Since 2017, Sarah Dodge has tirelessly run a wholesale operation, weekly bread subscription service, small pick-up window, numerous pop-up shops, and various baking and cooking classes under the banner Bread is Good in Atlanta. Thus, it’s no surprise that she recently capitalized on her deep connection with the community when she successfully crowdfunded a new flagship location, dubbed Colette Bread and Bakeshop, in the historical Highland Inn-turned-short term rental Otto’s Apartment Hotel, located at 636 North Highland Avenue.
However, instead of turning to a behemoth crowdfunding site such as GoFundMe or Kickstarter, Dodge stuck to her community-first ethos and launched her campaign on Honeycomb Credit, a startup that’s predicated on “loan crowdfunding.” According to Honeycomb’s website, “The key difference between loan crowdfunding and other kinds of crowdfunding is that it’s an investment, not a donation – that means you’re paying back your community who invest in you.”
As such, Dodge was able to raise a staggering $100,000 from 73 investors, all of whom invested at one of four tiers ranging from $100 to $5,000, with a guaranteed 10.5 percent interest rate to be paid back within 60 months.
Asked how many of her investors came from the community, Dodge tells What Now Atlanta that while she’s “not sure about exact numbers,” it was “quite a few,” adding, “I was a bit surprised and humbled by the number of customers that invested. And also folks who have not had my product yet, but just want more good bread and a baking school here.”
Dodge first teased the brick-and-mortar location in an Instagram post in June, explaining that she was “very very close to finalizing terms, planning the space and the buildout” with Emily Mastrop of Atlanta-based architecture and design firm, Square Feet Studio. However, it wasn’t until Dodge launched an account for Colette Bread and Bakeshop this past Wednesday, August 17, that final details were announced.
According to Colette Bread and Bakeshop’s official Instagram account (@colettebread), the new shop will offer a “wholesale bread and pastry bakeshop by day, cooking/baking school and event space by eve,” and in Dodge’s characteristically playful language, “retail walkups on a whim.” The shop is due to open this Fall.
Dodge’s commitment to community, and likewise the community’s commitment to Dodge, can perhaps best be summed up in a post the baker shared on October 17, 2021 – aka World Bread Day – that reads:
“Bread has always represented a microcosm of community on so many levels. From the community of grains (and it’s growers and millers) to the microbes and bacteria that ferment it to the communities of people that gather all over the world and build traditions breaking bread all over the world for centuries. Happy to be apart of and hopefully further this bread community and tradition and happy to be apart of your table.”