Community Oven: Get your piece of the pie!
Community Oven: Get your piece of the pie!
Bob and Lynette formerly of Lily Bistro in Rockland would like to open a wood oven bakery and pizza shop. Sourcing locally as always!
Bob and Lynette formerly of Lily Bistro in Rockland would like to open a wood oven bakery and pizza shop. Sourcing locally as always! Read more
About this project
WE HAVE UNDER 30 DAYS TO RAISE 50K YOU CAN HELP!
WHAT DO WE NEED THE MONEY FOR?
1. 20k: Rent and operating cost for 6 month wood, utilities and product, licensing, permits, equipment.
2. 12k: Signage, awning a construction of the roof top deck
3. 15k : Renovations on the dinning room including a new bar, light fixtures and to replace the floor. We can use the exiting tables & chairs, but we will need to purchase china & glassware.
4. Lastly, fees for kicksarter, Amazon and kickbacks for all of you folks that helped us!
WHAT IS THE VISION FOR COMMUNITY OVEN? Our vision is to create a common hearth for Rockland. A bakery and pizzeria where Mainers can enjoy delicious food and company year-round—and where out-of-towners might come for true local flavor.
We are planning to return to Rockland, Maine to build a pizzeria and bakery that follows the same ethos as Lily Bistro: locally-sourced food which builds community, and helps the people of Maine to live well and eat well.
Many of you probably remember Bob’s Bread from Lily Bistro.A professional baker for 15 years, bread is Bob’s first love.(We joke that, at times, BREAD has played the role of the other women in our lives!)
Now, we have an opportunity to share with you.We have found a new space in Rockland, and in a great location! The best part is this: it has an old-fashioned, wood-fired brick oven. Wood cooks at a much higher heat and imparts a different flavor in the bread.It’s the way people have made breads and pizzas in Italy for hundreds of years, and it’s the way we will bake at Community Oven. Also, it has a great view of the water and an existing deck.
Bob will be baking loaves of all your favorites—including his famous homemade sourdough! And Bob’s crust will serve as a base for our wood-fired, brick-oven pizzas, which will be loaded up with all the fresh, local ingredients we used to gather for Lily Bistro.(A gluten-free option is in the works, too!)
In the meantime, we will also offer a “family meal” series! (“Family meal” is the meal you feed your staff, and for us, it’s the perfect description as our staff truly is our family!) The family meals at Community Oven will work like community-supported agriculture: buy into our dinners, and join us for our Family Meals.
And a sample menu....
Then, in early spring, we will open the pizzeria to Rockland—and the creation of a beautiful roof top garden!
Risks and challenges
Five years ago, in 2008, we opened Lily Bistro in Rockland, Maine. We sourced local ingredients, fresh from the land and sea, and created a French bistro experience unlike any other restaurant in Maine—if not all of New England. We designed and built a beautiful spot on Main Street, and employed over 20 people. We raised our son, Shawn, and were welcomed with open arms by the Rockland people who truly make living on the coast of Maine “the way life should be.”
Word about the food at Lily Bistro spread quickly. With outstanding reviews from The Boston Globe, and several other news sources, we were quickly considered one of the best restaurants in Maine. We thought we had done the impossible: find a way to fulfill our greatest passion while sustaining a working life in Maine. For three years, we worked harder than ever before to care for our son, our employees, and most of all, the people of New England who returned to dine with us, again and again.
We had no idea what was about to happen.
In the fall of 2011, the city managers closed the streets of Rockland, eliminating access to the numerous businesses which populate the downtown area. They tore up all of Main Street to fix the water system. Our beloved Lily Bistro was right in the middle of it.
A city rehabilitation project that was supposed to take two weeks stretched into two months. We watched our business slip through our fingers. Of course, this was a difficult time for a lot of people, and we (like many of you), tried everything to keep ourselves afloat. But the economy had already taken its toll, and our local bank, itself gutted from the economy, could not help us.
We didn’t make it.
After a heart-wrenching decision, we closed the restaurant and were forced to move back to Boston. We have weathered this transition as well as we could. Our contact with our friends in Maine kept our spirits up. We found other work, and we cared for Shawn. But we have learned that Maine is a special place, and a life without real community is a life barely lived. While there are numerous opportunities to cook for other people in a big city like Boston, it is not our food, our home. It isn’t Maine.
We know Rockland inside and out, and we know the hardships facing so many of the people of Maine. We know how our business helps local farmers, fishermen, tourism, the environment, and most of all, our employees. We know how the right kind of business can help people hoping to find a meaningful way to make ends meet.
HOW WILL COMMUNITY OVEN HAPPEN?
We believe that a meaningful eating experience isn’t just about delicious food. The concept of “community” is also a big part of who we are, and who we will be, at Community Oven.
We’re starting small for the first few months. Our key plan is to not only sell Bob’s Bread at the bakery, but also establish a number of wholesale accounts. Wholesale accounts will give us the financial foundation we need to launch the pizzeria—and the great news is that we will be filling a valuable and much-needed niche, as no one in the Mid Coast area is offering a wholesale product of this kind.
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