HUNDREDS of crêpe fanatics have rallied to stop a beloved eatery going flat as a pancake by raising £11,000 to keep it afloat.
Brazilian food chefs at Tupiniquim believed their police box snack counter was done for after the owner put it up for sale at a hefty £20,000.
But in an eleventh-hour bid to save the crêperie, husband and wife team Fernando and Gardenia Miranda appealed to loyal customers to help stump up the cash to keep their business alive.
And they responded in droves – with £11,000 collected in little over a week. The tiny Middle Meadow Walk outlet has built up a huge following since it launched four years ago as the only gluten-free street food vendor in Edinburgh and is now set to be bought over by the Mirandas.
Their “Help Tupiniquim!” campaign was an instant hit on crowdfunding site Kickstarter, which urged pancake fans to pledge up to £500 for a sweet or savoury crêpe – or fresh juice – every day for an entire year.
Within days they were flooded with nearly 300 donations – equal to 1800 of their £8 crêpes and enough to secure the business when added to family savings.
Joyful Fernando Miranda, 39, said the couple had left it late to appeal to customers because they never believed it would be possible to raise so much money.
“When my wife told me we’d made it, I could not believe it and became very emotional because I was so sceptical at the beginning,” he said.
“I’m really happy and humbled by the support of the community.”
The Mirandas have revealed plans to host a street party with free meals for investors to celebrate their survival.
Gardenia, 36, said she felt “relief” after devoting almost 18-hours a day to the business. “We couldn’t leave it,” she said. “I didn’t expect so many people to help us, so I just want to say thank you to everyone.”
The Mirandas have also previously helped to stage open-air cinema screenings, parties and even established a stage behind their kiosk where performers can entertain the public.
Devoted Tupiniquim customer Sarah Keer-Keer, 42, said the street vendor was a “very positive thing for the city” and a favourite of her children, who are both gluten intolerant.
“Ruby and Evie are both coeliacs and we went to the hospital because it had affected my daughter’s hearing so we were looking for somewhere to eat and we found Tupiniquim,” she said.
“They have nice food and nice banter so they cheered us up and that was four years ago so I don’t want this place to go – I think it’s the best street-food in Scotland.”
Gordon Henderson, of the Edinburgh Federation of Small Businesses, said the rate of fundraising to keep the snack bar running demonstrated how valued the business was to its customers. “It’s very unusual to raise that amount of money in a week, it’s fantastic that they have managed and I’m really pleased for them,” he said.
“They are clearly a well run business who are serving their customers’ needs exactly and it shows how well they are valued by their customers so I can only congratulate them.”