About this project
Hi there! Thanks for visiting. So, who are we, anyway?
We're Emily Fiffer and Heather Sperling: co-owners/chefs at Botanica, vegetable lovers, friends, and longtime cooking and business collaborators.
After working as editors of food and lifestyle publications for a decade each, we moved to Los Angeles to launch Botanica, a restaurant and market opening in Silver Lake in spring 2017, and a digital cooking publication, Botanica Magazine, both devoted to vibrant, creative, healthful food.
Our plans for Botanica — community and cultural programming, innovative hiring, educational initiatives, fair labor practices, and more — are grand. And our hope is that the very community we’re going to nourish, in the restaurant and via BotanicaMag.com, will help us bring them to life.
Our culinary philosophy is simple: We cook food that makes you feel good. For us, that means vegetables are the star of the show. We use the best of California's produce to create colorful, exciting dishes that just happen to be healthful.
Botanica isn't vegetarian or vegan -- we'll serve sustainably raised and sourced meat and seafood, too. But our philosophy is about more than just food.
We're opening Botanica because we want to create a warm, friendly gathering space for the people of our neighborhood, Silver Lake, and beyond; because we want to feed people's minds and bodies; and because we want to build a business that's about creativity and community as much as it is about commerce.
The restaurant world is ripe for change, and we're eager to innovate on every level. Our aim is to build a business that nourishes community, conversation, respect, forward thinking and togetherness. Yes, Botanica is a restaurant. But we're setting out to make it more than that! Our ultimate goal is to make everyone (our employees, customers, readers) feel happy, healthy, excited and inspired -- and we have big plans for how to do so.
As two women in a male-dominated industry, and as outsiders entering a world we've been observing for years, we're keenly aware of the many opportunities to innovate.
We’re dedicated to building a friendly environment with happy staff. We’ll be creating over 20 new jobs. We’ll pay our staff fairly, provide healthcare coverage and maternity leave, and create endless opportunities to learn, engage and grow.
We also plan to partner with programs like Empower LA that provide culinary training to formerly incarcerated and homeless men and women. We’ll use our space for cultural and community programming, and our website, Botanica Mag, as a way to spread information and inspiration. We're working to build a business that's sustainable in every sense and that has a positive social impact (beyond just serving great food!).
Our 58 seat-restaurant will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We'll serve colorful, creative, feel-good food alongside natural wines, seasonal cocktails, craft beers and well-sourced coffee and tea. One quarter of the indoor space will be a market stocked with almost everything we use in the kitchen and serve in the restaurant (local produce, dips/spreads/sauces, wine and more!).
BotanicaMag.com is the digital manifestation of the restaurant: an ever-growing digital collection of recipes, techniques and stories (and, eventually, and an online shop selling Botanica treats). It's a way for us to connect with food lovers beyond the four walls of our restaurant in hopes of inspiring you to tie on an apron and gather people around your table, too.
We would be delighted, grateful and crazy happy if you'd support us. We stopped fundraising just short of our goal in hopes of getting the last bit from the very community we're going to nourish, get to know, and share ideas and inspiration with: you.
The Kickstarter community is known for supporting exciting, innovative projects -- and we aim to be just that. Help us in our quest to push the boundaries of what a restaurant can be and build something that can make life a little more delicious, no matter where you are.
*video by the totally awesome Alan Gastelum*
Risks and challenges
Our project is an ambitious one, to be sure; but we’re ambitious people! We believe in big plans, as long as they’re smart. To mitigate risks inherent in this industry, and to set us up for the best chance of success, we've assembled an advisory group of industry experts, secured a fantastic lease in an incredible location, spent months getting to know our neighbors, and surrounded ourselves with a team of people who know their sh*t.
The crew helping us bring Botanica to life is second-to-none: an exceptional and experienced architect (David Freeland); an interior design team who designed some of our favorite restaurants in Paris (Weekends); a logo magician (Filmograph); a branding maven (Jessica Comingore); a phenom local woodworker (Made For Each Other); a wall whisperer (Alexis Gourguechon), to name a few. They're going to help make Botanica a space you'll want to come back to again and again.
We’ve pinpointed people and organizations throughout LA (and beyond) who will help us innovate and extend our positive impact, too -- from job training organizations focused on training underprivileged and formerly incarcerated individuals to groups working to innovate restaurant work environments and our food systems. We want this business to be as sustainable as can be, inside and out, from the food we serve to the way we treat our staff to the role we see Botanica playing within the neighborhood and the city.
While the construction team gets this thing built, we’re busy locking down key people for our front- and back-of-house management (we’ve already hired an all-star GM), choosing the furniture and furnishings that are going to make Botanica breathtakingly beautiful, and recipe testing up a storm. In order to keep people coming back, our food has to taste good -- and it does. Every single day our goal will be to produce at the highest level, provide the friendliest service, and have a positive impact on our surrounding community (and beyond).
We wouldn't be doing this without building a strong foundation first, and that's exactly what we've done. Botanica is a team effort; we’d love you to be a part of it.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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