July 19, 2024

The Swine that Dines in Leeds smashes crowdfunding target

The Swine that Dines, the Leeds-based bistro independently operated by chefs Jo and Stu Myers, has surpassed its initial crowdfunding goal of £25,000 to support its relocation to a larger venue, and is now approaching its stretch target of £40,000.

The restaurant initiated its crowdfunding campaign on Friday 7th June and reached its £25,000 goal within a mere 48 hours. It is now approaching its stretch target of £40,000, which will enable the purchase of a ‘swinemobile’ van for catering at private events.

Stu and Jo Myers of The Swine That Dines

Jo Myers, co-owner of the Swine That Dines said: “We’re completely overwhelmed by the support we’ve received for our crowdfunder and are on cloud nine to have hit, and then overtaken, our initial target! Thank you to everyone who invested, it means so much to us.

“The Swine is a real labour of love, which we’ve nurtured and grown through some tough times. We’ve seen so many wonderful restaurants close their doors over the last few years, that for us to finally realise our dream of opening a bigger Swine in the city we call home is a real privilege. 

“Who knew so many people would be tempted by my lemon meringue pies! I’m going to be baking them for months.”

The existing Swine That Dines has a limited size, offering just 18 covers and a small kitchen that can accommodate only two chefs, with restricted refrigerator and storage space.

The new restaurant proposal plans to double its seating capacity to 30 and introduce a private dining area that can accommodate an extra 15 covers.

The crowdfunding campaign for ‘The Swine that Dines’ drew in over 400 contributors, with investments varying from £10 to £2,200. The highest contribution was made to reserve the new restaurant for a staff Christmas party accommodating 30 guests. The majority of contributions were made in return for meal vouchers at ‘The Swine that Dines,’ which are valid for two years.

Pies have become a popular theme and reward, with 50 individuals choosing to pledge their support in exchange for one of Jo’s renowned homemade lemon meringue pies. Additionally, 10% of supporters have expressed a desire to savor four individual Swine Pies.

30 individuals have enrolled in a cookery masterclass with Stu, who possesses extensive knowledge and skills, making it an excellent opportunity to learn from an expert.

The Swine that Dines began as a sandwich shop called The Greedy Pig in 2012, offering all-day breakfasts. However, the owners aspired to transform it into a restaurant. They hosted pop-up events throughout the city, leading to a Pie Night that successfully funded the installation of a downstairs toilet in the quaint café.

This enabled them to launch their first supper club in 2014 offering an evening menu of small plates. They closed the Greedy Pig in 2018 and opened full time as the Swine That Dines. The business managed to ride the challenges of the Covid pandemic and cost of living crisis by staying true to their art of producing world-class bistro food, delicious puddings and the occasional pie with passion and authenticity.

The restaurant has gone from strength the strength building a loyal customer following and garnering a host of positive reviews. It is now the highest rated Leeds restaurant in the Good Food Guide and Hardens and has attracted positive reviews from well-known restaurant critics from The Guardian, Telegraph and Olive magazine.

The new space is currently an empty shell which is ready for the Swine to put its own personality on it. The crowdfunding money will help Jo and Stu refurbish the space, install a ground-level accessible toilet, build a bar, kit out the kitchen and purchase a dishwasher, more tables and chairs.

The newly expanded Swine that Dines is set to open its doors to guests in the autumn of 2024.