Owner, Mae Suramek has spent the last two decades cooking alongside (and learning) her mom’s out-of-this-world noodle bowl recipes, all infused with rich Thai, Indian, and Chinese influences. Think rice noodles in a rich coconut curry…..and fresh egg noodles with roasted chicken……and spicy lemon grass noodle soup…and so much more! While ramen (Japanese noodle soup) and pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) restaurants have gained popularity in the last decade, Noodle Nirvana also offers unique Thai noodle dishes. And because this is a democracy, we want customers to get the full culinary experience and build their own noodle bowls (with a little help from us, of course).
TWO LOVES COLLIDE
Fiercely rejecting her parents entrepreneur ways, Mae spent 15 years in non-profit management. During her last tenure as a non-profit director, local restaurants routinely donated a portion of their proceeds on a slow sales night to Mae’s agency. They would also usually require staff presence and marketing for the event, and brought in very minimal dollars. Since Mae’s non-profit had few resources and little physical space, board meeting space usually came with a fee and limited availability. Special events were essential in raising operating funds, but greatly exhausted staff, time, and upfront financial resources. And so one day (just like that) Mae decided to USE HER NOODLE and merge her love of her childhood noodle bowls with a desire to create truly innovative and impactful partnerships between non-profits and local businesses.
THE LIGHT BULB
Noodle Nirvana aims to make EPIC noodle bowls and also to better our communities.....in BIG ways! Each year, Noodle Nirvana will select one local non-profit and provide:
A year-round, professional, in-store information display highlighting the non-profit’s mission and current needs, and offering customers the opportunity to support the designated cause
Monthly meeting space for board meetings
Hosting and sponsorship of one special fund raiser at Noodle Nirvana
A percentage of proceeds one day each month for a 12-month period
What's a Community-Focused Business Without Community Backers?
You know you want in. Well, WE know we want you to be in. Our location in the original Berea movie theater, in the heart of Chestnut Street, offers inspiring space within walking distance to Berea College’s campus. We'll also be serving up craft beers from local Kentucky breweries. As a life-long non-profiter, we've been super creative in saving and piecing together about 90% of the required start-up funds. We of course plan to do much of the remodel work ourselves, are benefiting greatly from the generosity of our talented artist friends, and have simplified our lifestyle around supporting this exhilarating/innovative/potentially world-changing entrepreneurship and community love project. With your finish-line backing, we plan on launching in June of 2016.
Risks and challenges
Obviously we LOVE noodles but are equally committed to building strong communities. We are deeply invested in the Old Town/Chestnut Street revitalization movement, which means, we'll have to build out our kitchen and purchase commercial grade equipment. You know, rather than try to move into the old Burger King by the interstate. Our business model (happily) requires us diverting our profits at a VERY early stage to a local non-profit organization. We know it's risky, particularly during those first few unpredictable years, but we BELIEVE this is just the innovative business/social justice model that can make a real difference.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (60 days)