Let’s drink to the wine crowdfunder tickling tastebuds and bank accounts.

Do you cook from scratch? Do you care about your ingredients? Read about this crowdfunding innovation stirring up a storm among home cooks.

Within a few weeks of launching in 2015, The Surrey Cook secured a nationwide listing with Sainsbury’s in nearly 300 stores. Their product is called Just Add Wine, which does just as it says on the tin, or rather, on the easy pour stick sachet.

Nothing exists, a stock-pot or flavouring gel, a simple cooking ingredient that brings the delicious flavour of red wine to any sauce, bolognese, casserole or Sunday lunch gravy. Just Add Wine is a way for home cooks to flavour any dish or recipe with real wine – but without the hassle or expense of having to buy or open a bottle of wine. Each sachet, containing £2.50, contains the concentrated equivalent of a 175ml glass of full-bodied red wine, source from the vineyards of Southern France. It was Product of the Month in The Retail Bulletin and The Healthy Food Guide and reached the semi-finals in last summer’s Richard Branson VOOM2016 awards.

When The Surrey Cook needed an injection of finance, they launched an equity crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube last month. Within a year, they had achieved so much on limited personal investments and hard graft but it was time to call in the crowds for additional funding. They had extended sales channels into independent retailers, farm shops, grocery stores and they’ve opened their online store. The Surrey Cook has Amazon coming on board soon and are in discussions with international markets.

The company was looking to raise £87,000 (for 19.41% equity) in expansion costs. At the time of typing, they have received well over their target, £117,000. The funds raised will be used for marketing cost, which so far, have been nil. They need a PR agency, they need press, great photography, live webcasts and managed social media. They intend to expand their team and even have plans for their own TV series.

February 2017