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Help us launch a full-service cafe where we'll hire youth and train them to build their own economic ladders!
Help us launch a full-service cafe where we'll hire youth and train them to build their own economic ladders!
627 backers pledged $63,170 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$63,170

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What

Economic development is booming in Oakland, California! But many local youth still face steep barriers to securing good jobs in the Bay Area’s competitive workforce. Mamacitas Cafe's mission is to create fair wage jobs, specifically for young women of color ages 18-24, and to expand employment and leadership opportunities for youth in transition from the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. 

Our team started Mamacitas Cafe almost three years ago as a way to ensure that all Oakland youth have access to economic stability and to the healing they need to thrive. 

We’re ready to expand our youth-centered enterprise and we need your support!

We believe this scenario is a win-win for our community! Last year Mamacitas tested this model on a smaller scale when we operated a retail space in downtown Oakland at Qulture Collective. At that location we provided part-time job opportunities, ongoing leadership training, and sisterhood to six young women in Oakland.

We have found an excellent retail location to grow our operations, which will transform six part time positions into full-time jobs for our youth, and enable us to expand our catering services which will add several more part time positions in the short term. This retail space will serve as an important stepping stone as we continue to scale up our business to create even more jobs. We have a rock solid team, incredible advisors, an innovative blueprint, and a great location.

Now we need the support of our community to secure our lease and bring this expansive vision to life!

Our approach is to to provide long-term and high quality services for our youth in a restorative environment. If you like this vision and you want to see it manifest, contribute what you can and support your local Mamacitas!! 

Why 

We believe that connection, imagination, and economic empowerment are key! Mamacitas Cafe is a holistic approach to community development, placing the power for economic growth directly in the hands of those most harmed by systemic marginalization.

Our goal is to establish clear pathways to upward mobility in a stable, supportive, and educational environment. We believe that Oakland’s young women are extremely capable leaders and we aim to offer mentorship and sisterhood that will build their skills and confidence. 

We have partnered with Mills College’s Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business to offer professional coaching and mentorship to our staff. In addition, for young women who want to launch their own enterprise, we will provide one-on-one coaching. This exciting partnership will nurture our team and support them in translating their unique ideas and skills into concrete economic opportunities. 

Where

We are currently ironing out the final details of a lease to move into a 3,000+ square foot cafe with a commercial kitchen and a built in market of 400 office employees. The location is centrally located, close to public transportation and will be open to the general public as well. Unfortunately, we cannot release specific details of the location until the deal is finalized as we are negotiating with government and local agencies.

At this location, Mamacitas will serve breakfast, lunch, and snacks and will operate a full Red Bay Coffee and espresso bar. The building also has a number of meeting rooms and a large scale auditorium that can host conferences. Mamacitas plans to be the preferred caterer and is excited to offer coffee, breakfast, and lunch options for all in-house meetings.

Now more than ever our communities are feeling the pressure of rising rent and economic pressure. The importance of building hyper local spaces to be a hub for grassroots organizations and youth of color is key to preserving space in our changing Oakland! It is imperative that we strategically align with other organizations, agencies and businesses in Oakland in the face displacement to help hold each other up.

Click the green button if you believe in this vision and contribute what you can!

Who

Mamacitas Cafe has emerged organically from the community and is led by a multi-racial and intergenerational team. Founding members Simone Obidah, Shana Lancaster & Renee Geesler are all fierce advocates of Oakland and are committed to building racial and social justice in our town.

Simone Obidah is a chef, educator and mentor in the buddhist community. Simone has cooked at a number of popular Bay Area restaurants including Miss Ollie’s in Oakland and Gather in Berkeley.

Shana is an artist and a third-generation Oakland resident who is deeply connected to the city’s unique landscape. She has over 17 years of experience in the food service industry and served as Program Director for a youth workforce development program housed at California Lawyers for the Arts.

Renee is a community builder, communications strategist, and rock-star mom. She founded Mamacitas Cafe after 10 years in public radio and community work. Renee also serves as the communications coordinator at Akonadi Foundation, an organization that supports and nurtures racial justice movement building.

Mamacitas Cafe is also proud to partner with Perla Yasmeen Meléndez, of Two Mamacitas Kitchen. Perla is an entrepreneur, an educator and healer and will coordinate healing services for Mamacitas staff.

We are also proud to have an incredible advisory team including;

Darcelle Lahr, Professor of Business Practice, Mills College Lorry I Lokey Graduate School of Business

Keba Konte & Kori Chen, CEO & COO, Red Bay Coffee

Jose Corona, Director of Equity and Strategic Partnerships, City of Oakland Office of Mayor Libby Schaff

Jefferson Sevilla, The Town Kitchen

Betsy Beros, Executive Vice President, Jordan Real Estate

Rewards

Our rewards are made with lots of love! Contribute today and choose from one of our many amazing gifts!!

 

 

 

Risks and challenges

We're working hard on mapping out our launch to ensure that we can roll out both our catering operations and ramp up the retail space in the next 6 months.

Our team and advisors have decades of training, food service, and entrepreneurial experience between us and we are comfortable working with each other and with demanding deadlines. However, there can always be the risk of delays during the opening of a new restaurant that could result in pushing our timeline back.

Since the nature of this project is collaborative, we will keep you informed throughout the process of our progress and major milestones, as well as any delays. These delays won’t impact your rewards.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Cardamom Donut Kebab

    Your donation pays for one hour of work for our youth in training. We'd like to thank you with a free Donut Kebab when we open!

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Mamacitas Cafe Sticker

    Your donation pays for one hour of work for our youth in training. We'd like to thank you with a vinyl Mamacitas sticker!

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    79 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Mamacitas Cafe Mug

    Your donation pays for two hours of professional workforce training for our staff. We'd like to thank you with a beautiful mug.

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    115 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Mamacitas Cafe Tour

    Your donation pays for a new pot for our kitchen. We'd like to thank you by inviting you to take a behind the scenes tour before we open our new location! Schedule TBD.

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    Reward no longer available 25 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Mamacitas Cafe Mug + Sticker

    Your donation pays for one hour of yoga instruction free to our staff. We'd like to thank you with our beautiful mug and fly sticker!

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    10 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Mamacitas Cafe Tee

    Your donation pays for one hour of one-on-one coaching between youth and a ME Training staff. We'd like to thank you with our cozy shirt.

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    46 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Hella Proud Tee

    Your donation pays for one hour of one-on-one coaching between youth and a ME Training staff. We'd like to thank you with our cozy shirt.

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    40 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Mamacitas Cafe Tee + Mug + Sticker

    Your donation pays for 15lbs of Red Bay Coffee for our youth operated cafe. We'd like to thank you with a cozy shirt, beautiful mug and fly sticker!

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    12 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Cookie Dough To-Go

    Your donation pays for 15lbs of Red Bay Coffee for our youth operated cafe. We'd like to thank you by offering you our famous vegan chocolate chip cookie dough, to-go. Includes approximately 6 dozen cookies, freezes well and ready to scoop and bake. Limited to Oakland and Berkeley only.

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    Limited 4 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Mamacitas Cafe Care Package

    Your donation pays for a new batch brewer for our cafe. We'd like to thank you with a cozy shirt, beautiful mug, bag of Red Bay Coffee, and fly sticker!

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    4 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    VIP Donut Kebab Party

    Your donation pays for 12.5 hours of on the job training for our youth. We'd like to thank you by inviting you to a VIP Donut Kebab Party at our new location!

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Your Name in Our Cafe!

    Your donation pays for 5 hours of healing services free to our youth. We'd like to thank you by putting your name on our cafe's wall of fame!

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    4 backers
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Name a Drink After YOU!

    Your donation pays for 5 hours of healing services free to our youth. We'd like to thank you by naming one of our seasonal beverages after you!

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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    VIP Mamacitas Brunch

    Your donation pays for 10 hours of healing services free to our youth. We'd like to thank you by cooking a private brunch to nourish you at our new location! Schedule TBD.

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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Coffee + Donut Tasting for Your Team!

    Your donation pays for furniture for our new location! We'd like to thank you by hosting a coffee and donut tasting session at your home, office or community space for up to 12 people. Limited to the Bay Area only.

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  16. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Your Very Own Donut Kebab Party!

    Your donation pays for our espresso machine! We'd like to thank you by recognizing you with a private Donut Kebab party for you and up to 50 of your friends! Limited to the Bay Area only.

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  17. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Catered Dinner for You

    Your donation just about pays for first and last months rent. We'd like to thank you by catering dinner for up to 20 of your favorite family members, coworkers, or friends! Limited to the Bay Area only.

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Funding period

- (45 days)