Goal: purchase equipment to process, package, & deliver soul food meals to local community members using urban farm products Read more
This project's funding goal was not reached on December 28, 2011.
About this project
This project aims to allow Southern-style BBQ and soul food chef Derrick Williams to purchase the commercial equipment needed to process, package, and deliver homemade soul food meals using food products of local Twin Cities urban farms. Members of the community receive the meals as well as the education to discover their own interest in the grow-your-own movement. Chef Williams has been working with local food cooperatives to ensure the supply of urban farm products, as well as with commercial kitchens set on revitalizing Minneapolis neighborhoods.
This project was mentioned in an article about Kickstarter in City Pages (Mpls, MN). From the article:
KICKSTARTER CAN also be a lifeline for people outside the usual funding loop. Derrick Williams has been cooking soul food ever since he was a child in Arkansas. But since his restaurant, Derrick's Southern Style at 38th and Chicago in Minneapolis, closed last year, he's been a cook without a kitchen. He cooks for friends and sets up an occasional backyard barbecue, but mostly he says he is always thinking, "How can I get back to cooking every day?"
A friend convinced him to try Kickstarter as a way to raise $5,000 to get a meal-delivery service called Soul Food 2 Go up and running. Williams says he was skeptical—"It felt like begging"—but, without a lot of savings, he doesn't have access to many other funding streams. If the project funds, he plans to use produce from a cooperative of small local farmers to cook Southern classics and his own specialties, like smoked meatloaf. He wants to offer healthy options to a customer base prone to food-related diseases and expand options for people in the Twin Cities who love Southern cooking. "You just can't get certain things in the stores here," he says.
Mr. Williams is a licensed caterer and food service handler based in the Minneapolis metro area. He is former co-owner and manager of Derrick's Southern Style BBQ & Soul Food, former assistant chef of the MN Vikings, and caterer of several large scale events. Derrick is a single parent of two children and has authored a cookbook of southern-style recipes. The book, "Putting on God's Apron," is the story of the obstacles he has faced while growing up in Arkansas, including dealing with his mother's death and the lessons she taught him. Derrick believes that his cooking is a form of ministry and he relishes the opportunity to explain and demonstrate his definition of "Soul Food."
The immediate need is the purchase of commercial packaging and processing equipment, as well as the continued lease of a commercial kitchen to prepare the meals. This project is a phase of the larger goal of bring urban farm products to certain areas of the community where fresh and local produce is lacking, while inspiring and educating community members to take an interest in learning how to grow their own gardens and participate in neighborhood revitalization. By partnering with both urban farmers and local food cooperatives, Mr. Williams plays a vital role in connecting healthy, local food options with residents living in the Minneapolis metro area.
Specifically, the equipment funding goal is for one-time sealing and packaging machines, ongoing supply needs, and the continuous leasing of a commercial kitchen. The kitchen is located within the neighborhood being served.
It seems like common sense: provide good, healthy food and demonstrate the growing and cooking techniques needed to feed hungry families. In order to make that goal, especially in a safe and efficient way, equipment and kitchens need commercial equipment and licenses to operate. This project meets that goal by providing the one-time and ongoing funding needs to launch.
- (45 days)