the tables and chairs and counters and cases to show my pretty breads and sweets in.
Stretch Goals: Any capital raised beyond the initial costs will only let me take my vision further. Especially bringing on more specialty bakers! This means that any contributions over 100% will go towards making this happen!
What you are supporting:
I see Kickstarter as more than a fundraiser; it represents a new level in my relationship with my community and I see it as an inclusive process. I LOVE what I do and I aim to share my mission with those who love food just as much. Your investment lets me know that you support these values and want to see me thrive. It is this feeling of connection and support from my customers that gives me the drive to run this business. I'm hoping that I can collaborate with all of you to make this dream a reality, for all of us.
What's in it for YOU? How about the addition of Buffalo's newest and most beautiful bakery to your neighborhood where you can sample epicurean delights and see my roguish smiley face? But if that’s not enough, or you’re not in the Buffalo area, I've developed some pretty delectable incentives to say thanks for your help! Check them out in the sidebar to the right. I will post updates that explain some of my favorite rewards in more detail so check back often!
Please remember, if I do not make my goal in time, I receive no Kickstarter funding. Zero. Nada. Zilch. PLEASE, please, please share my campaign with anyone and everyone you know who would love to see another small business in Buffalo expand and grow -- I won’t be able to reach my goal without you so help me spread the word!