Hey there! You might remember us from our Kickstarter last August when 247 incredible supporters rallied around us to help us create a catering company to employ Syrian women who were newcomers to Hamilton, Ontario. Read about what we've been up to in this SAVEUR piece and listen to our chefs on CBC's The Current.
Recent changes in US politics have made the American dream smaller. As a Canada-based business, we want to send the message that we don't need to exclude people from achieving the dream, we need to dream bigger! Our dream is to partner with even more newcomers, and vitalize the Hamilton area with delicious Syrian food, while supporting the wonderful people of Syria. In order to do this, we need a van. Will you join us in helping to make the dream bigger?
We are proud of the business we've been building. Since August, we have hired two additional newcomer women to serve as chefs on our team and we haven't yet had to go into any debt as a business. We've been scrappy and tried to keep our costs as low as possible so that our chefs can receive a fair hourly wage (plus gratuities!). Explore our website to see what we've been up to and read about our team!
Now, we really need a delivery vehicle! Up until this point, we've been using Brittani's car for all of our deliveries and grocery shopping, but we've reached our capacity! One small vehicle means we can only take one delivery order at a time, limiting the income potential for our chefs and our overall ability to grow as a business. We're asking you to partner with us to help buy this van. Our chefs are incredible at cooking food for large gatherings: with your help, we'll be able to deliver their masterpieces to the audiences they deserve, with our chefs earning more money with the increase in hours! In turn, we hope to be able to grow and hire even more newcomers in the long-term.
Our need for a company vehicle has grown increasingly apparent these last couple months, but we weren't sure just when we'd start the fundraiser. Then we were saddened to see the announcement of the new travel ban intended to be implemented in the USA on March 16.
We are so relieved that the ban has been temporarily restrained by a federal judge from Hawaii! But it remains incredibly important to take action, first and foremost by lobbying your representatives concerning the ban to show your support for refugees during this volatile time. Beyond overtly political actions, though, it’s important to respond by living out our ideals of inclusiveness in little ways, right where we are. We’re trying to do that by fostering positive, mutually giving interactions between new Canadians and old ones. If you, too, are looking for further ways to demonstrate your support for inclusion of refugee newcomers, one way would be to support these amazing newcomer neighbours to the North!
- We've been able to price out quality used cargo vehicles in the $19,000 range. The specific one we're looking at purchasing is $19,215.65.
- The remaining buffer money will help us purchase our branded items, pay our Kickstarter fees (5% of the total), credit card processing fees (3-5%), and leave a buffer in case the specific vehicle we are hoping for is no longer available.
We've got our eye on a used 2015 Ford Transit Connect Cargo van, but if you have leads on solid delivery vehicles in Ontario, please let us know!
What happens if we raise more?
That sure would be wonderful! We'll announce specifics if that happens, but we will need money to outfit our vehicle with our logo, build in shelving, and cover insurance costs. We'll be sure to post about our further plans if we reach our initial goal!
Please join us. Partner with us to increase opportunities for newcomers, not shrink them.
Risks and challenges
Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing funding platform. If we don't reach our goal, your credit card is not charged and we receive none of the funds!
We're proud of how we used our initial Kickstarter funding. With that money, we were able to purchase all of the kitchen supplies we needed to get this business off the ground. We paid for our business licensing and permits, initial marketing materials, and starting wages for our chefs. We were able to pay for our chefs to take their Food Handlers Test in Arabic. We purchased a food warming delivery bag that helps us keep food hot and delicious on deliveries.
With the money we've earned as a business since then, we've been able to keep the business afloat; purchase additional supplies, including a commercial meat grinder; and hire two more chefs, as well as an accountant to keep us on the right track! We've been able to pay to incorporate as a stand-alone business instead of a partnership. We feel we have been good stewards of our money thus far and will continue to be with these Kickstarter funds.
All projects have their risks! There could be delays with the shipments of our rewards -- the pens, tote bags, and aprons -- but if that happens we'll be sure to update you every step of the way. We do still have 13 of our original 247 rewards to fulfill from the initial Kickstarter, but we've made several attempts to contact those backers to coordinate, but haven't had luck yet. (If you're one of them, be sure to reach out to us!) We'll do our best to be transparent and open every step of the way!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)