Appalachian Cast Iron in many ways is a grass roots company. We got our start via a crowd funding campaign, have received a great deal of feedback from our online supporters, and are successful because of their support. With our proven and growing base of supporters, we established our “Partnership Program” as a means to allow supporters to participate in our development journey.
The Partnership program allows participants to acquire design-approved production proofs from the initial pre-production. The foundry sends us an initial allotment of approximately 100 pre-production units to verify the product and release to Partnership Members. These are final production approved pieces differentiated from normal production run pieces by a letter “P” under the handle or on the bottom of the unit and will be accompanied by a Letter of Authenticity. This "P" is removed from the pattern after the piece is approved and will not be on the regular production pieces. These pieces are very limited, pre-production, and we hope will be quite collectable in years to come. For these reasons they will sell for an amount higher than the production pieces. This program is designed to allow Appalachian Cast Iron to accelerate its product development and get pieces to market sooner while rewarding individuals that enjoy supporting our efforts and are early adopters or collectors. We will also seek Partnership Members insight into piece selection and release order. These discussions will take place in a private forum and participation is highly encouraged. These occasional discussions will give members an opportunity to participate in our growth. We would love for you to be part of our story.
We are launching this program as an "In-House" route to fund and broaden our product line while rewarding a select few that wish to participate. By having a handful of "partners," our intention is to raise the bulk of the funds required for design and tooling while keeping other aspects of growth manageable. The process of growing a company from chats with my family around the breakfast table, to executing international deliveries and new product development is significant. Creating a system with manageable growth and boundaries is very important to our development as a company.
Our standard will be manageable growth that allows us to focus on excellent customer service and rapid development of truly stunning pieces. Tooling for our process is very expensive. Even selling all available slots in our partnership program will not fully fund our development and tooling costs, but will certainly help defray them.
Anyone that joins the Partnership program will get supporting documentation about their piece. They will also be able to purchase one production piece, once available, at 50% off. The “P” pieces will be used in advertising, brief cooking demos, product testing and evaluation etc. So they may come with light use. Members will be enrolled in a numbered slot. Members are not required to remain in the program. If a member discontinues, everyone below them moves up a slot, and the first person on the waiting list joins at the end of the queue.
As of December 11 we have a couple of pallets enroute from the foundry. There are over 100 #10 Jeweled Skillets in bound, as well as over 100 #8 Jeweled Skillets Inbound. Our foundry partner is very enthusiastic about the production of these pieces and accelerated the tooling for the #8. It is unusual for a young company to be able to introduce two pieces simultaneously. We are very thankful to be able to do this. These Partnership pieces are intended to roll out every few months, and their pricing is intended to reflect tooling costs and the inherent value of their limited numbers. As a result of close release timing of the #10 and #8, we understand that all purchasers of the #10, may not choose to purchase the #8. Purchasers of the #10 will have first option to purchase the #8. If they choose not to purchase the #8, we will offer the #8 to other folks. But, due to the close timing on this, we will consider both parties to be included in the partnership program. We will insure that enough Partnership pieces of future items will cover everyone that backs a partnership skillet. These follow on pieces will still be extremely limited in numbers. Final numbers for the program will be determined by the number of pieces that are accepted after we receive the inbound inventory, remove the gates, inspect the castings, and go through the seasoning process. It may take a week or so to work through this. This entry will be updated periodically.