Bookmarks & Breadsticks, a local Buffalo business, has launched a crowdfunding campaign (on the IFundWomen platform) to support its Read It & Eat book club – a book club focused on food that involves not only books but guest speakers in the community. Once the book club is up and running, it will be a place for chefs, farmers, and other foodies to rally around. There will also be a subscription box component.
“I believe in reconnecting people to food,” said Kimberly Behzadi, a Buffalo boomerang – she and her husband both earned their MBAs at the University at Buffalo in 2016 and 2018 and just moved back this past May after a stint in Chicago.
Calling all self-proclaimed bookworms and gourmet-loving foodies: Read It and Eat is the subscription box of your dreams.
“I created Read It and Eat because I noticed a several gaps in the market,” explained Behzadi. “Working in the consumer product industry for 5+ years, which basically means I know how to make food, and specializing in brand management of some of your favorite food brands such as Planters snack nuts and Halo Top. I also understand from the customer’s point of view how painful it is to want to support smaller businesses and buy better quality food but not know where to look.”
The gaps in the market that Behzadi is referring to include:
- Although there are many subscription boxes for readers, they mostly focus on Young Adult and Fantasy books. This limitedness is a bummer for most readers. Why isn’t there a fun subscription box for people who are interested in non-fiction books?
- We’ve all wanted to try and explore new cuisines. But the pandemic has left us largely at home. How do you know which foods to try and how can we support the small businesses and artisans greatly impacted by COVID-19?
- We want to give back to communities who are struggling with hunger, especially with COVID-19 exacerbating the problems, but we aren’t sure how.
Aside from her prowess in brand management, Behzadi has been doing her research when it comes to the books that she will be incorporating into the mix.
“I’ve been active in Booktube (Youtube for book lovers, it’s a thing) for over a year, learning and listening to the wants and needs of bookish fans and food writing lovers,” she said. “Because of my domain expertise, my customer experiences, and the fact that I’m really passionate about food and books – I am uniquely qualified to solve this problem for consumers.”
Aside from the books, the treats and recipes round out the Read It & Eat offerings. The subscription packages will not only be fun-filled, informative, and ultimately satiating, they will also be gratifying for those who just don’t have the time or wherewithal to source all of the different components themselves.
Read It and Eat boxes are sent quarterly, and always include a gently used book, a delicious treat that supports a small business, and a $5 donation to fight hunger in partnership with a local non-profit.
- We provide a box with a gently used non-fiction food-related book.
- We include delicious foodie treats from diverse small businesses with an emphasis on women-owned, BIPOC owned, and queer owned brands.
- We build a $5 donation component into the total cost of the box and use those funds to refill food pantries and fight food scarcity with local non-profits.
“Our ultimate goal is to do good by fighting hunger,” said Behzadi.
For those who would like to support the Read It & Eat Book club initiative via the IFundWomen crowdfunding platform, you have access to three exclusive subscription boxes you can only receive as rewards for donating on the platform: Charcuterie, Wine, or Truffles!
The crowdfunding window is through March 14.