Our Goal - The ideas behind Brooklyn Clean Bean are aligned to a simple concept: health and community. We want to provide our neighborhood with a safe and friendly meeting place where people can enjoy healthy meals and participate in productive and communal activities.
Our coffee house will offer affordable organic coffee and home-made food items that are non-GMO and free of chemicals, hormones and pesticides.
It will promote environmental sustainability by using biodegradable containers and emphasizing a relationship with local farmers, businesses and distributors. We will also offer our space during non-business hours to local artists, teachers, musicians and other educators so that they may not only practice and refine their skill set, but offer their talents and expertise to our local community in the form of classes for both children and adults.
In short, our mission is to provide affordable, wholesome food to the people who live and work in our area, while helping to foster the development of a strong, family-oriented community in our already vibrant and diverse neighborhood.
The Owners: My wife and I are first time business owners who are passionate about food and family.
We have three beautiful and energetic children who never stop asking why and are constantly exploring our neighborhood, which, I hope, will keep us young at heart even though the gray hairs have begun to creep in. We love living and working in this historic and eclectic community and are immensely dedicated to our vision, not only for ourselves and our children, but for our amazing neighbors & friends.
The Community & Space: Our space is located on a busy street within a historic community called Leffert's Gardens. The neighborhood boasts some great cultural attractions, like Prospect Park, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Botanic Gardens & the Prospect Park Zoo.
The space itself offers a corner storefront and a dynamic inside space, which is currently 750 square feet. The front space has large windows that offer great light and views into the cafe. It also sits on a wide sidewalk, which has potential to be used as extra seating during the summer months.
The Art and Education: Our concept is to provide space to artists, teachers, musicians and other professionals who wish to offer educational services for both young and old. The idea is that we will attract instructors of yoga, dance, theater, language, music, and art. The instructors will have the opportunity to practice their talents while providing low-cost instruction. By doing this we feel that we are bringing tremendous learning opportunities to our neighbors and providing local artists and educators the chance to do what they are passionate about.
Children’s Area: Our cafe will be a family friendly business and will boast a unique children’s space. The space will be easily accessible for children, yet separated by small wooden bookshelves to give the children a sense of liberation and autonomy. The space will include small tables & chairs, a soft matted area for smaller children to crawl & play, and a chalkboard for children who wish to express themselves with images and art. The area will have games, learning activities, books and art supplies, enabling & empowering children while giving parents a break.
Our Target Population - We are hoping to provide for everyone interested in health, community, and education in our diverse neighborhood. One of the main goals is to create a family friendly environment, so serving parents and their children is a major aim. But we also have many businesses, schools, churches, professionals & students who live & work in our community. We hope to appeal to their needs as well.
How - We have developed a business plan that includes the costs of renovations, equipment, inventory and licenses. Our plan includes multiple phases of development as we know we won't be able to implement our complete vision right away with our limited funds. We have applied for loans and have some savings that we have already invested in the business, but we are hoping that kickstarter.com gives us a boost.
The Work & Renovations: Renovations will include the installation of high-quality wood flooring & tile, the exposure of brick walls throughout, handicapped-access, new plumbing enabling us to have an espresso machine, and a new lighting system.
The interior design will be created with the idea of comfort and warmth. There will be art displayed from local artists on the walls, book shelves will offer themes from poetry and literature to health and nutrition, a children’s area will be offered with learning toys, coloring books and age appropriate games and activities. There will also be displays of our bread and other food products and access to the actual handling of certain raw ingredients like flours and coffee beans so that our guests can touch and smell them for themselves.
We are fully aware of the work involved as we have extensive experience working in restaurants. Still, the process can be very overwhelming and consuming, with obstacles and hurdles popping up everyday. But we are so dedicated to the project and to our community, that we just take it all in stride - it's been a great experience so far & the response from family & friends has been amazing.
The Funding - While we have begun the process of creating this amazing coffee shop, there are a tremendous amount of expenses. We have purchased much of the major items, including an espresso machine, coffee brewer, new wood and tile flooring, and a professional smoothie machine. We've also purchased items related to renovating the space, like chairs & tables, and also many tools related to the installation. We have also hired a plumber and electrician to do the necessary modifications and upgrades.
The funding we secure will go towards buying an electric convection oven, a small ventilation system and a refrigerated display unit so that we can provide homemade breads, cupcakes, cookies, sandwiches & soups. We want to provide real home-made goods, not just all-natural products from other small vendors. We also need to purchase items related to designing the space, like curtains, lighting fixtures and other furniture items. Lastly, we are trying to build up our inventory of supplies from vendors who provide all-natural and sustainable products, which includes our amazing coffee and the cups it will go in.
Take a look at our reward chart:
Risks and challenges
There are many risks and challenges associated with a project like this. We found this out early when we began to look into a space and the necessary permits & licenses. After going back & forth with considerations for the potential risks, we decided it was worth our time - you only live once & we don't want to regret not trying to do this!! Everyday offers up a new challenge. Whether it's finding out the true cost of a necessary permit, service, or equipment, it's going to happen. But we are solution-oriented & we try to address the issues as they come.
One big risk is obviously the financial investment. But we are all in & to be honest, loving every stressful minute of it. We have reality checks & tough days, but we wake up happy the next day to tackle the next challenge. We figure if things don't work out, we will have one amazing espresso machine on the kitchen counter!
The challenges are many; building the reputation of the business & developing the foot traffic & staying consistent are just a few. But we have plans to promote the business using both social media & hitting the pavement. We have no doubt that the coffee shop will take off and be successful, but will we be able to handle the success? We think so. Our community is 100% behind us and they have shown their excitement and dedication by volunteering and loaning tools for the project. We are ready to hire the necessary help & have many friends & family who are willing to jump in with us, which feels great.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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