First-of-its-kind online marketplace helps UK bakers monetise unused facilities

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Your workspace can make money during downtime. Pic: GettyImages/Wavebreakmedia
Your workspace can make money during downtime. Pic: GettyImages/Wavebreakmedia

Related tags Occupyd rentals startups Property Bakers kitchen Snacks Product development

Occupyd is an online ‘property’ marketplace that connects businesses and individuals looking to rent an inexpensive workspace with those looking to maximise their income during downtime.

The site gives a baker, for example, which closes its doors at 3pm each day, the opportunity to advertise and rent out its kitchen space to small businesses that cater to the evening market.

This provides out-of-hours income for the owner – during a time when it’s needed most – and cuts down the financial responsibility for the occupant.

“A large number of organisations have been affected by the on-going pandemic, which has had a huge impact on their bottom-line,”​ said Occupyd founder Callum McPherson.

“We’re driven to make life a little easier by facilitating relationships between businesses on the hunt for workspace, and those that have extra capacity, so they can help each other out and continue to grow.

“We talk about the ‘hidden market’ - something which is already there, but people are unaware of. Monetising after-hours capacity, which would otherwise be empty, or renting out supplementary workspace could be a goldmine for some companies. Many of us are sitting on something valuable - we just don’t know it.”

Occupyd caters to a number of industries across the UK – including hospitality, hairdressing and beauty salons, as well as workshops, photography studios and event spaces – and all businesses, regardless of sector, size or location.

No hefty overheads for startups

The site also makes it infinitely easier for bakery and snack startups to test their concepts without expensive and cumbersome overheads.

McPherson added, “Taking a five or 10 year lease on a building, paying a hefty deposit and having access to it 24/7 is not what most SMEs and microbusinesses want or can afford.

“We give them access to space in prime locations, when and where they need it, so they don’t have to pay for more than they require. Not only do we save them money on space, but also equipment such as ovens and mixers, which would otherwise have to be bought.”

One Occupyd user is Emily Garland, founder of Maid of Gingerbread, who designs 3D gingerbread creations for events, film, TV and installations.

Emily Garland Maid of Gingerbread
Emily Garland

Knowing the challenges involved in finding a suitable and affordable facility, she is renting out her East London kitchen-studio whenever it’s not being used to small businesses.

When she was just starting out and looking for a small commercial kitchen she found it really hard to find somewhere suitable and affordable, so now she would like to give new small businesses that opportunity by renting her space out whenever she’s not busy baking.

“I really like the ethos behind Occupyd and the way that the company operates. It’s really well designed and the way that the website works is really easy – I like that,”​ said Garland.

“It works well, I’m being connected with the right people and I had some nice enquiries through Occupyd.”

Occupyd’s services also include platform development for space owners, marketing and rent collection.

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