Up-and-coming cafe ‘Tart’ celebrates their success

Tart founders Adam Harrison and AQAC Jason Smith (pictured above)

Headlines are gloomy, the high street is grey but, while the big chains get all the attention, some independents are thriving.

Tart’s mission is to elevate the humble quiche to become a much more tasty pastry-case of goodness.

From market stall to two cafés in four years, Tart, which has branches in East Dulwich and Clapham Common, is now crowdfunding to expand to five units by the end of 2019, and open a production kitchen for wholesale distribution.

With 94 per cent of the £250k required funds in place, the pot will soon be fuller than a well-stuffed pastry case. “Nobody makes a great savoury tart”, were the words Jason Smith said to his partner Adam Harrison over a soggy bottom in Dublin one day.

The idea for Tart was born. Disappointed by the lack of originality in the quiches and tarts offered elsewhere, and itching to combine their skill sets, the couple set about reinventing the humble tart.

Their pastry is firm with a little crunch, the filling’s packed in and the custard is minimal. Step back cheese and ham. Step up chorizo, roast red pepper, tomato, goats cheese and pesto.

Over the last four years, the founders have been delighting families’ and workers’ taste buds in Clapham Common and East Dulwich, having previously been a stall at Herne Hill Farmers’ Market.

A couple of Time Out Love London Awards and top reviews under their belt later, Tart is ready to expand. Their initial seed money came from a winning pitch in The Worth Retail funding competition in 2014.

A further round on Seedrs in 2016 brought them £225k (25 per cent over target).

Having been successful before, it made sense to go back to the crowd for this round of funding.

Tart builds on consumers’ desire to support local, support independents and keep their high streets alive.

The funds will enable Tart to set up a new production kitchen to supply all shops, open a third location and then look at new revenue opportunities such as wholesale and catering.

Follow Tart at Facebook.com/Tart or tart.london on Instagram.

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