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The Sweet Praxis is opening a bakery + café in Syracuse, serving organic baked goods, amazing coffee, & mouth-pleasing pastries!
266 backers pledged $34,867 to help bring this project to life.
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$34,867

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UPDATE: Now that we've MET our goal (Woohoo!) we wanted to tell you our AWESOME plan if we exceed funding...  

$2330 above our goal and one of our backers will be randomly selected to create a Custom Menu Item for us!  

BEYOND $5330 above our goal and we'll throw a private Pre-Opening Party for all of YOU!!  

Check out Update #6 for all the details :)

Hello there! We are Natalie + Jen of The Sweet Praxis!

We started this culinary adventure over five years ago and we are so incredibly grateful to all of you who have supported our humble bakery business thus far. We know we would not be where we are today without the love shown by our community, and we fully recognize that we will not be able to keep on growing without your continued involvement. So, first and foremost, THANK YOU!

After five successful years baking in our home kitchens, we are ready to open a STOREFRONT! We want the space to be a fun and sweet gathering place, a place where you can find the delicious baked goodies you have been craving, and a place you truly feel good supporting! 

The Story So Far...

We met while working together at an architecture firm and became fast friends as we discovered our shared passion for all things baked. As transplants from more urban areas (Jen from Phoenix, Arizona and Natalie from Minneapolis, Minnesota), we realized that we longed to find the types of baked goods in Syracuse that we daydreamed about from our explorations to other cities. We crave the classics like flaky croissants and crusty hand-formed breads, but we also dream about adventurous flavors and textures such as lavender infused french macarons with crisp shells that give way to soft cloud-like centers. Our mouths water at the thought of dark chocolaty brownies finished with a crack of sea salt or a fluffy marshmallow flavored with vanilla bean + bourbon. And who wouldn’t want vegan and gluten-free desserts that are so flavorful you’d swear they actually are dairy, egg, and gluten-full?

Our mission became clear: if we couldn’t find these sweet treats nearby, we’d have to create them ourselves! With our bakery dreams dreamt, we made the decision to throw some seeds into the entrepreneurship soil and started experimenting right away in a tiny home kitchen. We believed then (and still believe today) that Central New York deserves both classic and creative baked goods made from the best stuff – high quality ingredients procured from local farms and organically sourced whenever possible.

In 2011, we got our start on Saturdays at the Regional Farmers Market where you may have seen us selling french macarons and mini cupcakes from a table marked by a white and aqua blue sign featuring our proud new name: The Sweet Praxis. This location, along with various seasonal festivals, gave us the opportunity to meet all kinds of awesome people and begin to develop our catering expertise, in addition to creating lasting retail partnerships with nearby cafes + eateries. Since then, we’ve steadily grown our business and expanded our product line to offer other desserts and breakfast items including cakes, cookies, scones, brownies + bars, toffee, granola, marshmallows, and even dog treats!

Along the way, our greatest joy throughout this journey has always been connecting with our community face-to-face – meeting new friends, dreaming with our customers about fantastical ways to make seasonal ingredients shine, and hearing the passion in the voices of the other food producers of Central New York. So after five successful years living the nomadic life, baking in the tiniest of home kitchens and sporadically popping up at markets and festivals here and there, we are ready to put down roots and grow a proper home for our bakery!

So, why a storefront? And why downtown Syracuse?

Because you’ve spoken and we’ve listened! We are busier than ever and the demand shows no signs of slowing. While we’re busy receiving an ever increasing number of inquiries about catering for celebrations, lots of other people are asking where our store is located. To really meet demand, we need better accessibility to our customers, more space, and more hands on deck than a home kitchen can accommodate.

Having a permanent address for The Sweet Praxis means we’ll gain that daily face-to-face time with our community that is so near and dear to our hearts AND all of you will be able to find us easily and conveniently whenever your sweet tooth kicks in. Yay easily! Yay conveniently! The other big advantage of our own location is that we can make the menu bigger and better! As the name Praxis suggests, we love coming up with new baked creations, incorporating local flavors from the bounty of Central New York, and offering lots of options for folks with unique dietary preferences. There’s only so much room for all that stuff without a retail presence and commercial kitchen, but with more space and better tools, we can provide larger quantities and wider variety. We’re asking you to back our project to help us get there.

Grange Building - 203 East Water Street, Syracuse
Grange Building - 203 East Water Street, Syracuse

We found the perfect space, located in a historic building within the Hanover Square neighborhood of Downtown Syracuse. This is a busy area with a growing diverse population, lots of foot traffic, and happens to be lacking a full-line bakery. The Sweet Praxis aims to fill that void and offer the neighborhood a sophisticated and creative menu featuring seasonal, organic and local foods made by knowledgeable staff in a stylish and well-designed space. (There’s also plenty of public parking, people!)

What will The Sweet Praxis Bakery + Café be like?

In our bakery + cafe, we’ll be serving much more than just the macarons and mini cupcakes that have already helped us make a name for ourselves. Our upgraded menu will include products our customers already enjoy along with new items such as sweet + savory pastries, hearty loaves of bread, breakfast and lunch options, coffee + tea, and plenty of selections for vegan and gluten-free folks to boot! And since our new home will give us the kitchen space we so desperately need, we will have increased catering capabilities which means that whether you’re looking for something special to order for your next office meeting, or you want to wow your wedding guests with a fabulous dessert table, we’ve got you covered!

Utilizing design skills from our days in the architecture profession, we envision a space that is light, bright, playful, and inviting. We picture a hip + modern atmosphere, with food you can feel great about, and the kind of retail team who remembers just which sweet indulgence is your favorite and how you like your coffee. We imagine a space that will become a hub for our community—a place where memories are made, ideas are sparked, and friends + family connect over locally sourced, fresh, flavorful food. Come plug in your laptop and get some work done over a coffee and croissant, gather with good friends for a slice of pie or a cup of tea, grab breakfast to-go, enjoy a leisurely brunch on the weekend, or just pick up a warm baguette on your way home for dinner.

Why we need your help + what we plan to do with all that DOUGH…

At this point, we are on track to open a functioning retail location in the summer of 2016 and make this thing happen for REAL! We’ve secured the perfect space, a talented construction crew, and an initial bank loan to make it all happen. BUT! It’s probably no surprise that commercial kitchen equipment can be VERY expensive. We’re reaching out to the community through Kickstarter for help in funding our expansion because conventional financing only takes us so far. We need your support to ensure that this venture is totally successful.

The moolah raised will help to finish the transformation of our operation from a small-scale desserts shop into a full-fledged bakery with an expanded product line including bakery staples such as croissants, pastries, and breads. In order to offer our customers the full bakery experience so desperately craved in Downtown Syracuse, we’re still missing some key tools that will enable us to bake you the goods all the time. We’ve already purchased the basic equipment to make some pretty yummy desserts, but for the new expanded menu items we’ll need to buy a bunch more:

 Stretch Goals: Any capital raised beyond the cost of our kitchen equipment will only let us take our vision further. It’s summertime and we would love to have comfortable tables and chairs for outdoor seating, as well as exterior awnings and building signage to help announce our street presence to passers-by. That means that any contributions over 100% will go towards making this happen!

What you are supporting:

We see Kickstarter as more than a fundraiser; it represents a new level in our relationship with our community and we see it as an inclusive process. We love what we do and we aim to share our mission with those who love food just as much. Your investment lets us know that you support these values and want to see us thrive. It is this feeling of connection and support from our customers that gives us the drive to run this business. We’re hoping that we can collaborate with all of you to make this dream a reality, for all of us.

What's in it for YOU?

How about the addition of Syracuse’s newest and most beautiful bakery to your neighborhood where you can sample epicurean delights and see our smiley faces nearly every day of the week? But if that’s not enough, or you’re not in the Syracuse area, we’ve developed some pretty delectable incentives to say thanks for your help! Check them out in the sidebar to the right. We will post updates that explain some of our favorite rewards in more detail so check back often!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

A super-duper huge THANK YOU for taking the time to read this and for all of your support! We’ve come this far feeling the love from our community and we know we can take it to the next level with a little help from each of you—our supporters, friends, neighbors, and customers who’ve been with us all the way! Please consider backing our project. We’re ready to take our next step, and we hope you’ll come with us. Thank you for helping bring organic and locally-sourced bakery love to Central New York!

Please remember, if we do not make our goal in time, we receive no Kickstarter funding. Zero. Nada. Zilch. PLEASE, please, please share our campaign with anyone and everyone you know who would love to see another small business in Syracuse expand and grow -- we won’t be able to reach our goal without you so help us spread the word!

Special Thanks & Shout Outs:

Video by Daylight Blue Media

Original Art and Design Collaboration by Jason Evans Rethink Syracuse 

Awesome article in The Post Standard newspaper by Katrina Tulloch Syracuse.com

Risks and challenges

While construction can come with many challenges, we know our way in and around this process. Our permit has already been secured and construction is underway! The biggest challenge will be keeping things on schedule for a summer opening. With experience in the architecture and interior design industry, we’re confident we’ll be able to keep things moving as quickly as possible on our end. Regardless of the amount of time the bakery takes to be ready, we have total faith that once our storefront is open, we will be able to fully execute our commitment to our community and everyone who helped support it!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    COFFEE BREAK

    Stop by the bakery for a freshly brewed cup of coffee (our special roasted Sweet Praxis blend)

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    A HEARTFELT THANK YOU!

    We will send you a postcard 'Thank You' with a photo of our new space!

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    3 backers
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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    GOOD KARMA

    For the out-of-towners or those who just like to pay it forward... We will SURPRISE an in-shop customer with a FREE TREAT on a date of your choosing. They try to pay for their treat and we won't let them... we'll tell them, "No way, it's on (your name here)!" And just so you know we shared the love, we'll send you a postcard in the mail to let you know that you made someone's day!

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    15 backers
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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    GOOD MORNING, SUNSHINE

    Wake up right with a breakfast pastry of your choosing and a hot cup of coffee or tea, plus a limited edition postcard.

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    13 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    MAC PACK

    Your very own box of a dozen assorted macarons, flavors selected by you from our pastry case. No need to share. PLUS a limited edition postcard.
    **for bakery pick-up only (these little baked beauties don't hold up well in the mail)

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    Limited 45 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    PRAXIS PRINT

    Snag a limited edition 8"x12" print with original art by Rethink Syracuse + freshly baked pastry redeemable at the shop.
    **for the out-of-towners, there will be no pastry shipped to you (because no one likes a squished pastry, amiright?), BUT shipping for the print will be free of charge!

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    Limited 17 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    MAC OF THE MONTH CLUB

    Every month for one year, the recipient of this Macaron of the Month punch card can swing by the bakery to enjoy one macaron of his or her choosing. Just a flash of the macaron punch card and you're good to go!

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    Limited 14 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    THE OUT OF TOWNER TOTE

    You'll receive a tote bag + a limited edition postcard print of our storefront! If you'd like to add on the 'GOOD KARMA' reward, simply pledge $35 here instead and we'll also surprise a stranger with a free treat in your name!

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    Limited 7 backers
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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    NEW REWARD! T-SHIRT + TREAT

    Your choice of one of our exclusive t-shirt designs, by Rethink Syracuse (images coming soon). And when you stop by the bakery to pick it up, we'll throw in a treat from our pastry display. **For out of towners, shipping is included but no pastry, due to it likely getting squishy in transit.

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    Limited 5 backers
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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    TEA FOR TWO

    Take a moment with someone special to slow down and enjoy a plate of assorted pastries or desserts and two cups of tea in the bakery.

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    16 backers
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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    THE HAPPY CAMPER

    For the lover of the great outdoors! A s'mores kit including chocolate squares, homemade marshmallows and graham crackers, a hot cocoa kit, and a branded thermos. PLUS a limited edition postcard.

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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 10 backers
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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    SNACK TIME WITH FRIENDS

    An assortment of breakfast pastries or dessert items to feed up to 8 of your favorite people. Perfect for sharing with friends or co-workers needing a pick-me-up! To be redeemed at the bakery.

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    8 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    THE CHOCOLATE LOVER

    Chocoholics unite! A box of sea salted brownie bites (Natalie's craveworthy favorite), a bag of cocoa chia granola (chocolate IS the breakfast of champions) and a Mexican hot cocoa kit (to warm you up).
    **If you pick-up from the shop, in lieu of shipping costs we'll throw in a box of our seasonal cookies of the moment.

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    Limited 19 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    THE PEACEFUL WARRIOR

    This package is a yogi's delight! It includes a branded tote with either vegan energy cookies or vegan cocoa chia granola, and a branded thermos so you can stop in for tea on-the-go after class. PLUS a limited edition postcard. Pick up at the bakery.

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    Limited 1 backer
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    NEW REWARD! THE MAC DADDY

    Your choice of one of our exclusive t-shirts (images coming soon, designed by [re]think syracuse) + your very own box of a dozen assorted macarons to be selected by you from our pastry case, PLUS a limited edition postcard. **for in-bakery pick-up only (these little beauties don't hold up well in the mail). ***if you already purchased the MAC PACK and would like to upgrade to this new pledge level, simply update your pledge amount and we will make sure to send you a t-shirt when you come by the shop to pick up your mac box

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    Limited 9 backers
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  16. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    SPREADING THE LOVE

    Want to spread some good cheer to those in need? This reward is your chance to give back in a big way! We'll bake up a special batch of 4 dozen mini cupcakes for a recipient of your choosing. And after we've hand delivered the edible merriment, we'll send you a postcard in the mail to let you know that you made someone's day! Gluten-free or vegan requests can be accommodated.

    Don't know anyone in the area but still want to do a good deed? We would be happy to suggest a non-profit in the Syracuse area to present these sweet treats to and help make their day brighter!

    **Delivery Recipient must be within the Syracuse metro area.

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    3 backers
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  17. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    NEW REWARD! SMOCK GRATITUDE BOX

    This reward is a collaboration with our favorite Syracuse print shop, Smock. This beautiful Smock box is filled with Smock + Sweet Praxis goodies to show you how grateful we are for your support. Mailed directly to you, you'll find inside the patterned gift box some beautiful tools so you may pass along a bit of gratitude of your own if you choose: a box of Smock occasion cards, a Smock notebook, a bag of SP almond toffee, a bag of SP vanilla marshmallows, and a bag of SP brownies. **shipping is included

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    Limited 5 backers
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  18. Select this reward

    Pledge $95 or more About $95

    THE HOME BAKER

    A beautifully designed and bound set of five best selling Sweet Praxis recipes including lavender french macarons (gf), tart lemony bars, sea salted brownies, chocolate oat pecan cookies, and gf vegan vanilla bean cupcakes. PLUS, we'll throw in a surprise treat to help you get those creative baking juices flowing. (Don't worry! We can make the treat vegan or gluten-free upon request.)

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    Limited 6 backers
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  19. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    THE OUT OF TOWN CARE PACKAGE

    Perfect for those of you who want to show your support, but aren't as local as we'd love you to be:
    This package includes the cost of shipping and features a branded tote filled with homemade goodies: a pack of fluffy marshmallows, a bag of our chocolate chia granola, a box of seasonal cookies, a bag of our specially roasted coffee, a limited edition postcard, and t-shirt (stay tuned for updates on our exclusive t-shirt designs, by Rethink Syracuse).

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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 14 backers
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  20. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    #1 FAN

    Spend an hour at the bakery with The Sweet Praxis founders Natalie + Jen, picking our brains about anything you'd like. Yummy treats + coffee or tea is on us, and you'll bring home an awesome t-shirt and branded thermos so you can sport Sweet Praxis pride all around town! We'll also throw in a limited edition postcard!

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    Limited 0 backers
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  21. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    A TICKET TO OUR PRE-OPENING CELEBRATION

    For all you party people, this reward gets you an invite for one to a private pre-opening party catered by us in our brand new space. We're excited to rock out with good music, fun people, and an assortment of beverages + samples from our new menu. At the end of the fiesta, you'll go home with your choice of a branded tote or t-shirt. Be one of the first to experience the new Sweet Praxis storefront!

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    Limited 8 backers
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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    NEW REWARD!! SUPER MAC OF THE MONTH CLUB

    This reward works the same way as the regular MAC OF THE MONTH CLUB except instead of a single macaron at the beginning of each month, you'll be entitled to a box of SIX of your favorite macaron flavors from the pastry case. Booyah!

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    Limited 10 backers
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  23. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    THE LIFE OF THE PARTY

    You'll be everyone's favorite person with this catered assortment of breakfast pastries or dessert items to feed a group of 20-30 people. Perfect for your next celebration or office meeting! Includes delivery within the Syracuse area.

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    Limited 6 backers
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  24. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    BIRTHDAY PARTY ANIMAL

    A private cupcake decorating party at our bakery! We'll set up a whole spread including 60 mini cupcakes, a variety of frostings, sprinkles, other garnishes, boxes to take your goodies home, and plenty of napkins. We'll do the clean up! Ideal for up to 10 children (or children at heart). Date will be determined based on mutual availability.

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    Limited 1 backer
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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    NEW REWARD!!! OFFICIAL TASTE TESTER

    You'll be invited into our kitchen to attend one of our super fun seasonal product development meetings where you'll help us sample and weigh in on new products we have in the works! Plus, we'll load you up with some of our goodies to take home in one of our official branded tote bags. This is a special behind the scenes look into The Sweet Praxis!

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    Limited 1 backer
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  26. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    THE MACARON CONNOISSEUR IN TRAINING

    A PRIVATE BAKING CLASS for you and up to 5 of your besties where you'll learn the secrets behind making perfect french macarons. You'll get to take everything you bake home with you plus a t-shirt for each student! Date will be determined based on mutual availability.

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    Limited 1 backer
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    NEW REWARD!!! CUSTOM MENU CREATION

    A new custom pie, tart or cake created just for you based on your favorite flavors. You'll get to name it, and then it will be added to our menu + you'll get your namesake creation hand-delivered to your door by us. AND we'll put up a placard in the store explaining in your words why you think this new creation is so awesome!

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    Limited 0 backers
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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    PRE-OPENING VIP PARTY

    This reward includes two VIP tickets for you and a guest to attend an invite-only pre-opening event where you will get an exclusive behind the scenes tour of our space, sample our new menu, enjoy drinks, and take home a branded tote filled with Sweet Praxis treats, a limited edition 8"x12" art print, and two t-shirts.

    PLUS

    one "MAC OF THE MONTH CLUB" membership card

    PLUS

    one of our designed and bound recipe compilations described in 'THE HOME BAKER'.

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    Limited 2 backers
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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    GAME NIGHT PARTY WITH YOUR BUDDIES

    A private dessert sampling party in our shop for you and up to 20 friends - you'll have the place all to yourselves. We'll provide you with a menu of items to choose from, beverages to keep you hydrated, control of the music playlist, and a healthy supply of board games for a raucous good time! Date will be determined based on mutual availability.

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    Limited 1 backer
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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    PRAXIS ROYALTY

    A Praxis Patron at the highest level, you will receive a VIP card which entitles you to a tasty treat and beverage anytime you come into the bakery. No, seriously. ANYTIME.

    PLUS

    Two tickets to our pre-opening VIP party

    PLUS

    A branded tote bag which includes a pack of fluffy marshmallows, a bag of cocoa chia granola, a box of seasonal cookies, a bag of our specially roasted coffee, a dozen macarons, a limited edition 8"x12" art print, and a branded thermos and t-shirt

    PLUS

    Our eternal gratitude!

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    Reward no longer available 2 backers
    $

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Funding period

- (30 days)