About this project
Thanks for visiting my Kickstarter page. In the past few years, it occurred to me that the Twin Cities doesn't have a gathering space for the incredibly large community of people who are different. What do I mean by "different", exactly? I mean anyone out there who marches to the beat of a different drum. I mean anyone who doesn't fit the "cool" stereotype. I mean the community of so-called "alternative lifestyles". I mean the geeks, the nerds, the gays, and everyone else I may have missed.
I decided to do something about it and begin work to open up such a space. "....& Latte" is just that. It's a safe, welcoming Coffee Shop and gathering space for everyone ....and Latte!
So why are you telling me?
So I have secured the location at 2717 Hennepin Ave S. It's the perfect location for a coffee shop, with tons of character! I have secured some funding and have put in some of my own money as well. This has allowed us to sign a lease, purchase some of the equipment and get started on the project. But there are many, many more things to do...and I need your help to make sure they happen.
What are you planning on serving, exactly?
& Latte will be featuring amazing pastries and coffee for community members to snack upon and enjoy. Everything from the Angry Fox hot chocolate (made with ancient Aztec spice recipes) to delectable natural honey based lattes that provide all the comforts of a morning treat with the caffeine to keep our community going throughout the day. The local nature of the community center begins in both the drink menu and food selections. No one in Minneapolis/St. Paul does coffee better than our amazing local roasteries. We are partnering with a long serving local coffee roster to make a unique Leather & Latte coffee/espresso blend. This traditional dark roasted blend will offer all the flavorful notes our community members have come to enjoy from the diverse Minneapolis coffee scene, while sliding a little bit toward that dark, rich and full side of coffee. That rich full side of our coffees is a nod to the nature and tradition of our leather community. Our drinks will be made to hold up over time... they will not become acidic as they cool and they will taste great to the last drop.
Makes sense, so what will my donation be used for?
Pretty much everything. There is still some equipment to be purchased. City permits and regulations have to be complied with (I'm sure many of you can relate to that). Any of you who have seen the inside of this space (if you haven't, see the video) know that it needs a fresh coat of, well everything. Fortunately, we can roll up our sleeves and do the painting and the floors. And it'll need to be furnished and decorated. We don't want this place to end up looking like that drab, gloomy old coffee shop that people despise - we want & Latte to be something truly unique!
So do I get anything for my money?
Yes! While Kickstarter is a great tool to be able to help fund creative projects like this, they don't allow loans or equity as part of this website. However, they do allow me to give away really cool things. You can scroll through the different donor levels on the right side of this page. There are some great "...& Latte!" logo items as well as great deals on some of the coffee and tea. Whatever level you're able to contribute will be greatly appreciated, and your name will appear on the "& Leaders" wall.
I think I'm ready to contribute, so how does this work?
1) On the right side of the page, click the reward level which you'd like to donate.
2) When the box pops up, click "Continue to Next Step"
3) Click on "Continue to Amazon"
4) If you have an Amazon account, put in your info now please. If you don’t, type in your email and select "I am a new customer." then click "Sign in using our secure server."
5) Fill in the secure Amazon information. Doesn't take long at all.
6) If the project raises at least $10,000, your card will be charged when the Kickstarter campaign is complete. If it doesn't raise at least $10,000, you won’t be charged anything and it won't receive anything.
Risks and challenges
Building and Health Department permits can be challenging, but I have already met with both departments in order to foresee any issues. We believe we have planned accordingly for renovations to the space to comply with all ordinances.
As far as funding goes, I'd like to assure everyone that partial project funding has already been secured, enough to get us open. The point of this Kickstarter is to add into those final touches which will make the space that much more inviting and give a "polished" look. To that end, I do no anticipate underfunding to be a problem.
I am also working with two other collaborators. We have been working hard on making this space real and usable. We have been collaborators in other ventures and have a long track record of being able to work well together. I do not anticipate a loss of either of these very important collaborators to be a problem, either.
What if there's not enough business in the shop? I don't think this will be a huge problem. Hennepin Avenue is one of the busiest streets in Minneapolis, with over 20,000 vehicles per day driving by this location. We have negotiated extremely favorable lease terms with the owner of the building and even with the most conservative of projections, I am confident that we'll be able to pay our bills. I've also been very active in promoting this site via social media - and there's quite a buzz in the community about opening this space! (Of course, you can always help us get the word out.)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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