Funded! This project was successfully funded on November 11.

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Our riverfront town is undergoing a renaissance of business and art- but what is it missing? A coffee shop.

Alton's legendary Milton Schoolhouse  has already become a place for bold visionaries, daring entrepreneurs, and pioneering artists to come together. Now it's time for us to give our town a coffee shop as fresh and free spirited as the folks who have made this place their home. 

A delight to meet you- what's going on here?

In 2009, Joel and I purchased The Milton Schoolhouse- and we've been renovating it ever since. Our main goal in buying the building was to help others start their own businesses, and begin to bring some economic success to our lovely little riverfront town. 

We've been mulling over the idea of starting a coffee shop for about two years now. A lot of end-of-the-workday conversations with other like-minded people led to Maeva's. We've been preparing the schoolhouse to host a coffee shop for the last year, and now we're finally ready to build out Maeva's for Alton.

Who is this Maeva of which you speak?

Maeva is a concept that arose from a brief stay in New Orleans, LA earlier this year. We ended up there for a foggy day in January, and the city gave me the words to describe what Alton was missing. Our town has so much in common with its sister on the Mississippi: a rich and dramatic history, fascinating old structures, and the spirit that comes only from being born and raised on the river. 

Meredith Elliott, New Orleans 2013
Meredith Elliott, New Orleans 2013

But Alton is missing out on the joyous collision of cultures, ideas, and neighborhood zest we found down on the bayou. Why? Although Alton is undergoing an artistic and economic renaissance- we have no where to come together and share that spirit in a casual and inspiring environment.

Maeva is a gypsy- of no particular origin. A timeless beauty, an unraveling mystery, a constant inspiration. In a town of 30,000 people (and with a suburban population of nearly double the size) Maeva's will be the first coffee shop Alton has seen in years.

Let's talk shop.

We are hosting this campaign to raise money for the equipment we'll need to make amazing drinks for our neighborhood. Much of the equipment can be purchased refurbished or used- but investing in a quality espresso machine and espresso bean grinder will be essential in handling the traffic of this amazing place for many years to come. The roasting company we are working with is willing to give us wholesale pricing for this equipment. Through them, the espresso machine we would like to purchase is just under $7,000, and the espresso grinder is about $1,000. The rest of the funds raised will be put toward a large drip coffee maker, a coffee bean grinder, a commercial blender, and a refrigerated display case. 

But a shop isn't just about the equipment. You have to have the proper place to put it all together. We have a perfect classroom picked out for Maeva's that already has most of what we need in place:

We built a commercial kitchen below the future home of Maeva's earlier this year- and found a fabulous baker to work with who specializes in cheesecakes. 

Joel has been reclaiming wood from old barns, bowling allies, and ancient farm houses to find the most beautiful and unique material out of which to make tables and display cases for Milton. 

Joel Elliott, Planing Barnwood for Furniture
Joel Elliott, Planing Barnwood for Furniture

We have the personal funds and construction know-how to build out much of Maeva's by our own hands. One of a kind furniture, inspired design, and flawless work flow is our aim. 

Maeva's will be serving coffee from Goshen- a local roasting company in Edwardsville, IL. Their coffee is love at first sip, guaranteed to delight the taste buds of any caffeine connoisseur. In addition to coffee, coffee base drinks, and a delicious selection of baked goods, Maeva's will also be offering hand mixed Italian sodas, traditionally brewed chai, and a limited selection of carefully curated coffee based adult beverages.  

We are located on a busy street- and in a building that is much loved by our community. We anticipate Maeva's truly being a place enjoyed by all who call the bluffs of the Mississippi River their home. 

With the successful completion of this Kickstarter campaign, construction on Maeva's will begin in November. We plan to be open to the public by, at the latest, June 1st, 2014. My sister- a talented barista and aspiring mad scientist- will be joining us next May to help with the hiring and training process.

Chad Nelson, Mississippi Mud Pottery (Maeva's Mug Design)
Chad Nelson, Mississippi Mud Pottery (Maeva's Mug Design)
Mugs from Mississippi Mud Pottery
Mugs from Mississippi Mud Pottery

What if the sky opens and the internet heavens rain down a lot of extra funding?

By all means- keep contributing to Maeva's til the end of campaign! Additional funds raised will speed up the construction of a 1,200 sq ft, gorgeously landscaped outdoor sanctuary (i.e. a patio) for lovers and dreamers alike. Extra funds will also help us better accommodate our friends with disabilities and improve the outdoor curb appeal of Maeva's shop front. 

1/3 Original Art Poster by Joshua Goor on Coffee Stained Parchment
1/3 Original Art Poster by Joshua Goor on Coffee Stained Parchment
Maeva's Coffee Card Design by Edward Scott Foto
Maeva's Coffee Card Design by Edward Scott Foto

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Our biggest challenges will be tackling the build out of the shop itself. Maeva's is a labor of absolute love- with many people volunteering their talents to making sure the shop opens up in June 2014 with all of the vivacity she deserves. Acquiring licenses, hiring a professional plumber, choosing the best equipment for our needs, and finding just the right employees will be our biggest hurdles. But, we will find a way or we will make one! We are determined to bring Alton a meeting place that serves amazing coffee and delicious conversation.

The awesome rewards we have available for those who help get Maeva's off the ground will all be ready to ship by the end of November, 2013. This means very little wait for you- you'll get to enjoy a little taste of the shop even before it opens! Our incentives will also be delivered before Christmas (domestic shipping)- so they are a perfect way to get your friends and family excited about what is happening here.

Incentives involving private events hosted at Maeva's will be redeemable for dates after July 31st, 2014, and before December 31st, 2015.

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  • Pledge $1 or more
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    9 backers

    Everyone who contributes to Maeva's success will get a personal shout out on The Milton Schoolhouse website and facebook page to say "thank you muchly!"

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    23 backers

    A "thank you" postcard sent from our shop, featuring a print of the original art created just for Maeva's by local artist Joshua Goor.

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    13 backers

    Receive a first run Maeva's tshirt! Printed on American Apparel Triblend (available in both unisex and women's cut) with metallic copper ink. Your choice between Black and Coffee coloration.

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    45 backers

    Treat yourself with a Maeva’s Coffee Card- an artfully created wooden business card good for ten 16oz drip coffee drinks (or five 16oz espresso based drinks). Also, be the first to test out our coffee with a 6oz sample of whole or ground beans, roasted just for Maeva’s by the Goshen Coffee Company.

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    23 backers

    Be the first to test out our coffee with a 6oz sample of our beans, roasted just for Maeva’s by the Goshen Coffee Company! This delightfully packaged preview comes with a set of postcard sized art prints of the three original works created by Joshua Goor for the shop.

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    33 backers Limited (2 left of 35)

    Excited to finally enjoy a coffee shop in Alton? Want to share some coffee love? Feed your addiction for the heavenly bean with a set of four Maeva’s Coffee Cards. Each card is artfully printed on a cool wooden business card and good for ten 16oz drip coffee drinks (or five 16oz espresso based drinks). At this price, it’s like getting 7+ drinks for free! You’ll also receive an invite to our private grand opening party- which will include copious amount of free coffee, delicious goodies, great music, and a helluva good time.

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    12 backers Limited (488 left of 500)

    Get the Maeva's Experience at home with a 1lbs bag of our roasted coffee, a "thank you" postcard, and a signed 18x12" Joshua Goor art poster of your choice. You'll also receive an invite to our private grand opening party.

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    10 backers Limited (490 left of 500)

    In addition to receiving two coffee cards, a 6oz bean preview, and an 18x12" signed Joshua Goor art poster of your choice, you’ll also become a Maeva’s Patron! Your name will be incorporated into the design of our shop (we’ll send you a photograph of it to show off to your friends after we open). You’ll also receive an invite to our private grand opening party- which will include copious amount of free coffee, delicious goodies, great music, and a helluva good time.

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    33 backers Limited (67 left of 100)

    At this level, you’ll be receiving a limited edition, handmade mug created by our friends Chad and Felicia at Mississippi Mud Pottery. Of course, we’ll give you a full 1lbs coffee preview to enjoy at home, so you don’t have to wait for Maeva’s to open to enjoy the awesome. You’ll also be receiving a 18x12" signed art poster of your choice, an invite to our private opening party, and your name will be immortalized in the Maeva’s décor.

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    4 backers Limited (6 left of 10)

    You'll be the proud owner of a Maeva’s Gold Coffee Card. This is a limited edition card available just to our kickstarter backers. It will entitle you personally to one full year of unlimited free drip coffee or you can use the card towards any espresso based drink. Good for one year after our opening date. You’ll also get an invitation to our private opening party and your name will be immortalized in Maeva’s shop décor.

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    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    This level was inspired our friends who currently support The Milton Schoolhouse from afar. You will receive a personalized box full of delights from the schoolhouse selected just for you. This box will be brimming with one of a kind art glass and other treasures left behind when the building was abandoned in the late 1990s, as well as doodles, drawings, and other little artistic wonders from the artists who support Milton.

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    1 backer Limited (1 left of 2)

    Do you have a company get together, a shower, or a birthday in your future? This package is for an afternoon soiree at Maeva’s for 15! Your soiree will include unlimited non-alcoholic coffee beverages and catering from a select menu, and live acoustic background music. You’ll also be receiving an invitation to our private opening party, and we’ll name something on the menu in your honor!

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    1 backer All gone!

    A Private Soiree for 20! Perfect for all sorts of fancy get togethers. This is a real deal if you have a anniversary celebration, a company party, or a birthday to plan. Part of Maeva’s will be all yours for three hours- complete with unlimited non-alcoholic coffee based beverages and catering from a select menu and live music. You’ll also receive an invite to our private opening party, and we’ll name something on our menu after you!

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    A Private Soiree for 50! Perfect for businesses- or very popular people. Enjoy Maeva’s for three hours and enjoy unlimited non-alcoholic coffee based beverages and catering from a select menu, and live music. You’ll also receive an invite to our private party, and your name artfully placed in Maeva’s décor.

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Funding period

- (30 days)