The Story of Bacon – Moments of Happiness on Kickstarter
The Story of Bacon – Moments of Happiness on Kickstarter
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Who are you and what business did you start?
I’m Allan Ømand Ungstrup, a full-time baconista who owns and runs a small award-winning smokehouse in Denmark that only produces bacon. I have produced bacon from more than 30 different kinds of meat (and still counting) – mostly from free-range pigs from small farmers. My bacon is dry-salted, cold smoked, and aged. The process takes from 40 to 100 days, depending on the flavor I want the bacon to have. Besides, I have aged different kinds of bacon for up to 300 days. I don’t use nitrite or other additives. Only salt and real smoke.
In Denmark, I was the first to introduce a Christmas calendar with 24 different kinds of bacon, but I also sell a smaller version – an advent calendar with two different types of bacon for each advent. That’s 8 different kinds of bacon in total.
At the beginning of 2018, I wanted to write a book about bacon that goes deep into the art of bacon. I wanted to show that bacon is not just bacon, but that there are more to it than just a salty stick of meat. The purpose of my story about bacon was clear from the beginning. I wanted to make it available for everyone to make their own perfect bacon at home as easy as possible. I have seen a lot of misleading guides on how to make bacon that does not make sense.
Through the years of running a smokehouse that only produces bacon, I gain a lot of experience in the production of bacon. I tested a lot of different production methods in producing bacon, and as the years went by, I perfected the way bacon can be produced. You can say that I think about bacon 24/7 and that I’m always trying to figure out how to improve the bacon. I will probably never stop developing and testing different kinds of bacon. But the feeling that comes to me, when I finally taste a new type of bacon is fantastic. It gives me moments of happiness and is also why my bacon cookbook is named Bacon – Moments of happiness.
Walk us through the process of creating your product.
By education, I’m a professional auditor and had a well-paid job, but something was missing in my life. I always had a crush on bacon, and in the absence of quality bacon, I decided to try and make it at home. The first batch opened my eyes, but also lead to the question; Is there more to bacon than just bacon? And so I dug deeper and deeper into the making of bacon.
I got obsessed, and in 2015 I went full monty in quitting my job and setting up a smokehouse with the sole purpose of making bacon. I did not have any experience in this line of business, but I have never been afraid of taking up a challenge. Even though I would not have a steady income, pension, and vacation, I was determined to take up the challenge.
The next and natural step was to write a book about bacon. I thought this was easy, but it nearly took me ten months to complete as I wanted the book to be perfect. By nature, I don’t give up, and I have a hard time satisfying myself and always thinking about how it can be better as I’m striving for perfection. In the process of writing the book, I also had a meltdown, where I could not write, read, or work anymore. I decided to go on vacation with my girlfriend, who supported me all the way. I would probably not have written the book without my girlfriend’s great support.
When I think back, I started up a smokehouse in the food business without any knowledge in this line of business. I started up writing a book without any experience in the publishing business, and now I’m running a Kickstarter campaign without any knowledge in this line of business. But what I don’t know, I will learn, and I do it the hard way.
How did you launch the Kickstarter campaign?
The Kickstarter campaign of funding an English translation of my book Bacon – Moments of happiness launched on the 5th of November 2019. Before the launch, we spent a lot of time identifying potential backers through FB and Instagram ads. In this process, we collected around 1700 subscribers. Moreover, one to two weeks before launch, we reached out to our network. Family, friends, etc. In that way, we were sure to have potential backers on the day we launched. We also managed to build up an audience to our FB page. Building the Kickstarter page was a time-consuming task as we did it our self. In this process, I learned how to use Indesign and Photoshop.
But, before the launch, a long period of preparing and marketing the project was done. Remember that you are competing with a vast number of other projects and that you need to find your niche and audience to succeed. Preparation and marketing are crucial to success as I had no experience in setting up a Kickstarter campaign, I teamed up with a young guy (Bjarke Schmidt) who has a high personal drive and also had some experience in running Kickstarter campaigns. But for me, it was his drive, who got me teamed up with him. Furthermore, we also enlisted in a Launch Accelerator program developed by Khierstyn Ross. This program was an eye-opener off how crowdfunding works on Kickstarter and Indigogo. The best about the program is that all the knowledge you learn through the program provides you with a deep insight into your product. And the program even helps you scale up your product after the Kickstarter project ends.
What apps and tools are most important to your business?
Indesign: Building the Kickstarter project page. There are minimal options for building a stunning Kickstarter project page on the Kickstarter platform. Before the Kickstarter project, I did not know Indesign, but as the budget was low, I had to figure it out my self… And I did.
Photoshop: Editing pictures are crucial as pictures sell. Used it a lot to prepare images on the landing page (www.baconista.dk).
Mailchimp: Setting up a simple landing page and sending out news to subscribers.
Facebook and Instagram: Getting in touch with the audience
What are your sources of inspiration?
I follow a few groups and persons on Facebook and Instagram that specializes in curing, smoking, etc. They inspire me, and what triggers my attention is when you can feel that another person has a real passion for a subject. Then I’m hooked to follow.
I’m a massive fan of the book Modernist Cuisine, which gives me a profound insight into the art of cooking. I have experimented a lot with many of the dishes from the book. It’s a fantastic book, and I would say that this is my hero! However, I have always been interested in cooking. In my earlier years, I studied a year in a cooking school. I wanted to be a chef, but I decided to go in another direction, but kept on cooking and experimenting with food.
What’s been the biggest business challenge you’ve overcome?
I have been exposed to countless challenges in my professional life, and when it’s solved, I move on. If I should pick only one challenge, then I would go for preparing and launching a Kickstarter campaign. It’s the most intense challenge I’ve ever faced in my life. However, when you just push on and push on, you will overcome the challenge. And hopefully, my Kickstarter project will be a success. If not, I will try to find another way to succeed. I will never give up.
Do you have any advice for other entrepreneurs?
When I started up my business of producing bacon, I did not put a lot of energy into marketing. It was a mistake! No matter how good your product is, if you don’t put a lot of energy into marketing, you will NOT succeed. We live in a world where people are bombed with information all the time through social media, television, newspapers, Netflix, etc. So even if you have a great product, how should your audience know this when they never heard about your product?
How are things today and what are your plans for the future?
Currently, I’m 100% focused on Kickstarter, and where to go after the campaign ends is not a priority right now. When you are in a launch, you shall focus 100% on it. That’s your moment of fame!