About this project
UPDATE: As of February 23rd we reached our goal. This is incredible. The outpouring of support has been so energizing. Thank you all so so much. We can not say that enough. However, our Kickstarter campaign doesn't end until March 15th. This means we can keep pushing to achieve more of what is needed. The additional funds raised will go towards outfitting our patio. If we can reach 30,000 this will allow us to purchase the necessary items to set up the patio area ahead of schedule and be ready for the summer season. So please keep spreading the word and thank you for your continued support.
Ursa Minor is a 45-seat restaurant located in the heart of Lopez Island, Washington. Set to open in Spring 2017 by Chef Nick Coffey, Ursa Minor features a casual atmosphere with an emphasis on hyper local cuisine. Ursa Minor is partnering closely with local farmers, fishermen and foragers to create a cuisine that reflects the San Juan Archipelago. The ultimate vision for Ursa Minor is to serve as a destination that is uniquely Lopez, where tourists can come to have an experience that reflects the idyllic island setting yet is familiar enough for locals to return again and again.
Nick’s optimal restaurant space featuring abundant natural light, soothing vistas, and water views has been acquired. Nick now has the perfect kitchen to cook your meals, but he needs the accoutrements to complete your dining experience. This is where YOU come in!
Make the vision of this aspiring Chef/Owner a reality and contribute toward Nick’s fundraising goal. Check out the incentives to inspire you to dig deep and pledge to make Nick’s dream come true.
Nick has been a Seattle-based chef for the past decade. Most notably, he was the head chef at Sitka and Spruce, Cafe Barjot and Ciudad. If you haven’t been drooling over his beautiful food photos on his Instagram account (@nickhcoffey), you’re missing out! Nick has an artistic eye for composition on the dinner plate: many times his food is deemed as “too pretty to eat”. Beyond his slew of followers on social media, Nick has received many accolades from food writers in the Seattle area, including The Stranger, Eater Seattle, and Seattle Times.
In the article "I Ate a Sunflower at Cafe Barjot, and It Was Remarkable" Angela Garbes of The Stranger wrote: “For Coffey, time is as much of an ingredient as any vegetable or animal—and that includes his development as a chef. Before Barjot, he spent four years at Sitka & Spruce, working his way up from the garde manger station to running the kitchen for chef and owner Matt Dillon. "I grew the most there," Coffey says. "It was a great environment. Sitka allowed me to experiment and hone what I was learning. Every year when you revisit a dish, you've grown, personally and professionally," he says. "I just want to keep going, keep doing something new."
Nick has fostered and maintained deep-rooted relationships with the foragers, farmers and fisherman that define the Pacific Northwest cuisine. These relationships are integral to Ursa Minor’s signature place-based menu. Nick believes cooking starts long before the ingredients reach his kitchen. Choices made in the fields, in the woods, or on the coast ultimately determine what the final product looks and tastes like.
In the kitchen, Nick employs time-tested traditional food preservation techniques of fermentation, drying and pickling. Whether it be fermenting the first flush of chanterelles, making pickled green walnuts, dehydrating vegetables to pair with a rich broth, or drying the summer’s bounty of peppers, flowers and herbs, preserving the season’s flavors is of utmost importance. Nick also finds culinary inspiration outside the kitchen while picking wild berries, clam digging or tending his garden. It is through these processes and experiences that Nick strives to define his surroundings and the Pacific Northwest as a whole through his food.
Kickstarter funds raised will go towards the purchase of the plates, napkins, flatware, tables, chairs, lighting, paint, etc., all with which to enjoy your regionally-inspired meal at Lopez’s newest dining destination. Nick will also collaborate with local artisans and craftspeople to design and create custom pieces to complete the local island dining experience at Ursa Minor.
Lopez Island is part of the San Juan Island Archipelago. Lopez is located north of Seattle, about an hour and half drive, plus a scenic 30-minute ferry ride. While Lopez is a rural community, it attracts many visitors who enjoy the island’s biking, kayaking and opportunity to unplug from the daily grind. It is truly the perfect getaway! A retreat to refresh the soul and become inspired. These are some of the reasons why Chef Nick Coffey has set his sight upon Lopez Island to open his debut restaurant.
Risks and challenges
Without risks, there are no rewards. Sure some may say that opening a restaurant is risky, especially when it's located on an island and it's dependent on a ferry schedule.
We understand that there are bound to be setbacks in the process of opening: staffing, funding, permitting, shipping delays, and other unexpected kinks are sure to arise. However, because we are moving into an existing restaurant space with a kitchen almost ready to go, the transition is proving to be quite seamless. Plus, Nick's restaurant experience coupled with his passion and conviction for providing a unique dining experience, we feel confident that we will succeed.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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