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$8,276 pledged of $32,000 goal
backers
By Erin Miller, executive chef
$8,276 pledged of $32,000 goal
backers

About

Urban Hearth, LLC, a boutique culinary event company serving the Boston metro area is poised to expand. 

The 2014-15 fiscal year was the most successful year since the company was established by Chef Erin Miller in 2003. This significant increase in new and returning business means that we have exceeded the capacity of our current facilities and are actually turning away work! Increasing kitchen space, staff and client outreach efforts are the natural next steps in the evolution of Urban Hearth. We are now looking forward to capitalizing on this recent growth by expanding our market share, reaching more diners, and sharing our culinary craft and artistry in new and unique ways. 

Our most critical need, and the goal of this campaign, is to establish a permanent kitchen and event space. 

The money raised through Kickstarter will fund the construction, design and permitting, and commercial grade appliances we'll need. 

The goal of our space is two-fold. First, the commercial kitchen will afford Urban Hearth the physical space and storage to absorb existing demand and continue to grow in the market. The kitchen will be home base for our catering operation and cooking classes. Second, will be our events area where diners can attend ticketed supper club events or host a private party. 

Our higher aim is to build a studio space that transcends the division between kitchen and dining room, chef and patron. This uniquely fluid environment will allow guests into the kitchen to participate and collaborate in their meal. Simultaneously, chefs gain insight and inspiration from meaningful exchanges with guests in a relaxed convivial atmosphere. 

Representing an evolution in the fine dining industry, the Urban Hearth studio will be a destination, where diners and chefs come together to celebrate the art, science and craft of food.

Urban Hearth brings customized, restaurant-quality dining experiences to your home and business.

Whether for an intimate gathering of friends and family or a signature fundraising gala, Urban Hearth provides personalized menu design, food service and event support. Our services include:

  • full-service dinner parties
  • cocktail and reception events
  • hot catered meals, dropped off for meetings and symposia
  • small to mid-sized weddings, gala and signature events
  • team building and learning parties
  • recipe/product development and testing
  • incubator space for emerging food businesses

Each event menu is an original creation, custom-designed to your specifications and aesthetic vision. Our inventive, wholesome and artistic cuisine features seasonal ingredients from the best farms and food artisans in our region. 

Our staff includes professionally trained chefs with restaurant, catering, private chef and food/wine retail experience. Each chef brings a wide breadth of culinary influence to your table. Flavors of the Mediterranean, Middle East, South and Southeast Asia are intertwined with New American technique and gastronomy to create unique and memorable dining experiences. 

Recent clients include:

  • extensive list of private clients
  • Harvard English Department
  • Harvard Mahindra Humanities Center
  • Harvard Department of Landscape Architecture
  • Tufts University History Department
  • Cambridge Friends School
  • MGM Resorts
  • Hammond Real Estate
  • World Connect

Risks and challenges

Our greatest ongoing challenge is navigating the highly competitive commercial real estate market in this area. After extensive negotiations on a promising local property dissolved this fall, we continue to look for a suitable site; currently we are focusing our search on the up-and-coming are at the junction of the Cambridge, Watertown and Belmont borders. Once a site is selected, we'll be poised to renovate quickly and get to work.

The beauty of this campaign is that the contributions are essentially prepayments for future work. Like a CSA share, the money that we collect now to build out the kitchen will yield customized culinary events for contributors in the coming year.

While the cost to build the new kitchen is significant, Urban Hearth is otherwise a fiscally sound company with several institutional clients that guarantee a reliable influx of work. Once the initial outlay of capital is complete, our existing client base will be sufficient to sustain the monthly overhead, with a significant margin left to invest in expanding the reach and offerings of Urban Hearth in the coming years.

Our plan is to start small, invest a lot of sweat equity, and not build beyond our means. The first step will be to secure the space, required permits and architectural designs. From there, the buildout will be done in phases with the commercial kitchen coming first, so that we can stop turning away prospective clients and increase our offerings. Once we're sure that the kitchen is in good working order and all of our current services are online, we'll roll out the dining space, chef's table events and other new offerings.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Our sincere gratitude and a collection of spice mixes inspired by four distinctive food cultures, with complimentary recipes.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Our sincere gratitude for your support and a signature slate cheese board.

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    6 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    An eclectic selection of pickles, chutneys and confiture, handcrafted in the new Urban Hearth kitchen. Each reward will include 3 half pint jars. Ingredients will be sourced from local farms.

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    10 backers
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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Join us for a group cooking lesson. Prescheduled class topics will include pasta making, tapas, foraged ingredients, cooking fish and shellfish, and other fun-filled learning experiences.

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    5 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    A seat at one of our chef's table events in the new space. You will be treated to a seasonally inspired meal, featuring the best produce and products our region has to offer. Enjoy a drink, savory treats and good company as we prepare the evening's meal in the open kitchen. (Space is limited, reservation required. May be combined with multiple pledges for additional seats).

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    18 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    A chair with your name on it! The new Urban Hearth dining space will feature seating with a view into the kitchen. For $200 we'll put a brass plaque with your name on one of these prime seats.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $600 or more About $600

    Private custom dinner for up to 4 people in your home or at the Urban Hearth studio. The three course menu and event logistics to be negotiated at time of booking. Limited to Boston metro area.

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    1 backer
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Private custom dinner for up to 8 in your home or at the Urban Hearth studio. The three course menu and event logistics to be negotiated at time of booking. Limited to Boston metro area.

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    1 backer
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  9. Select this reward

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

    Private custom tasting menu for up to 12 people in your home or at the Urban Hearth studio. The six course menu and event logistics to be negotiated at time of booking. Limited to Boston metro area.

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    0 backers
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  10. Select this reward

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

    Cocktail party for up to 25 people in your home. The custom menu will feature a seasonally inspired selection of stationary and passed hors d'oeuvres. (Beverages not provided). Menu and event logistics to be negotiated at time of booking. Limited to Boston metro area.

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    0 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    A larger custom event of your choosing. Celebrate an anniversary, birthday, or holiday in style. Pledges of $2000 or more receive a full service event, custom designed to suit your vision. The size and scope of the event will be based on the size of contribution. Some restrictions apply. Limited to Boston metro area.

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Funding period

- (30 days)