$7,418
pledged of $16,000pledged of $16,000 goal
84
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Mon, November 3 2014 8:01 PM UTC +00:00
Justin NewstrumBy Justin Newstrum
First created
Justin NewstrumBy Justin Newstrum
First created
$7,418
pledged of $16,000pledged of $16,000 goal
84
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Mon, November 3 2014 8:01 PM UTC +00:00

About

Hi, my name is Justin Newstrum, and I've been a member of the local food scene in Seattle for almost twenty years. In that time, I've had a large hand in helping out lots of awesome, community-focused restaurants and cafes. I was Robin Leventhal’s right-hand man at Crave for a few years running the much-beloved brunch program. More recently, I was Executive Chef of Portage Bay Cafe for five years, running one of the largest and most popular restaurants tied into the local and sustainable food scene. Now I’m volunteering my time sitting on the Board of the Seattle Chapter of the Chef’s Collaborative, helping support and grow the local food movement further. So you could say I’m a big believer in the power of community, and the power of food to help connect people.

One of the places that I learned that was New Orleans- I've visited several times over the years, and their strong sense of culture and identity is bound inextricably with their food scene. One of the linchpins of that food scene is the Cafe du Monde down in the French Quarter, serving up beignets (a type of hot, fresh-fried donut) and coffee at all hours of the day, and going there for the first time fifteen years ago gave me the genesis of an idea that I've slowly been refining since then.

I’d like to take that main idea of serving fresh donuts and coffee and give it a local twist, filtered through my own sense of style and taste. I’d like to open a small bar/cafe that serves an ever-changing variety of fried-to-order donuts, coffee drinks (no espresso), and just a little booze- in the donuts, in the coffee, and on it’s own. I’ll use my contacts in the local food community to source local and sustainable products in the shop- Shepherd’s Grain flour grown sustainably in Washington, Steibr's Farm eggs, Theo Chocolate, and a host of our local distilleries and fair-trade coffee roasters, to name a few examples.

What this is and isn't:

  • We’re  not using a little ‘donut robot’, making all the donuts the same and changing the toppings- we’ll cover a huge swath of donut types, raised, cake, and ‘other’ all made from scratch and fried to order.

  • It won't be gimmicky. Yeah, the flavors will tend to the playful side, but you won't be getting Cocoa Puffs, or Cap'n Crunch. Just simple, interesting, honest ingredients.

  • We won't have craft cocktails, beer & wine. I love them, but I'm really looking to just get a little kick in the coffee I serve, and occasionally in the donuts and glazes. We won't even really have a full bar- just an always-rotating selection of spirits to booze up your drinks a bit.

  • It isn't a traditional donut shop with a case you can buy a dozen from on your way into the office. While we may expand someday to be open in the morning (we're launching with a 'bar hours' schedule), we won't ever have a dozen laying around for a customer to buy.

Here's a sample menu of what I might offer on an average autumn day

Like I said, I like to do everything by hand, so Ideally, I'd like these to be hand-printed daily on a little tabletop letterpress machine. I have the machine, but getting the rest of the equipment and training for the staff is one of the things I'm trying to raise this money for. It'll definitely happen eventually, but it'll happen sooner if I can surpass my funding goal by a significant amount.

I do have a little seed capital of my own, but I’m turning to you, the local food community, to help get me the rest of the way there. I've written a great business plan, and am familiar enough with running restaurants that I know it’s financially viable and realistic in its goals. It includes paying my employees a living wage, and a more reliable method of service charge, instead of waiting for the city’s new wage laws to force me there. I built this into the plan because it’s the right thing to do, and believe in being the sort of change I want to see in the world. Yeah, it'll make it hard to buy a mansion on Lake Washington or start a huge chain, but I'm not interested in those goals anyway, and at least my employees won't have to bus into the city from Kent just to be able to afford to live.  

Most of the money I’m asking for here is to help close the gap between what I have and what I need to get the doors open- equipment, permits, etc., and to give me a cushion of operating capital to survive the first few months of business- I’m not looking for a huge sum of money to do a big, fancy build-out of the space or start a multiple-unit chain. I'm really just trying to open this place on a shoestring, starting small, a little fancier than Paseo did with their counter cobbled together with 2x4s  and plywood, but not by much. I do have big hopes and dreams for what I'd like to do with the space, though (starting with the aforementioned printing press), so that's what the money will be going to if I overfund my goal by a significant amount.

Thanks for reading this pitch, and thanks for any support you can give, even it it's just spreading the word to someone who can help a bit more.

Risks and challenges

RISKS/WHAT COULD GO WRONG?
I don’t get the space I’m looking at on Capitol Hill. I’m in talks with a landlord about the perfect spot, but that might fall through and I’d need to find another one that’s not too expensive, in a densely-populated part of town with a thriving nightlife- no small task. I need a spot that's in a neighborhood that has a healthy nightlife scene already, as I kind of see it as symbiotic to that- a place to stop on your way-to-or-from the rest of the night's entertainment.

I may have underestimated how much it costs to get the doors open, but I've done a ton of research, and I’m pretty sure of my numbers with the extra padding I've built in to account for ‘unforeseen problems’ that always crop up.

Other than that, I’m sure my business model is solid, having been a Pastry Chef for four years at The Pink Door, and building our in-house bakery program at Portage Bay Cafe. I’m very familiar with baking and pastry work, and how to run the type of endeavor I’m picturing. I've even been experimenting with daily specials of donuts at my various jobs for the last several years in preparation for this (you may have even tried some at Portage Bay Cafe, Crave!, or Cafe Petti Rosso while I was helping them out earlier this year), so the methods and prep work I picture are solid.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    "and no one brings anything small into a bar around here"-
    A heartfelt Thank You on our Facebook page!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    7 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    "And you spill out over the side to anyone who will listen..."- You are excited by fresh donuts, and want to tell all your friends. We'll give you a 'Thank You' card for a free order of donuts to help with that.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    31 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    "The donuts all had names that sound like prostitutes"- The line of the song that started it all turning in my mind. Suggest an ingredient (within reason), and give me a name, and I'll come up with something. I'll let you know when it happens, and you get a free order of them, too.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 9 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    "Nothing wrong with her a hundred dollars wouldn't fix"

    As noted, I'm eventually going to be printing the menus on a letterpress machine, and your sizable donation will help with that! Pledge at this level, and you get a handwritten thank you note, scrawled on the back of our first hand-printed menu. Your first order of donuts is on me, too.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 19 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    "The bricks were all scarred with jailhouse tattoos"

    We're putting up a brick wall in the space, and I'd like it to be covered in the graffiti signs of the folks who helped make this happen. At this level, you get your name on a brick in in the wall. Of course, you also get your first order of donuts on the house.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

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

    "And you take on the dreams of the ones who slept here"- You've truly taken on my dream of fresh-fried donuts as your own, and I don't have words to thank you. At this level, you'll get a cluster of bricks on the wall to do with as you will, and an order of donuts every month for a year.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    "the waitress behind the counter has a tattooed tear- one for every year"- Okay, let's say you want to be an instant regular. Pledging at this level gets you my eternal thanks, shown by a big spot on the wall (paint up a sign, or a picture!), and an order of donuts every week for a year.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (14 days)