Changing the lives of Kiwis with disabilities, one cookie at a time!

By Eric Chuah

NZ $27,870 pledged


158 people pledged


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NZ $25,000 minimum target


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Pledges will only be confirmed if the target is reached by: 21/10/2019 at 11:00 PM (NZDT)

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About

Changing The Lives Of Kiwis With Disabilities, One Cookie At A Time!

Project 2019-09-09 15:08:49 +1200

   

Did you know that 1 in 4 Kiwis have a disability, but their employment rate is only 22%?

 

That's compared to an employment rate of 70% for Kiwis without a disability. 
 
Co-founders Graeme Haddon and Eric Chuah knew this needed to change, so in June 2018, The Cookie Project was launched to create a brighter future for Kiwis with disabilities via employment pathways.
 
The Cookie Project is a social enterprise that employs Kiwis with disabilities to make delicious cookies.
 
We bake at the Eat My Lunch kitchen and collaborate with iconic Kiwi brands like Lewis Road Creamery, Pic's Peanut Butter and Trade Aid to deliver premium products that ensure we win by quality - not by sympathy.
Many may be unaware modern-day slavery is happening right here in New Zealand for the disability community. Before joining The Cookie Project, a number of our bakers were being paid well below the national minimum wage - some as low as $2.30 an hour! One of our bakers even worked un-paid for as long as 14 years!

Our employment framework is disrupting the sector and leading the conversation because we don't ask for resumes, we don't conduct interviews, and all of our bakers are paid at least the national minimum wage of $17.70 an hour.

We're proud to have over 30 bakers with disabilities on our roster (and many more on the waiting list to join).

To-date, we've generated over 900 hours of employment for our bakers!

 

Newshub calls our employment framework "revolutionary" and we're honoured to have been recognised for seven awards this year already.

 

We've successfully validated the market appetite for our delicious cookies and have refined our business model.

Now, we're ready to enter Phase Two of scaling up our social enterprise through the retail distribution of our products.

Our distribution partners are lined up and ready to launch - including in selected New World stores, all Trade Aid stores and Pic's Peanut Butter World!

Our soft-launch at New World Metro in Auckland definitely took us by surprise... Our cookies literally flew off the shelf and we sold out within the first hour!
Our backup stock also sold out within the next hour and a half - a clear indication that Kiwis want our cookies!


But to ensure we can operate smoothly and supply our cookies to our distribution partners, we need a few more pairs of hands, as well as bigger, better equipment.

This is where those who've asked us "how can I help support The Cookie Project?" can play a significant role in our growth.

We're seeking at least $25,000 to cover equipment and operational cost of scaling up. If we can double that, it will help us to recruit four part-time talents to scale up rapidly.

Once we've scaled up, we can then start developing our first satellite kitchen pilot outside of Auckland, which will let us take The Cookie Project to the disability community throughout Aotearoa!

How we plan to use $40,000. $25,000

 

Update: We have reduced our target to $25,000 and we'll use this as priority to purchase equipment and marketing support.

We're scaling up our social enterprise pragmatically and only spend what we need, to ensure we keep the operating costs low. So far, we've been using the kitchen equipment that comes with Eat My Lunch's kitchen (which they generously donated us access to use in our first year).

Co-Founders Graeme and Eric have not drawn any wages from The Cookie Project and only plan to do so when it is profitable.

As we enter the next phase of scaling up, we need to upgrade a few things to ensure we optimise our operational efficiency.

For example, our current mixer is a 5-litre bowl and we want to purchase a 40-litre mixer so Graeme can spend less time mixing the dough and more time guiding our bakers in the production zone. 

Here's how we'd like to use the first $40,000 raised: 

1. Upgrade baking tools to improve productivity

40L mixer $6,400
Trolley for mixer $950
Dough tube maker $900
Trolley for tube maker $590
2x cooling racks $700
40x baking trays $2,000

 

 

 

 

 

  

2. Digital tools to improve efficiency and enhance baker experience in the kitchen  

4x laptops $5,000
6x monitors $3,500
2x iPads $4,500
Accessories and peripherals $1,200

 

 

 

 

3. Marketing and promotion to help generate sales

Suppliers $7,500
Packaging and IT systems $4,500
Printing and brochures $2,500

 

 

 

How we plan to use the next $40,000

With bigger and better equipment, we can operate more efficiently and increase capacity to supply cookies to more clients. 

We'll then be ready to hire operational and business development staff to help us manage the administrative tasks and support Eric in generating more sales, because more sales = more employment hours for our bakers.

Three months of wages for various part-time roles  

Junior Accountant $6,700
Marketing BDM $12,000
Retail Account Manager $12,000
Operations Manager $12,000

 

 

  

Why Pledge and Support Us?

1. Credibility and proven results

The Cookie Project has been termed as "revolutionary" and "disruptive" by the media, business and community leaders. 

We designed and built The Cookie Project based on all the learnings and best practices of social enterprises around the world and in New Zealand. Everything we do is human-centred around our bakers, and supported by solid financial mechanics to ensure we are self-sustainable in the long term.

The result? A financially feasible and soon-to-be profitable social enterprise creating conversations and challenging old paradigm thinking about the disability community. 

We're raising funds to help us reach our goals sooner and help more Kiwis with disabilities.

 

The Cookie Project Awards

In just 14 months, we've earned 7 recognition awards, attracted 8 highly-respected brand partners, and are currently being studied by 3 universities on our impact.

 

2. Help vulnerable Kiwis + real impact that you can see and experience yourself

We track, measure, and validate our impact so you know you're making a difference to the disability community. In fact, we welcome you to visit our kitchen and hang out with our bakers to hear their stories of how their lives have changed since joining us a baker at The Cookie Project.  

  
Check out what some of our bakers have had to say on our YouTube channel and in our case study by Diversity Work NZ. 

 

3. Transparency and world-class leadership

We run our social enterprise as transparent as a charity organisation. With the help of our partner KPMG, we will be publishing our first annual financial report later this year. Beyond employment hours and number of employees, we're also tracking our Impact-to-Price ratio as one of the key metrics of how we deliver social impact to the disability community.

We're forming an advisory board with world-class leaders to ensure we have strong governance and a strategic blueprint to make The Cookie Project an inclusive and ethical brand for generations to come. 

Our Co-Founders

  

Graeme runs the kitchen and Eric runs the business.

 

Meet Graeme and Eric - two strangers who met in a community event in 2017. Eric was giving a talk about purpose (ikigai) and how to build a purpose-driven business (social enterprise). Graeme was attending to learn how to set up a business, with his disabled children in mind. After hearing Graeme’s heartfelt story about the difficulty of looking after three disabled youths, Eric was very moved and decided to do something to help Graeme.

Graeme has been looking after disadvantaged and disabled youth for over 15 years in various ways. In 2006, Graeme and his partner Chris started the Te Hau Kainga Charitable Trust in Hamilton, with the purpose of helping youths with behavioural and offending problems. In 2007, fate introduced the three kids to Graeme and Chris. The unconditional love from Graeme and Chris was so radiant, that just before the kids’ grandma passed away, she had a last dying wish that both Graeme and Chris would adopt the kids full-time at home. So in 2012, the kids moved in to live with Graeme and Chris. As life goes, sadly, Chris passed away in 2016 and Graeme has been doing it tough looking after the kids on his own.

Eric comes from a family line of migrants and grew up with the stories of how tough life was for his parents and grandparents - war, poverty and lack of education. These stories of struggle fuelled Eric to succeed in life and ensure he breaks the cycle through education. Eric studied hard and worked even harder during his early banking career - he was one of the youngest expats from ANZ working in the banking sector and was fortunate to experience life in eight different countries across Asia plus Australia. In 2013, he arrived in Auckland as the Head of Customer Segments and International Banking for the largest bank in New Zealand. Eric decided to leave the corporate world in 2017 and start his first social enterprise by helping multicultural community groups and vulnerable Kiwis. Learn more about Eric via LinkedIn.

 

Graeme and Eric believe people with disabilities deserve a chance to contribute. The only thing that is stopping this is the social stigma from society and employers.

So please support us and help make a difference, one cookie at a time.

 

Comments

Updates 1

Facebook Live: Tonight 8pm NZ time

09/10/2019 at 6:30 PM

Join our co-founders Eric & Graeme on 9 October 8pm NZ time together with PledgeMe founder and Chief of Bubble Blower, Anna, to chat about our story, our bakers' journey and our future dream that you can be a part of, and help us to build for Kiwis with disabilities.

If you're in Auckland, you're most welcomed to join us at Eat My Lunch kitchen on 5 Galatos St from 7.45pm. We'll be serving all our supporters with freshly made cookies using only the best Kiwi ingredients by Lewis Road Creamery, Pic's Peanut Butter, Trade Aid New Zealand.

It's going to be an awesome session so tell your friends and family to join in.

    Pledgers 158

    Anonymous pledger
    2019-10-19 18:03:33 +1300
    Cate Shave
    2019-10-19 16:52:20 +1300

    "Awesome initiative, and would love to see this spread beyond Auckland - keep up the great work!!"

    Lorraine Ann Gardner
    2019-10-19 16:28:32 +1300
    Roger
    2019-10-19 16:12:03 +1300
    Debbie Cowens
    2019-10-19 08:03:55 +1300
    Debbie Cowens
    2019-10-19 07:57:44 +1300
    Anonymous pledger
    2019-10-19 05:54:56 +1300
    Anonymous pledger
    2019-10-18 20:14:48 +1300
    Anonymous pledger
    2019-10-18 13:10:21 +1300
    Hayley Hope Arnold
    2019-10-18 11:22:10 +1300

    "Great work team!"

    Jan Swart
    2019-10-18 10:05:07 +1300

    "Good luck! Fabulous cause. X"

    Kerri Hobman
    2019-10-18 09:02:18 +1300

    "Keep up the good work"

    Christina Stringer
    2019-10-18 08:59:42 +1300
    Anonymous pledger
    2019-10-18 08:23:51 +1300
    Debora
    2019-10-18 08:05:27 +1300
    Lauren Turner
    2019-10-18 07:53:04 +1300
    Kellee
    2019-10-18 03:50:47 +1300
    Ghotter
    2019-10-17 22:22:38 +1300

    "Great idea! Thank you for working for people with disabilities! "

    Brenda Wille
    2019-10-17 22:05:57 +1300

    "Good luck! This is a great initiative. "

    Peter Cullinane
    2019-10-17 19:52:33 +1300

    "Keep up the great work"

    Anonymous pledger
    2019-10-17 18:18:58 +1300
    Charlene Bowie
    2019-10-17 17:25:37 +1300
    Steve Scott
    2019-10-17 13:25:00 +1300

    "Keep up the amazing work!"

    Rachel Kemp
    2019-10-17 10:43:00 +1300

    "Love your work Eric and Graeme. May all the good work you do continue x"

    Miranda Sum
    2019-10-17 09:44:44 +1300
    Andrew siew
    2019-10-17 07:25:06 +1300

    "Luuuvvv what you are doing! Not only disrupting status quo but making a positive impact! Hope this helps you to keep going! You are awesome!"

    Rowena Humphrey
    2019-10-16 21:15:11 +1300
    Pauli Sosa
    2019-10-16 20:02:00 +1300

    "We love this project! Good luck team! - Laura and Pauli"

    Lawrence
    2019-10-16 09:24:51 +1300
    Anonymous pledger
    2019-10-16 08:49:16 +1300

    Followers 1

    Followers of Changing the lives of Kiwis with disabilities, one cookie at a time!

    Changing The Lives Of Kiwis With Disabilities, One Cookie At A Time!

    Project 2019-09-09 15:08:49 +1200

       

    Did you know that 1 in 4 Kiwis have a disability, but their employment rate is only 22%?

     

    That's compared to an employment rate of 70% for Kiwis without a disability. 
     
    Co-founders Graeme Haddon and Eric Chuah knew this needed to change, so in June 2018, The Cookie Project was launched to create a brighter future for Kiwis with disabilities via employment pathways.
     
    The Cookie Project is a social enterprise that employs Kiwis with disabilities to make delicious cookies.
     
    We bake at the Eat My Lunch kitchen and collaborate with iconic Kiwi brands like Lewis Road Creamery, Pic's Peanut Butter and Trade Aid to deliver premium products that ensure we win by quality - not by sympathy.
    Many may be unaware modern-day slavery is happening right here in New Zealand for the disability community. Before joining The Cookie Project, a number of our bakers were being paid well below the national minimum wage - some as low as $2.30 an hour! One of our bakers even worked un-paid for as long as 14 years!

    Our employment framework is disrupting the sector and leading the conversation because we don't ask for resumes, we don't conduct interviews, and all of our bakers are paid at least the national minimum wage of $17.70 an hour.

    We're proud to have over 30 bakers with disabilities on our roster (and many more on the waiting list to join).

    To-date, we've generated over 900 hours of employment for our bakers!

     

    Newshub calls our employment framework "revolutionary" and we're honoured to have been recognised for seven awards this year already.

     

    We've successfully validated the market appetite for our delicious cookies and have refined our business model.

    Now, we're ready to enter Phase Two of scaling up our social enterprise through the retail distribution of our products.

    Our distribution partners are lined up and ready to launch - including in selected New World stores, all Trade Aid stores and Pic's Peanut Butter World!

    Our soft-launch at New World Metro in Auckland definitely took us by surprise... Our cookies literally flew off the shelf and we sold out within the first hour!
    Our backup stock also sold out within the next hour and a half - a clear indication that Kiwis want our cookies!


    But to ensure we can operate smoothly and supply our cookies to our distribution partners, we need a few more pairs of hands, as well as bigger, better equipment.

    This is where those who've asked us "how can I help support The Cookie Project?" can play a significant role in our growth.

    We're seeking at least $25,000 to cover equipment and operational cost of scaling up. If we can double that, it will help us to recruit four part-time talents to scale up rapidly.

    Once we've scaled up, we can then start developing our first satellite kitchen pilot outside of Auckland, which will let us take The Cookie Project to the disability community throughout Aotearoa!

    How we plan to use $40,000. $25,000

     

    Update: We have reduced our target to $25,000 and we'll use this as priority to purchase equipment and marketing support.

    We're scaling up our social enterprise pragmatically and only spend what we need, to ensure we keep the operating costs low. So far, we've been using the kitchen equipment that comes with Eat My Lunch's kitchen (which they generously donated us access to use in our first year).

    Co-Founders Graeme and Eric have not drawn any wages from The Cookie Project and only plan to do so when it is profitable.

    As we enter the next phase of scaling up, we need to upgrade a few things to ensure we optimise our operational efficiency.

    For example, our current mixer is a 5-litre bowl and we want to purchase a 40-litre mixer so Graeme can spend less time mixing the dough and more time guiding our bakers in the production zone. 

    Here's how we'd like to use the first $40,000 raised: 

    1. Upgrade baking tools to improve productivity

    40L mixer $6,400
    Trolley for mixer $950
    Dough tube maker $900
    Trolley for tube maker $590
    2x cooling racks $700
    40x baking trays $2,000

     

     

     

     

     

      

    2. Digital tools to improve efficiency and enhance baker experience in the kitchen  

    4x laptops $5,000
    6x monitors $3,500
    2x iPads $4,500
    Accessories and peripherals $1,200

     

     

     

     

    3. Marketing and promotion to help generate sales

    Suppliers $7,500
    Packaging and IT systems $4,500
    Printing and brochures $2,500

     

     

     

    How we plan to use the next $40,000

    With bigger and better equipment, we can operate more efficiently and increase capacity to supply cookies to more clients. 

    We'll then be ready to hire operational and business development staff to help us manage the administrative tasks and support Eric in generating more sales, because more sales = more employment hours for our bakers.

    Three months of wages for various part-time roles  

    Junior Accountant $6,700
    Marketing BDM $12,000
    Retail Account Manager $12,000
    Operations Manager $12,000

     

     

      

    Why Pledge and Support Us?

    1. Credibility and proven results

    The Cookie Project has been termed as "revolutionary" and "disruptive" by the media, business and community leaders. 

    We designed and built The Cookie Project based on all the learnings and best practices of social enterprises around the world and in New Zealand. Everything we do is human-centred around our bakers, and supported by solid financial mechanics to ensure we are self-sustainable in the long term.

    The result? A financially feasible and soon-to-be profitable social enterprise creating conversations and challenging old paradigm thinking about the disability community. 

    We're raising funds to help us reach our goals sooner and help more Kiwis with disabilities.

     

    The Cookie Project Awards

    In just 14 months, we've earned 7 recognition awards, attracted 8 highly-respected brand partners, and are currently being studied by 3 universities on our impact.

     

    2. Help vulnerable Kiwis + real impact that you can see and experience yourself

    We track, measure, and validate our impact so you know you're making a difference to the disability community. In fact, we welcome you to visit our kitchen and hang out with our bakers to hear their stories of how their lives have changed since joining us a baker at The Cookie Project.  

      
    Check out what some of our bakers have had to say on our YouTube channel and in our case study by Diversity Work NZ. 

     

    3. Transparency and world-class leadership

    We run our social enterprise as transparent as a charity organisation. With the help of our partner KPMG, we will be publishing our first annual financial report later this year. Beyond employment hours and number of employees, we're also tracking our Impact-to-Price ratio as one of the key metrics of how we deliver social impact to the disability community.

    We're forming an advisory board with world-class leaders to ensure we have strong governance and a strategic blueprint to make The Cookie Project an inclusive and ethical brand for generations to come. 

    Our Co-Founders

      

    Graeme runs the kitchen and Eric runs the business.

     

    Meet Graeme and Eric - two strangers who met in a community event in 2017. Eric was giving a talk about purpose (ikigai) and how to build a purpose-driven business (social enterprise). Graeme was attending to learn how to set up a business, with his disabled children in mind. After hearing Graeme’s heartfelt story about the difficulty of looking after three disabled youths, Eric was very moved and decided to do something to help Graeme.

    Graeme has been looking after disadvantaged and disabled youth for over 15 years in various ways. In 2006, Graeme and his partner Chris started the Te Hau Kainga Charitable Trust in Hamilton, with the purpose of helping youths with behavioural and offending problems. In 2007, fate introduced the three kids to Graeme and Chris. The unconditional love from Graeme and Chris was so radiant, that just before the kids’ grandma passed away, she had a last dying wish that both Graeme and Chris would adopt the kids full-time at home. So in 2012, the kids moved in to live with Graeme and Chris. As life goes, sadly, Chris passed away in 2016 and Graeme has been doing it tough looking after the kids on his own.

    Eric comes from a family line of migrants and grew up with the stories of how tough life was for his parents and grandparents - war, poverty and lack of education. These stories of struggle fuelled Eric to succeed in life and ensure he breaks the cycle through education. Eric studied hard and worked even harder during his early banking career - he was one of the youngest expats from ANZ working in the banking sector and was fortunate to experience life in eight different countries across Asia plus Australia. In 2013, he arrived in Auckland as the Head of Customer Segments and International Banking for the largest bank in New Zealand. Eric decided to leave the corporate world in 2017 and start his first social enterprise by helping multicultural community groups and vulnerable Kiwis. Learn more about Eric via LinkedIn.

     

    Graeme and Eric believe people with disabilities deserve a chance to contribute. The only thing that is stopping this is the social stigma from society and employers.

    So please support us and help make a difference, one cookie at a time.

     

    Comments

    Facebook Live: Tonight 8pm NZ time

    09/10/2019 at 6:30 PM

    Join our co-founders Eric & Graeme on 9 October 8pm NZ time together with PledgeMe founder and Chief of Bubble Blower, Anna, to chat about our story, our bakers' journey and our future dream that you can be a part of, and help us to build for Kiwis with disabilities.

    If you're in Auckland, you're most welcomed to join us at Eat My Lunch kitchen on 5 Galatos St from 7.45pm. We'll be serving all our supporters with freshly made cookies using only the best Kiwi ingredients by Lewis Road Creamery, Pic's Peanut Butter, Trade Aid New Zealand.

    It's going to be an awesome session so tell your friends and family to join in.

      Anonymous pledger
      2019-10-19 18:03:33 +1300
      Cate Shave
      2019-10-19 16:52:20 +1300

      "Awesome initiative, and would love to see this spread beyond Auckland - keep up the great work!!"

      Lorraine Ann Gardner
      2019-10-19 16:28:32 +1300
      Roger
      2019-10-19 16:12:03 +1300
      Debbie Cowens
      2019-10-19 08:03:55 +1300
      Debbie Cowens
      2019-10-19 07:57:44 +1300
      Anonymous pledger
      2019-10-19 05:54:56 +1300
      Anonymous pledger
      2019-10-18 20:14:48 +1300
      Anonymous pledger
      2019-10-18 13:10:21 +1300
      Hayley Hope Arnold
      2019-10-18 11:22:10 +1300

      "Great work team!"

      Jan Swart
      2019-10-18 10:05:07 +1300

      "Good luck! Fabulous cause. X"

      Kerri Hobman
      2019-10-18 09:02:18 +1300

      "Keep up the good work"

      Christina Stringer
      2019-10-18 08:59:42 +1300
      Anonymous pledger
      2019-10-18 08:23:51 +1300
      Debora
      2019-10-18 08:05:27 +1300
      Lauren Turner
      2019-10-18 07:53:04 +1300
      Kellee
      2019-10-18 03:50:47 +1300
      Ghotter
      2019-10-17 22:22:38 +1300

      "Great idea! Thank you for working for people with disabilities! "

      Brenda Wille
      2019-10-17 22:05:57 +1300

      "Good luck! This is a great initiative. "

      Peter Cullinane
      2019-10-17 19:52:33 +1300

      "Keep up the great work"

      Anonymous pledger
      2019-10-17 18:18:58 +1300
      Charlene Bowie
      2019-10-17 17:25:37 +1300
      Steve Scott
      2019-10-17 13:25:00 +1300

      "Keep up the amazing work!"

      Rachel Kemp
      2019-10-17 10:43:00 +1300

      "Love your work Eric and Graeme. May all the good work you do continue x"

      Miranda Sum
      2019-10-17 09:44:44 +1300
      Andrew siew
      2019-10-17 07:25:06 +1300

      "Luuuvvv what you are doing! Not only disrupting status quo but making a positive impact! Hope this helps you to keep going! You are awesome!"

      Rowena Humphrey
      2019-10-16 21:15:11 +1300
      Pauli Sosa
      2019-10-16 20:02:00 +1300

      "We love this project! Good luck team! - Laura and Pauli"

      Lawrence
      2019-10-16 09:24:51 +1300
      Anonymous pledger
      2019-10-16 08:49:16 +1300

      Followers of Changing the lives of Kiwis with disabilities, one cookie at a time!

      This campaign was successful and got its funding on 21/10/2019 at 11:00 PM.
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