Intrigue Chocolate Co and Community Sourced Capital Collaborate on New Location
To realize construction of a new tasting bar, build a scullery and paint the walls, Intrigue Chocolate Co Founders, Karl Mueller and Aaron Barthel, partnered with neighborhood financial start-up, Community Sourced Capital. Stationed out of Impact Hub at 220 2nd Ave S, CSC helps small businesses acquire loans smaller than banks generally provide by accessing capital from people within one’s own community.
“We are so thrilled to be opening a new shop and honored that our community would come together with us to make our dream a reality,” said Karl.
Intrigue Chocolate Co’s current kitchen is on the second floor of the historic building between 1st Ave S and Western Ave, and only doubles as a retail space during the afternoon. Difficult to find; the inside joke is to call it “an adventure” for customers to climb stairs and travel down dark hall ways. It has always served as a make-shift retail location and the simple fact is Intrigue Chocolate Co has outgrown its space and is out of room.
The new retail shop at 157 S Jackson St is along the new Seattle Streetcar line and a few short steps from vibrant Occidental Square. Key elements from the “behind-the-scenes” converted kitchen experienced in their original space will remain. As part of a community out-reach program architects and interior designers from Olson Kundig pitched in to consult on the interiors of the project.
Aaron and Karl settled on creating a space akin to a Chocolate Tasting Room with a central bar inviting guests to engage in flavor tasting. Additional design plans include a fully stocked “flavor wall” behind the bar heaping with colorful and fragrant ingredients used to make chocolates. They anticipate expanding their dry good retail items to include tea blends, flavored sugars, cocoa mixes and cacao along with their amazing hot chocolate. A new Lotion Bar made from food quality beeswax, cocoa butter and whole vanilla bean are in the early development stage.
Community Sourced Capital offers loans sums between $5000 and $50,000 by aggregating micro-loans from the community, neighbors, friends and family. Lenders are called “squareholders” and loan segments “squares.” Each square is in $50 increments of the greater loan total. The minimum square is $50, the maximum $1000 per person. Each month CSC works with Intrigue Chocolate Co to review their profit numbers and determine responsible payment back to the lenders based net profit, plus a $50 fee-for-service to CSC.
Only one week into their campaign on Community Sourced Capital, Intrigue Chocolate Co nearly hit their fundraising goal minimum of $9000 with 38 of their community-based lenders. The goal is to raise $20,000, which then will be matched by Pacific Northwest non-profit community development financial institution, Craft3 for a total loan of $40,000. The new storefront is targeted to open in May.
Intrigue Chocolate Co website at http://www.intriguechocolate.com/. Information about Community Sourced Capital found at https://www.communitysourcedcapital.com/.