Take-Out Windows of Opportunity
What is Kitchener Oakland?
Kitchener is Oakland, California's little kitchen that could. As Oakland's first incubator kitchen, we opened in the Summer of 2012 as a place where start-up food business could cook legally for the public. But we're more than just a commercial kitchen, we're also a community and leaders in the artisan food movement in Oakland. We came on the scene and created quite a stir with our mission: we help burgeoning and talented food makers grow and thrive through a strong kitchen culture that's embracing, accepting, knowledgable, and brimming with insatiable entrepreneurial spirit. That's us, Kitchener Oakland.
The Take-Out Window Project
Imagine a take-out window, shared amongst small food entrepreneurs, that will serve breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and even late night snacks. Imagine a place where burgeoning foodmakers who can't afford their own brick-and-mortars can sell their creations to the public regularly and make a community impact. This is the Kitchener Take-Out Window Project (also known as The Kitchener Snack Bar)
Like a movie theater which offers unique movie experiences at different hours, the Kitchener Snack Bar will offer unique food experiences at all hours of the day and evening. It's a shared take-out window storefront that will rotate different artisan food makers throughout the day, a place where a community of start-up artisan food makers who can't afford their own storefronts can call their shared brick-and-mortar. The Kitchener Snack Bar will give the artisans the opportunity to list store hours on their website and Yelp pages so that customers can find them regularly. It'll also give them exposure they wouldn't have otherwise received by operating a brick-and-mortar with dramatically minimized financial risk. Let's say Huzzah to that!
We'll even offer regular pay-what-you-can meals so that people from all economic situations can have access to fresh and delicious food, no matter what their financial situation. At Kitchener, we believe that access to fresh food is a human right, and it's a right we'd like defend, encourage, and enable.
And when our take-out windows are open, you'll find us open on First Fridays - the monthly street party in Oakland where all of Oakland comes out to party and celebrate Oakland's vibe and culture! After all, we're just a stone's throw from the celebration's ground zero.
And for people who love parklets - beautiful outdoor eating areas that sit on former parking spaces - we're petitioning for a parklet so that eaters can enjoy the take-out window food right outside the kitchen. And when the parklet happens, we'll serve beer and wine on the parklet and Kitchener will become a fresh face in al fresco wining and dining.
Here's how the money will be used:
- Sign: $2000
- Exterior Paint: $350
- Awning: $1500
- Electrical: $1500
- Handwashing sink + plumbing: $5000
- Interior, windows, counter, equipment: $9000
- Permits: $3000
- Architect + Designer: $2500+
- TOTAL: $25,000
We have two windows side-by-side so you can experience a "double feature" take-out experience during the same visit. Here's what a typical day at the Kitchener Snack Bar might look like:
Help us make the Kitchener Snack Bar into a reality! We'd love to feed people all hours of the day and night, whenever a hunger hankering hits. Oakland food scene is on an upswing, and we'd love to contribute to the energy and momentum that's making our city a safer, happier, and (even) more delicious place.
Thank you for supporting the smallest of small foodmakers and for supporting the "Take-Out Windows of Opportunity." With your help, you'll be giving group of talented artisans who can't afford their own storefronts a chance to grow their businesses via a unique restaurant concept and feed a city of people - of all demographics - small-batch artisan food made with Oakland flavor and soul.
All our rewards will be provided by the Kitchener artisan food makers themselves, so whatever you can give you'll receive in repayment from our community of artisan food makers!
Kitchener Snack Bar - Here we come!
Risks and challenges
We realize there are potential risks to this project, so we've come up with several back up plans as we'd like to see this mission through to completion within the first half of 2014. We have the help of the City of Oakland, the Alameda County Health Department, a seasoned architect, and of our fervent supporters so we're very confident the Kitchener Snack Bar will come to fruition.
A few things to note:
- The architectural plans for the Kitchener Snack Bar Project (floor plan and elevations) have already been drawn up and are currently being reviewed by the health department. The green light looks imminent, and once that happens, the City of Oakland reviews then approves the plans for building. If the plans do not get approved, a revision of the plans should solve the issue.
- The artisans at Kitchener are onboard and are gung-ho about the project! We've also reached out to other food makers in Oakland who do not have a brick-and-mortars who we'd like to collaborate with as well so there are always delicious food options being offered at the Kitchener Snack Bar. In Oakland, the general sentiment between food makers is that we all want to see each other succeed, and to share resources is the least we can do to help each other survive.
- In the event that the project goes over budget, we'll make another grassroots push to raise money via crowdfunding and fundraisers to make the Kitchener Snack Bar happen.
The windows HAVE to happen for the good of the small food artisans in Oakland. And we can't wait to share them with you once they're built and open for business!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The Kitchener Snack Bar will be located at our current location at 372 24th Street in Oakland. We are converting what's currently a 200 square foot office and two office windows into two take-out windows which will become the Kitchener Snack Bar. The Snack Bar will operate alongside the commercial kitchen operations so when you order food at the take-out windows, you might catch a glimpse of the food artisans hard at work in the kitchen!
If I'm not a Kitchener artisan but I'm a food maker and I have a unique product I'd like to share with Oakland, can I vend at the Kitchener Snack Bar?
The short answer is possibly. We do have a full-roster of Kitchener artisans who will get top priority to use the Kitchener Snack Bar as their storefront daily, but we'll be setting aside times for non-Kitchener groups to come in and pop-up from the windows as well.
And if you are interested in vending from our windows as a non-Kitchener artisan, here are our parameters. A application form will be made available after our windows are built:
- We look for foodmakers that vibe with our Kitchener culture and spirit (we look for friendly, personable, community-minded food artisans that produce food with quality ingredients and care).
- We look for groups with products that do not compete directly with the products produced by Kitchener artisans.
- Any group that vends from the take-out windows would also need to have $1 million coverage in product liability insurance and we'd require that Kitchener Oakland be added on their policy as additionally insured. This should only happen after approval for vending at the windows.
- There's a highly reasonable per hour fee for vending from the windows that's on par with stand fees at farmer's markets.
- Each food artisan will be responsible for taking their own payments (i.e. cash, credit card). And because we live within a bigger system where our productivity and earning capacity can help others and keep our municipalities running, we ask that the food makers not evade taxes from earnings made from the windows :)
Support this project
- (30 days)