milk+sugar: good coffee. good cooking. good cause.
milk+sugar, hmmmm? Tell me more... milk+sugar is designed to train and inspire youth entrepreneurs. We do so by actively involving local youth in the process of running a small business, providing them with skills for their futures, and assisting them with the development of their own ventures. Through this alternative educational experience, youth gain skills to be creative and successful in their future careers and throughout life. By gaining a diversity of skills -- from trade skills to marketing skills, interpersonal skills to financial skills -- youth involved with milk+sugar will be better prepared for their futures. In addition to the skills side of things, the youth receive stipends for their work with milk+sugar that they can apply to post-secondary educational pursuits. These skills and this experience will not only translate to future jobs of theirs and to their academic lives, but we also hope it will help them envision their own creative, entrepreneurial pursuits and ventures. milk+sugar strives to develop a pipeline of creative entrepreneurs and skilled individuals to contribute to the community.
...and you want a food truck? Why's that, exactly? A food truck is the vehicle for our vision…literally. It provides us with a space in which to do the coffee roasting and baked goods baking. Along with that, it allows us to teach the milk+sugar youth the craft and trade skills of roasting and baking, which we haven't been able to do yet due to space limitations. Additionally, it allows us to be mobile, easily moving the operation from one event to the next. (You should see the current junk show that ensues when trying to get all our equipment from our homes to the farmers' market.) Ultimately, though, by having a food truck, we then have the venue for the youth to take charge, be creative, and to have more ownership in decisions and direction, which is the real vision of this. They will be able to design innovative cookie recipes, artfully roast craft coffee, determine where and how best to showcase their creations, and develop a unique experience for milk+sugar’s customers.
What has milk+sugar done so far? Good question! Things have moved very quickly for us over the past 6 months, and it's our goal to keep it that way. Last fall, we started with a vision of fresh roasted coffee and tasty baked goods, with some youth involvement. As we spent more time developing our idea, the concept of mentoring and inspiring creativity in youth became front and center, and we have since prioritized this and designed the program around it.
At the end of 2012, we established a partnership with Big Sky Youth Empowerment, a prominent youth development program in Bozeman, and by January we started a pilot intern program with two young women. In the past few months, they have worked with us at farmers markets, applied creative energy to make some permanent fixtures for the organization, helped develop our social media campaign, strategized about marketing materials, and can be seen strutting their stuff with the little red wagon in the video above! Soon they will be sharing their experiences, helping us interview, and passing the torch to two new, bright, young interns for the summer program.
And what's next on the milk+sugar radar? The milk+sugar plans don't stop with this Kickstarter campaign. Oh no... Here's a high-level outline of what we have in store for the coming months:
- Beginning of June: We successfully raise the funds for our Kickstarter project. (Pretty please and thank you.)
- 3 months later: We will have purchased and outfitted the food truck with all the necessary items and design features, and will be showing up at local events with our amazing treats and craft coffee.
- 6 months later: We will have had a successful summer and fall at farmers' markets and events a plenty, will have had another round of milk+sugar youth interns running the show at said events, and will be expanding the reach of our youth development work by bringing on more youth to operate the milk+sugar food truck.
- 1 year later: The milk+sugar food truck will be known and loved by the Bozeman community. We will be discussing (with the youth, of course!) opportunities to expand and deepen our impact as an organization.
One final note... We are in the process of filing the paperwork for milk+sugar to be a tax-exempt non-profit organization. Exciting, eh? We sure think so!
THANK YOU for your support! We're excited beyond belief about this project, and are psyched that you're getting involved!
To learn more about who we are and how we got here, check out our bio + website links on the right.
Risks and challenges
As with any start-up venture, there are potential obstacles and challenges we face. We could face potential delays in finalizing a purchase deal on the actual food truck ... We will have to undergo a lengthy health department inspection, and will need to attend to whatever changes they request ... We will have to figure out how food trucks fare in deep snow in the winter in Montana ...
Whatever the challenge, though, we are ready to embrace it, problem solve as needed, and work towards accomplishing our goals for this organization.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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