Fourteen years ago The Confidentials was born. (in a hot bath with a bottle of port).
I’m the publisher, Mark Garner, you might know me as Gordo
Confidentials.com has grown with a small but very bright team. Within six months of launch and Gordo irritating everyone with his restaurant reviews the site went mad, with 60,000 people asking to receive our weekly email — the very first of its kind world-wide.
Today we regularly speak to over 640,000 across the North West and Yorkshire, and we continue to grow apace with our mix of trusted, unbiased food and drink writing, by championing local issues and generally taking no prisoners when it comes to piss takers, fools and southerners.
We survived the recession by the skin of our teeth. In 2014 we started to make good and over the past four years we’ve invested profits (and a large portion of my pension fund) into keeping up with the technology and figuring out new revenue streams. We are a small family business boxing well above our weight.
Recently, after Gordo’s Christmas market video rant went viral, at the same time as our Black Friday sales, the sites fell over. We suffered a major outage as over 700,000 people tried to engage at the same time. The app went down, the websites buckled. It cost us well over £40,000.
We needed to make a decision; cut back, stay small and manage, or find the investment to keep battling the big boys of online publishing.
To be honest, I’m not ready for a pipe and slippers, and my team want, and deserve, a crack at the Premiership. They’re capable of being amongst the best. They’re contenders for sure.
So we need your help. Everything we do is risky. We started with an idea, a piece of paper and a pen. Banks don’t like that. We do. It keeps us relevant to you, our readers. So we are asking you guys, who know us better than anyone else, to help us stay independent and show the rest of the world that Manchester and the North of England can continue to deliver world firsts.
So, we are going to the races and we need to raise funds. We need to get with the plan and crowd fund. We’ve looked at a few successful examples: The Guardian, who ask for voluntary donations; highly successful local restaurant entrepreneurs and a few book publishers. We’re a mixture of all three.
So, the Confidentials are going to look to raise £500,000 over the course of 2019, in unusual, interesting and fun ways, involving our community of friends and readers. Luckily, there are loads of you out there.
Our online publishing is by Northerners, for Northerners. Back us and become part of it, as every project we offer will return some very cool rewards back to you.
Our first project is The Top 100 Restaurants in the North guide. We’ve done the hard work and got it going in the North West, with over 125,000 visitors in the last few months. But we want to expand it to cover the whole of the North and need roughly £200,000 to make that happen. This is where you come in; help us to make it the best restaurant guide in the world!