Want to help a young couple fulfill their dream of opening China’s first cinnamon roll shop? Here’s your chance!
Their story: Four years ago, Americans Heather and Jared Turner moved from Utah to Shanghai with no Chinese skills, no jobs, and two kids. Jared worked for various Chinese companies and learned Chinese during his off time, while Heather started a cooking blog. As if coping in an overseas metropolis wasn’t daunting enough on their own, the couple were also raising two children in a small, two-person apartment in downtown Shanghai. Their fortunes changed in October 2012 when a friend shared Heather’s cinnamon roll recipe, and after some word of mouth and encouragement, they began operating their cinnamon cake delivery business CinnaSwirl (http://www.cinnaswirlchina.com) out of their home. This required Heather to get up at 4-5am each morning and bake dozens of rolls using a tiny beat-up toaster, and Jared to ferry hot cinnamon cakes around Shanghai by bike – all without taking Saturdays or holidays off.
But the grind paid off and now the Turners have hundreds of loyal customers (including many Chinese)! Unfortunately, the couple’s dream of opening China’s first cinnamon roll shop has been put on hold due to the high cost of setting up a business – food permits, equipment etc., – and the fact that they’re unable to take out a small business loan being in China and all. Right now they’ve only raised $1,546USD of the $75,000USD needed to open the business, and there’s only 46 days left! But here’s where you come in.
The Turners are offering special perks for contributors ranging from your name on a founder’s plaque at their shop for $10USD to your weight in cinnamon rolls (1kg=1 roll) for $175USD to an all-expenses-paid 7-day “MANcation” around China led by Jared Turner for $50,000USD! (Full list of perks here.) You can also contribute without perks if you wish.
Add your contribution here!!!
They’ve come this far and shown a lot of heart! It would be a shame for them not to fulfill their dream.
[Vid via Indiegogo]
Benjamin Cost is Shanghaiist’s Food Editor. Email tips, recommendations, and news updates on Shanghai’s dining scene to [email protected].