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A thriving social hub where food and laughter is shared, sparks of inspiration fly over cups of coffee and we spread a little joy!
150 backers pledged NZ$ 20,676 to help bring this project to life.

About

Open Table: Building a Community Cafe in Ellerslie project video thumbnail
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NZ$ 20,676

150

TO SUPPORT OUR PROJECT JUST HIT THE GREEN 'BACK THIS PROJECT' BUTTON TO THE RIGHT! THEN ENTER THE AMOUNT YOU WANT TO CONTRIBUTE, CHOOSE YOUR REWARD, AND FOLLOW THE STEPS FROM THERE!

Open Table is a place to share food, coffee and conversation that the Michaels Ave community can call their own.

Our vision

We are building more than just a cafe -  Open Table is a community. Food (and coffee!) brings people together, creates positive social connection, provides opportunities for pleasure, laughter, enjoyment. Open Table is a place for the locals to connect, get to know one another better, as a place for ideas and inspiration to be born, a place where social good is created and of course a place to eat!

In addition to a fresh, exciting menu that uses free-range, organic ingredients wherever possible, at Open Table you will have the option to choose an 'Open Table' for a set price - we will simply surprise the table with a selection of seasonal delights to share (taking any special dietary requirements into consideration of course!). For us, this communal style of eating reminds us of feasts with family and friends and allows us to really relax, have fun and enjoy the conversation!

Our coffee brand is Kokako. We chose them because their coffee is awesome, their coffee is organic and fair trade certified, they share our values, and they are really cool guys!

Kokako HQ
Kokako HQ

We are also really excited to offer a couple of different brewing methods such as cold brew and chemex. These methods allow coffee nerds (and anyone, really!) to experience something a bit different and to get the best out of single origin coffees.

Kokako coffee
Kokako coffee

Check out kokako.co.nz for more info.

  

We are also excited to use the beautiful organic bread from Bread and Butter Bakery! I'm sure locals will remember owner Isabel's wonderful treats from her previous business Paris Berlin, which used to be located next door to Open Table on Michaels Ave.

http://www.breadandbutterbakery.co.nz/

Project background

My dream of opening a cafe in Michaels Ave began 18 months ago. I knew I wanted to run my own business one day and with my industry experience and my Masters in Entrepreneurship nearly complete, a cafe seemed like a great place to start.

I hunted all over Auckland for a suitable site and it seemed like fate when I found a place in the heart of the community that I grew up in while attending Michael Park School. 

Hannah's first day of school
Hannah's first day of school

Isabel Patsch, owner of the popular bakery next door, Paris Berlin, was leaving Michaels Ave to start a wholesale operation and I saw an opportunity to grow and expand the community that she had created in the local block as it was evident she would be sorely missed! We also thought having Isabel's products in the cafe would be a great way for her existing Ellerslie customers to have access to the delicious baked goods from her new venture, Bread and Butter Bakery. 

Bread and Butter Bakery
Bread and Butter Bakery

 It wasn't going to be that simple however - there were already plans to open a liquor store at the site. We did our best to secure the lease but it seemed like our dream cafe wasn't to be. In the end I let it go with a promise that I would do everything I could and prepare myself for the next opportunity by taking a challenging position running a struggling cafe with heaps of potential in East Auckland.

A few months later, the unexpected happened. The people of Michaels Ave decided they really didn't need another liquor store in their community and lucky for them, the council didn't think they did either. After a long battle, the community won, and the Open Table vision was born again. Negotiations commenced. In the end, we were absolutely thrilled to secure the lease and to have the opportunity to finally bring our dream to Michaels Ave!

What we have done so far

We are well into the project now but it still seems like there are a million things to do! Resource consent has been granted, the floor plans are complete and the building consent has been lodged.

Proposed floor plan
Proposed floor plan

Since I left my job running a great cafe in East Auckland, we have been busy with demolition. Family and friends have pitched in to help and we have all got our hands dirty! 

Demolition in progess
Demolition in progess

The best part of the project so far has been getting to know the locals! We love meeting you all and it's wonderful to have the community behind us. And after all that, we now have a beautiful space in which to create Open Table!

Chatting to a local; our space ready to build in.
Chatting to a local; our space ready to build in.

Next steps

We are currently refining our menu, building our brand, sorting suppliers and working on the interior design - not to mention running this Kickstarter campaign! We hope to start construction by the end of the month once building consent comes through and then we will be doing things like hiring staff and finishing off the many small details that will make Open Table awesome. 

How the money will be spent

Your contributions will help us:

  • Purchase equipment needed to operate the cafe.
  • Completely fit out the space including building a bathroom and kitchen
  • Create a beautiful, relaxed, inviting place for the community to call their own!

Why should you support this project?

  • You want to help make a dream come true!
  • You want to create an amazing community cafe on Michaels Ave!
  • You are desperate for coffee in the local area (where is it?!?)!
  • You love top quality food!
  • You know you are going to try out Open Table anyway and you want a great deal! 

If any of the above sounds like you, support us by choosing one of the rewards to right! If there is a different reward you would like or if you want to combine rewards, let me know and I will see what I can do!

The total cost of this project is a lot more than the $20,000 funding goal but we wanted to give you- the community- the chance to be part of creating something that will ultimately be yours!

How you can support us

  • Back us! Just choose one of the great rewards on your right and join the Open Table community.
  • Spread the word - share this page with people you know will love it too via email, Facebook, Twitter or your blog. 
  • Tell your friends - even if you can't support us financially, let people know a great cafe is coming to Michaels Ave! 
  • If there is any other way you want to help out, get in touch! I would love to hear from you. 

Risks and challenges

Opening a cafe is generally considered a risky business as there are so many factors that contribute to whether or not it will be successful. While some of these are beyond our control, we have done our research and tried to increase our chances of succeeding where we can by addressing as many risk factors as possible. These include:

Location - it took us a while to find a great site but when we did we were determined to get it! We chose Michaels Ave because it's a great community, there is no cafe nearby and it's a lovely sunny spot with plenty of parking.

Experience - As mentioned in her bio, Hannah has worked in cafes for a long time and knows the ins and outs of the industry. Her Masters in Entrepreneurship expanded her business knowledge and she has spent the last year putting this into practice managing a small cafe/deli in Auckland's Eastern suburbs. While there, she built a great team, worked with the chef to develop a great menu, improved presentation standards and ultimately increased sales. Although this is the cafe she has opened herself, her experience and studies mean that she is well prepared to succeed.

Research - Hannah's final project for her Masters in Entrepreneurship was to complete a business incubation report based on this very project! The report included market research, a feasibility study and a business plan and was completed mid-2013.

Quality - We love food and coffee and we believe it is ultimately our love and commitment to consistently maintaining our high standards that will make Open Table a success!

In terms of getting the cafe open, we have overcome several challenges already! Getting the lease signed was complicated with so many parties involved, then we needed to get resource consent, draw up plans and apply for building consent. Figuring out how to get the best out of the space and keeping costs under control while trying to get the doors open as soon as possible are all things that we are constantly juggling!

We know that overcoming these challenges is all part of the fun though. We have a great support team who offer us expert advice and we are determined to get there in the end!

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 10 or more About $7

    Your name will be printed on the back of our menus with our heartfelt thanks! Plus receive an espresso coffee (as in made on our espresso machine - you can have your flat white!) on us when you stop by.

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    7 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 25 or more About $17

    The best deal around! Receive 10 espresso coffees (that's just $2.50 each!) and your name printed on the back of our menus with our heartfelt thanks! Also makes a great gift.

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    Ships to Only New Zealand
    43 backers
    NZ$
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 25 or more About $17

    Coffee and light lunch for two from our cabinet selection of fresh salads and sandwiches. Includes a sweet treat and your name on the back of our menus!

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    25 backers
    NZ$
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 50 or more About $34

    Our OPEN TABLE menu for two (a surprise selection of seasonal sharing plates) plus five espresso coffees (you don't have to have them all at once!) and your name on the back of our menus.

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    38 backers
    NZ$
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 100 or more About $69

    COMMUNITY CO-FOUNDER - Espresso coffees and delicious treats for your staff or coffee group (up to 10 people) at Open Table plus your business/group name printed on the back of the menu. Alternatively, we can deliver coffee and treats to your office in the surrounding suburbs.

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    4 backers
    NZ$
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 150 or more About $103

    Our OPEN TABLE menu for four - Lunch for four (a surprise selection of seasonal sharing plates); five espresso coffees; a beautiful, limited edition, wooden serving board to take home; and your name on the back of the menus.

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    17 backers
    NZ$
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 500 or more About $343

    A PLACE AT THE TABLE - Your name inscribed on a chair at Open Table; a limited edition coffee cup with free coffee one day a month on our monthly supporters days; lunch for 4 from our special tasting menu; a limited edition wooden serving board engraved with a personal message; 10 espresso coffees; a beautiful cake baked by Hannah on your next birthday; and of course your name on the back on the menu too.

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    Limited 3 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 500 or more About $343

    FAMILY FEAST - Exclusive use of the cafe for an evening to enjoy a special seasonal shared feast at our communal table. You and up to 9 guests will be personally hosted by Hannah and of course, your name will be printed on our menus too!

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    Limited 6 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 1,000 or more About $686

    OPEN TABLE COFFEE FIENDS Unlimited espresso coffee at Open Table for one whole year plus a ticket to a special coffee appreciation event in conjunction with Kokako showcasing alternative coffee brewing methods, single origin coffees and more! You also get your very own, limited edition coffee cup and a 250g bag of Kokako Coffee delivered to your door every month for a year and, of course, your name on the back our menus.

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    Limited 0 backers
    NZ$
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 1,500 or more About $1,029

    LITTLE OPEN TABLE- Your name inscribed on a small table at Open Table; the 'Family Feast' for up to 10 people; a limited edition coffee cup with free coffee one day a month on our monthly 'member's days'; lunch for four from our special seasonal tasting menu every season for a year; a limited edition wooden serving board engraved with a personal message; 10 espresso coffees each for you and 3 friends; a cake baked by Hannah on your next birthday; and your name printed on our menus.

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    Limited 4 backers
    NZ$
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 5,000 or more About $3,430

    THE ONE AND ONLY OPEN TABLE - Your name inscribed on our big community table; a catered private event for up to 30 people; a limited edition coffee cup; unlimited espresso coffee for one year; lunch for four from our Open Table menu every season for a year; a limited edition wooden serving board engraved with a personal message; 10 espresso coffees for each of three friends; a delicious cake baked by Hannah on your next birthday and your name and a special mention printed on the back on our menu!

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Funding period

- (29 days)