...to our Kickstarter story! Or welcome back. Yes, yes, this is a re-launch. If this is your first visit to our page, thanks for checking it out. Please read on to get our plans, our story, what we do, etc. If you are a returning visitor from our previous unsuccessful campaign, you are welcome to read all the way through again, but all the new stuff is right here in the next few sections.
What we’re doing…
We're taking our crêpe shop on the road. We’re buying ourselves a fully outfitted commercial kitchen on wheels.
What we’re going to do to with your money (this time)...
Phase One - If we get the $10,000
- Make the next 6 months of payments on the trailer (We've already made the down payment on it)
- Buy an additional sandwich prep type refrigerator
- Buy a big old generator to run the trailer
- Branding, Signage, Customize Exterior, etc
- Fees and permits
- Provide super cool and useful rewards to our awesome backers
Phase Two - If we get the $13,000 we got from the last campaign we'll also
- Buy a second gas crêpe pan
- Switch out the 3 compartment sink for a smaller one to give ourselves some more counter space
- Make another 6 months of payments on the trailer
Phase Three - If we get more than $13,000
- Purchase additional potable water tank for events where we have to bring our own water supply
- Continue to pay down the trailer
- Be super excited to be able to do all of the above
That's all the new stuff, here's the full story...
Who we are…
In 2003 I went to Scotland and discovered crêpes. Wait, Scotland? You mean France? Nope, Scotland. That doesn’t make sense. I know. And yet, here I am ten years later with what some have called “the best f------- crepe shop in the world”. (Sorry but it's true)
In 2005 I found a 10x14 space on the back of an old theater in Charlottesville, VA, renovated it, and turned it into The Flat: Takeaway Crêperie. Over the past eight years, The Flat has become a favorite for locals as well as folks from all over the country. How did this little shop become nationally known you ask? People love us. “We love The Flat” (Vanhooser, Cassandra M. "Discover Downtown." Southern Living March 2008: p.52) They talk about us. “One attribute of a great college town is food that’s tasty and cheap. The Flat qualifies on both counts.” (McGinn, Daniel "Jefferson Slept Here." The Boston Globe Magazine. September 8, 2013. www.bostonglobe.com.) Do you know anyone who went to The University of Virginia, or a band that has played at The Jefferson Theater in Charlottesville, or someone who just came through to see the fall colors? Ask them. Chances are, we are part of their Charlottesville experience.
We serve made-to-order crêpes from the best ingredients. We source locally as often as we can and we can tailor make things to fit most any dietary restriction. We have been vegan and gluten-free friendly from day one. So from the ordinary sugar and lemon to the “Less Ordinary” pulled chicken, house-made rosemary cranberry sauce, smoked gouda, and fresh spinach and from the vegan “Tofull” stuffed with local tofu and veg from our CSA to the “My Morning Crêpe” filled with local sausage, egg, onions, peppers, gooey cheese and hot sauce, we’ve got something to get you excited.
Why we need your help…
We've paid the first 20% down out of personal and business savings but the tight margins we keep at The Flat (which allow us to offer great value to our customers) don't allow us a whole lot of savings. That’s why we need you. This Kickstarter campaign is all about moving forward in the same spirit we've tried to keep from day one: keeping it small, local, and grassroots. Our customers have made us what we are today and we’re hoping you’ll help us shape our future. And don't forget we're all about taking care of you guys. So, all of our rewards are redeemable at either the trailer or our Water St location. That way, we make sure you get your reward no matter what.
What we’ll serve...
Crepes – it is what we do after all. And we're very good at it. We’ll make savory and sweet crepes and keep our options open for complimentary menu items depending on the event.
We’ll use fresh local ingredients and put together the best combinations. Check out some of our most popular menu items.
- The Temptation of Adam - apple, brie - add chicken, ham, or sausage
- Crêpes According to Anna - jam (Jam According to Daniel) with chevre - add chicken or ham
- The Awesome - local ham (The Rock Barn), spinach, onion, garlic, cheddar, and jarlsberg
- The Prince of Denmark - ham, spinach, brie, spicy honey mustard
- Southside of Heaven - local sausage (The Rock Barn), spinach, onion, cheddar, feta
- Greene Eggs - egg, feta, veg
- My Funny Valentine - white chocolate, strawberries, cinnamon
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Crêpe - vanilla crêpe, butter, brown sugar, chocolate chunks
- She Got the Honey- fresh berries, lemon honey ricotta
- Sweet As - apples and dulce de leche
Risks and challenges
There are a lot of challenges associated with starting a mobile food venue, but I feel we are qualified to tackle each of them.
First, there's getting your trailer outfitted and producing revenue (and food!) in time for peak sales (spring and summer festivals, in our case). The trailer we're purchasing is already fully outfitted. The only changes required would be purchasing another gas crêpe pan, a little custom exterior work to make it stand out in a crowd, and possibly replacing a sink.
Second, you have to develop a product that is economically feasible. The Flat is already a successful business and the trailer will sport a similar menu. On top of this, the current owner of the food trailer has allowed us to rent it for events so we could evaluate the earning potential of this venture. Obviously it went pretty well or we would have dropped the idea.
Third, you have to adapt the way you run a full-sized restaurant to conform to the space constraints of a trailer. However, The Flat is not a full fledged restaurant, but a takeaway cafe. The current kitchen is just about the same size as the trailer. In fact, with all the equipment this baby has, it's an upgrade. We're pretty excited about that.
Once you get all that sorted, it's just a matter of finding places to take the truck. We've been in contact with the coordinators for our favorite local music festivals, street festivals, and food festivals. We're making new connections each day with local breweries, school campuses, and special events. Ultimately, it's up to them to accept our application for vending but we're casting a wide net and proving with each event we've tackled so far that we are good folks to have around.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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