Workers of the recently closed biscuit and cake-maker, Biscuiterie Jeannette, launched a crowdfunding campaign on Bulb in Town earlier last month to raise €50,000 to help save the 164-year-old Normandy brand.
According to the Guardian, Jeannette de Caen, which has been in liquidation since December when production halted, is faced with permanent closure. The campaign must reach its initial goal before the company heads to court for a final hearing to decide the fate of its factory.
On Sunday (October 19th), during the final hours of the campaign, the company’s 25 workers were celebrating after receiving nearly €61,000. Now, the project’s organizers have revealed they have decided to extend the campaign until November 13th, which is the day Caen’s commercial tribunal will decide what to do with factory in order to capitalize on the wave of public support.
The November hearing will consider applications of seven interested parties, which include Georges Viana, the campaign’s organizer. Viana is a graduate of France’s Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA) and Harvard Business School. He noted that he was “touched” by the company’s workers’ battle to save their jobs and factory. Viana stated, “Jeannette is 164 years old and I would like my children to be able to see the 200th anniversary of this historic institution.”
Viana then added he decided to use the crowdfunding method after being refused bank loans. After the unexpected success of the project, Vianaa thanked the 1,100 backers on the factory’s Facebook page. He stated, “During the campaign, I’ve received hundreds of heart-warming letter of support that made me determined to fight even harder for the Biscuiterie Jeannette, the heritage it represents, and the jobs that are at risk.”
He also shared with media outlets, “The more money contributed, the better it will be for the project. The funds raised will be frozen until the company is relaunched. If it isn’t, people will be reimbursed. The business isn’t yet relaunched, but we already have customers.”
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