My name is Garrett Benedict. I am the Chef/Owner of G-Love. Opening G-Love has been my dream for as long as I can remember. My journey to becoming a chef started when I was 14 and I have never looked back. Cooking is the only job I have ever had, and it is the only thing I want to do. I am 32 now and over the last 18 years of my life I have been carefully planning what G-Love would look like, what it would feel like when you walk in the door, and what would be on the menu. G-Love is the culmination of my entire career spent cooking in restaurants. Or is it the start of my career? I’m not sure anymore! I am so grateful that I have been able to make it this far in launching my dream restaurant, but there are still a few final steps that I have to take before I can make my lifelong dream a reality! I sincerely hope that you will take a look at my humble little Kickstarter page here and maybe help a stranger to reach for the stars.
G-Love is a revolutionary restaurant concept. I like to call it a ‘Reverse Steakhouse.’ At G-Love, vegetables take center stage and make up the majority of the menu, while the proteins are served as “side dishes.” G-Love is the opposite of a traditional American steakhouse. Instead of choosing which cut of beef you want to order, at G-Love the choice will be “heirloom tomatoes or summer squash?” Instead of “ribeye or tenderloin?” it’s “romano beans or carrots?” At G-Love, when it comes time to order your side dishes the options are crispy pork belly, seared Alaskan salmon, or charred hanger steak, not creamed spinach, mashed potatoes or grilled asparagus like you would find at a traditional steakhouse.
This format is beneficial in so many ways. It is better for the planet, it’s better for your wallet, it’s better for your health, and last but not least, it’s the way I like to cook and eat.
I have partnered with Olde Moon Farm, located an hour south of Portland, in picturesque Silverton, Oregon. Olde Moon Farm will be supplying G-Love with the freshest produce imaginable. Seasonal cooking is the cornerstone philosophy of G-Love. Restaurants all over the country have embraced the farm-to-table approach, but G-Love is unique in that we own our farm delivery van, and the cooks at G-Love will take turns working a 'Farm Shift' where they get out of the kitchen for a day and drive down to Olde Moon Farm to help with the harvesting and processing of the vegetables we will use at G-Love. After their farm shift, the cooks will drive that day's delivery back to the restaurant to be prepped for that night's dinner service.
This format for the cooks' schedules at G-Love is extremely important to me. I have worked at too many restaurants over the course of my career where I felt that I didn't have a single moment to catch my breath. At the best restaurants in the country the cooks are expected to put their lives, health, and sanity on hold in pursuit of the Chef's Vision. This creates amazing food, undeniably, but at what cost? At G-Love we embrace empathy. We will give our guests amazing food, delicious drinks, and fantastic service, but we will not provide that experience at the expense of our most valuable asset, our employees. G-Love is all about that one crucial element that is so important in life. LOVE. We love our guests, we love our employees, and we definitely love our amazing produce! I hope to see you this summer at G-Love!
Check out some cool articles about G-Love below!
The cocktail program at G-Love is something I am really proud of. The crucial element to our amazing cocktail selection is Collin Nicholas. Collin is a one-man wrecking ball of creativity. He has opened and operated bars in New York, Rome, San Francisco and Portland. He has over 11 years of experience in the industry and brings a young, fresh and eclectic perspective to the G-Love bar program. Originally from Berkeley, he grew up immersed in the strong and vibrant culture of the Bay Area. His work in the restaurant industry is focused on creating truly unique drinking experiences that challenge convention but also provide touchstones to classic cocktails. In keeping with that approach, his favorite cocktail is a classic gin and tonic! He is an indispensable part of the G-Love launch!
This is Betty. Without her, literally NONE of this would be possible. Betty is a force of nature, she is the most artistic, thoughtful, creative, caring, and selfless person I have ever met. Also, she is my wife. Betty is making the aprons that all the cooks and servers will wear at G-Love by hand. She is also making the bread baskets, the candle-holders, she is helping me with the interior design, she is the driving force behind all the DIY amazingness that is G-Love. Without her G-Love would not exist. Pledge for an apron, pledge for a bread basket, pledge for Betty!
SPICED OREGON HAZELNUTS - $15 Man, I don’t even know how to put into words how delicious and addicting these Spiced Oregon Hazelnuts are! This is a technique that I learned from an extremely talented chef, Aaron London. I helped Aaron to open HIS dream restaurant about four years ago in San Francisco. He was very protective of this recipe and wouldn’t share it with me or let me make it until we had been open for about 8 months! At Aaron’s restaurant we used California grown almonds, but that wouldn’t make any sense here in Oregon, the land of the Filbert! (AKA hazelnuts) I have made these spiced hazelnuts my own by creating a custom spice blend that I will never share until the day I die. The only way to get these before opening day is to pony up and throw down with a generous pledge! I promise you won’t regret it.
G-LOVE MARKET TOTE BAG - $20 How awesome is the G-Love logo, guys?! I have already broken in one of these badass branded totes at the farmers markets here in Portland and let me just say, this tote is a keeper. Functional and beautiful, it’s got it all!
G-LOVE ENAMEL MUG - $25 This mug. If you only knew the trials and tribulations, the fire gauntlets that had to be traversed, the epic medieval fight scenes that had to be conquered in order to offer this mug to y'all. If you knew you would pledge for them all! Long story short, it was a little complicated to get these made, but they are here, on Kickstarter, patiently awaiting your clicks and pledges! Please give these mugs a good home, they really deserve it. Also, they hold coffee.
YOUR NAME FEATURED ON OUR WEBSITE - $30 www.g-lovepdx.com is our website. It’s gunna be really effing cool. I hate websites that are over complicated, so ours is super simple. A restaurant website should communicate only a few key details: Where is this restaurant? What is on the menu? What does the food look like? How do I make a reservation? That’s about it! So, if you want to be a part of the realest restaurant website out there then you should definitely ball out and pledge to have your name immortalized on ours. We promise we will make your name look super classy and of course, YOUR name will be bigger than all the other people that pick this pledge. (WINK)
THE ULTIMATE SWAG PACKAGE - $85 SWAG. Let’s be honest, this is the heart of Kickstarter. For the true swag connoisseurs out there, there really isn’t any other choice than the Ultimate Swag Package, is there? If you’re down for the G-Love cause then pledge for this package and you will get the G-Love sticker, the spiced Oregon hazelnuts, the badass market tote bag, the enamel mug, and a hand-written thank you card from yours truly. I might even throw in a little hallelujah for your pledge!
LET CHEF GARRETT COOK FOR YOU + A GUEST - $95 Do you love food more than anything? ‘Let Chef Garrett Cook For You + a Guest’ is right up your alley. This is a tasting menu. Normally I would charge $60 per person for this, but if you pledge for it now, you’re saving $25! And believe this, for the people that come in to G-Love and say, “Hey, I pledged for the tasting menu on Kickstarter” I am going to throw down on your dinner! We’re talking Little Things, we’re talking Cold Goods, definitely some Hot Stuff, I am probably going to send you too much food. We are gunna have to wheel you outta the restaurant with a trolley. You want this. I will spoil you. Check out a sample menu below!
COOKING 101 – $101 I’ve been cooking my whole life, along the way I have picked up a few tricks. I will share my secrets with you, whatever you want to know (about cooking) I will teach you. It’s that simple. *Bonus* After spending an afternoon with us in the kitchen at G-Love you get to bop on over to the bar and enjoy a few drinks. What a day!
COCKTAIL 101 – $101 If you love cocktails but never know how to make them at home this pledge is for you. Our bartenders will teach you whatever you have always wanted to know but have been too afraid to ask (about cocktails).
CHEF FOR A DAY + DINNER FOR ONE - $250 Chef for a Day is one I am particularly excited about. Come in to work a day at G-Love and see what it really takes to make a top restaurant hum! No need to be intimidated by this pledge, I promise, everyone at G-Love is really nice! If you have ever watched Top Chef, or another food show and felt curious about the life, then pick this pledge and scratch that itch! You will get a behind the scenes look at our kitchen and after you’ve put in your shift you get to sit down and enjoy a delicious meal that you had a part in preparing!
PRIVATE COOKING CLASS WITH CHEF GARRETT - $1,500 This is really exciting. The cooking class happens on a day when the restaurant is closed. We can collaborate on what you would like to learn, or I can put the menu together and you and your friends can just enjoy the ride! Either way, we’re gunna have a blast and learn a lot. Also, I own the restaurant so we can crank the music and just live life to the fullest. But most importantly, we are going to eat some really, really delicious food!
GUIDED TOUR OF OLDE MOON FARM + DINNER FOR FOUR - $1,500 Olde Moon Farm is amazing. Jay and Jordan Uth have both been farming for over 10 years, and it shows! They are an integral part of what makes G-Love so special. Their dedication and countless hours spent working the land at Olde Moon Farm is awe inspiring. Without Jay and Jordan, G-Love would not be possible. The work that Jay and Jordan put in every day ultimately ends up on the plates at G-Love. If you choose this pledge, you will get to meet them in person and bask in the glorious sunlight of the Silverton Hills. Picture this; frolicking on the farm, harvesting the freshest veggies, and maybe taking a stroll up to the hidden pond in the woods. I will personally guide you and three friends through all the amazing nooks and crannies of this amazing place. After the tour, drive back up to Portland for your dinner at G-Love. Sounds like a pretty good day to me!
EXPERT CONSULTING - $2,000 I have been working on launching G-Love for over 18 months now. There have been highs, lows, and times when I thought I was never going to make it work. In the end, perseverance was quite helpful but not as helpful as someone who has the EXPERIENCE of doing it. I will be your open book. I will coach, advise, and propel you towards the restaurant of your dreams that we both know you are going to make happen. You are going to will this restaurant into existence. You are going to build something from scratch. But everybody needs a leg up now and then. I have lived it. I’m living it right now. This is a serious amount to pledge but it will pay itself back in spades when you have the restaurant of your dreams!
If you have gotten this far down the page, I salute you! Thank you so much for your generous pledges, it really means the world to me. I love that we live in a world where a complete stranger can have a real impact in helping someone else realize their dreams. But if you have pledged on the G-Love Kickstarter page we are no longer strangers! Make sure you come say hello to me at the pass next time you come in to eat, I can’t wait to meet you!
Risks and challenges
Opening a restaurant is an enormous undertaking, especially when your goals and aspirations for that restaurant are as lofty G-Love's. G-Love is an independent, Chef-Owned restaurant. When the Chef also owns the restaurant the possibilities become endless. As the Chef/Owner of G-Love I am able to make my dream a reality, with no compromise to my standards and ideas about how a restaurant should be run.
With all that fun aspirational talk out of the way, it leaves us with the realities of the business. A lot of restaurants fail, actually, MOST restaurants fail. Profit margins are super slim in the restaurant industry. Overhead costs are extremely high and continue to rise every year. However, the main reason that most restaurants fail is a lack of working capital in the first year of operation. I have recognized that all-too common theme in the restaurant industry and have set aside a substantial amount of my opening capital budget to be used as a safe guard, or an 'oh shit handle' as I prefer to call it! Setting aside a large portion of your opening capital budget to protect against unknown problems that will inevitably arise in G-Love's first year presents its own new set of challenges to overcome. That's where Kickstarter comes in! It is my hope that by securing money raised from pledges (Thanks!) I will be able to use those new funds on the details (Think really cool light fixtures, detailed carpentry for tables and chairs, and hand-stitched leather accents) that will make G-Love an amazing, beautiful, world class restaurant that will thrive for many years to come!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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