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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)