Random Encounter is a pop culture cafe coming to the heart of York.
What is a pop culture fan?
Well it’s pretty much everyone - Be it a love of movies, television, video games, board games, books or comics, the vast majority of people these days are pop culture fans, but they just don’t know it yet.
What was once known as niche, geeky and strange is now embraced and loved by millions, and the random encounter is for those people.
What is a pop culture cafe?
Here, you can settle old scores on Mario Kart, introduce a friend to a board game you've always wanted them to try, or kick back with a few friends and a movie. All while being served with our unique selection of geek-friendly snacks, food and drinks.
It’s also the perfect place to try new hobbies and make new friends. Getting into a new card game is ten times easier with some helpful advice and a plate of Tetris-shaped cookies.
About Random Encounter
A unique social experience
Random Encounter isn’t just a board game café.
We’re looking to be premier pop-culture hub in York, and to do that, we’ll be running our own unique events:
• Theme Nights
• Film & Comic Book Clubs
• Screenings & Marathons
• Pop-Culture Quizzes
• Live Streams
• Beginner Workshops
• Midnight Launches
• Charity Events
• Viewing Parties like during Oscar night!
...and that’s just the tip of the Triforce!
We want to be the convention that never ends – with events, stocking merchandise from your favourite local and international artists, as well as our favourite games and comics.
Not only that, Random Encounter hopes to be York's premier eSports viewing bar - eSports are bursting their way into the mainstream and we want to be the first to bring it to the people of York! We also hope to screen the biggest and best pop culture events LIVE such as E3 and the Oscars!
But most importantly, it’s a place for those who want to share and enjoy their pop culture hobbies in a judgement free safe space. Even if you are not as fanatical as some, Random Encounter is a place anyone who’s game!Food of Champions
Don’t think we’ve forgotten what makes us a café though: great food and drink!
Here’s a selection of the kinds of power ups we’ll be stocking:
• Imported Cup Noodles
• Next-level Nachos
• Hot Dogs & Veggie Dogs
• Sandwiches & Snacks
• Home-made Pop Culture Cakes and Biscuits
• Ice Cream & Milkshakes
• Damn fine bean to cup Coffee
• Local and Exotic Teas
Coming to the heart of York!Random Encounter will be opening its doors in the historic city of York – a utopia for small, quirky start-ups like us. Home to countless pop-culture fans, it has a great con scene – with its last annual comic-con bringing in over 2,000 attendees!
Having looked at a number of potential sites, we’ve picked our favourite at Spark:York - an exciting new cutting-edge shipping container park, bursting with like-minded entrepreneurs. With ready-fitted units, and Wi-Fi, power and other services all included, it means that Random Encounter can be open for business by mid-summer.
Opening times will be 11-9 Sunday to Thursday and 10-11 Friday and Saturday, though these could expand depending on how busy we are.
Nearly two years in the making - with help from the Princes Trust!
We've been working hard to bring you Random Encounter with help from the Prince's Trust: A charity dedicated to mentoring young entrepreneurs. Thanks to our two experienced advisors, we have a fully costed business plan in accordance with the Trust's high standards. With our premises secured, the Trust will also provide us with start-up funds – meaning we have over 30% of our funding ready and waiting to go.
Join the Club
If you’re a regular customer, we want to treat you right – That’s why we’re also going to be offering a completely optional annual membership for those wanting to upgrade their Random Encounter experience!
Members will receive –
- Free entry to all our events
- Priority booking
- Members-only events
- 10% off food and drink
- Point reward system
- Birthday Gift
- Exclusive Members Discord Chat
Most rewards for £40 or more will include an exclusive lifetime membership – Something we’ll only be offering during this Kickstarter!
By pop culture fans for pop culture fans!Random Encounter comes from our lifelong vision: Create the ultimate space to do the things we love with like-minded people! Here’s a bit about the doers behind the dream.
Wes has been a pop culture fanatic since he can remember.
Random Encounter is his brain child and dream, a place where like-minded people can come and revel in their dedicated pop culture pursuits!
Ellen is a gifted illustrator and ruthless board game enthusiast, with a penchant for cafes, cakes and all things cute. Her baking is the stuff of legend (as you’ll find out), and her artist’s eye will guarantee new and exciting merch every time you visit.
Both are natural hosts, endlessly teased by their families for throwing too many of their own pop-culture parties. Now, with Random Encounter, they want to bring the fun to the people of York!
We need YOU
Random Encounter is an exciting project and we want to be able to bring it to York in the best possible way – but we can only do it with your help. With backing from the Prince’s Trust we are already over 30% funded - but with your support, we can deliver the biggest and best Random Encounter possible.
Where your money is going
We want to be as open as possible with our backers, so this is a full breakdown of where your funds will be used. The fact that our pie-chart is a near-perfect Pac Man is a happy coincidence.
We have 20 awesome rewards for you brilliant backers, check them out in our reward section.
Below you can see samples of some of the physical rewards we have on offer!
Help us Pause Reality and receive awesome stuff - win win!
If we're lucky enough to hit our target we would like to keep the Katamari rolling and make Random Encounter bigger and better with stretch goals!
Spread The Word and Follow us!
Thanks for reading, and we look forward to seeing you at Random Encounter!
Risks and challenges
We always knew that bringing Random Encounter to life wasn’t going to be easy.
The main obstacle we’ve faced so far has been securing premises in York. It’s a hugely popular town with small cafés and shops, which makes it a perfect place for us to set up. The existing support and customer base are phenomenal, but vacant shops and stalls disappear almost as soon as they become available.
Luckily enough, after surveying a number of areas, our favourite happens to be one that’s still being built. We should be amongst the first wave of businesses to set up at Spark:York, a new shipping container retail park in the heart of York.
This has its benefits, not only that the location is perfect, but also saves us time waiting for leases to expire as we’d need to anywhere else in the city. The one possible risk is that although incredibly unlikely, the construction work could be delayed.
Our plan B, should that happen, will be to obtain premises on Gillygate instead. It’s our second choice, mostly for its buzzing scene of small shops and restaurants (and of course, the foot traffic and customers those attract), and we’re sure we could be just as successful there. If this is the case, Random Encounter will still happen, but it will add a few months to our intended opening date in a worst-case scenario.
The only other real risk we can see is that our team has never run a café before. We completely believe though, that our past experiences mean we’re up to the job.
Wes comes from a management role in Cinema, where he spent his time around thousands of hungry pop-culture fans, keeping the hospitality wheels turning, running events for fans, and arranging promotions for new films. He also has his own personal alcohol license, and knows how to use it from years of catering and bar management.
Ellen is a freelance illustrator, who has spent the last several years creating her own highly successful business. This has involved not just thousands of hours of hard work, but a knack for finances, business law and self-promotion, as well as dealing with suppliers, agents, and satisfied customers on a daily basis.
With our combined skillsets, in addition to our burning passion and drive, and we are confident we can deliver Random Encounter to the people of York!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)