Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
We are creating a restaurant and home to connect people across cultures & generations through the warmth of Arab bread and hospitality.
We are creating a restaurant and home to connect people across cultures & generations through the warmth of Arab bread and hospitality.
We are creating a restaurant and home to connect people across cultures & generations through the warmth of Arab bread and hospitality.
376 backers pledged $50,100 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

Reem's Dream Arab Street Corner Bakery: Come Feel the Warmth project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

Reem's Dream Arab Street Corner Bakery: Come Feel the Warmth

$50,100

376

Reem's offers the warmth of Arab hospitality through the experience of the Arab street corner bakery. We offer traditional Arab street foods combining flavors from the homeland with local organic ingredients, all made with California love. We are now poised to open a permanent location in Oakland, CA, and you can help us. Our vision is to nurture a strong, vibrant community around our food - whether it's giving joy of biting into fresh baked bread from the oven, providing living wage jobs, or partnering with local businesses and farms.

Courtesy of Eric Wolfinger
Courtesy of Eric Wolfinger

 Your contributions will help us build a welcoming, sunny space for people of all generations and backgrounds and fund the initial operating cash we need to open our doors by the end of 2016.  Our buildout will include a beautiful oven, traditional saj griddles, and an open kitchen where people can watch the magic of bread production happen. Our space will provide indoor and outdoor seating, where you can play backgammon or chess, talk politics, read the newspaper or a good book, enjoy a date, and anything else your heart desires.

Why Oakland?

In the heart of Oakland's Fruitvale neighborhood, we will provide a feeling of home for the many of us for whom home can be an elusive thing. We've lived in Oakland for over a decade and worked for social and economic justice in the face of gentrification, displacement, poverty, and violence against communities of color. Our vision for Reem's is to be like all loved Arab street corner bakeries - an anchor of the community creating good jobs for those who face barriers to employment, and providing delicious, nourishing food. 

International Women's Day: Lake Merritt, Oakland
International Women's Day: Lake Merritt, Oakland

We have an opportunity to secure a beautiful space in the Fruitvale neighborhood that will become a resource for fresh-baked daily bread, meals, and community gathering. The Fruitvale is one of the most ethnically diverse neighborhoods of Oakland, and we see Reem's offering a welcoming feeling of home across the many communities who live here.

Why now?

Reem’s is one of three finalists in the nation-wide OpenTable Competition for aspiring restaurant owners. If we raise the most money, we'll win the grand prize worth over $38,000, including $15,000 in cash and coveted kitchen equipment from OpenTable. Your contributions will help us win the contest! 

We are currently busting at the seams, working out of a commercial kitchen, producing hundreds of pounds of dough each week, and lugging equipment all over the Bay to bring the Reem's experience to customers in different locations. The number one question we get is "Where can we find you regularly Do you have a storefront?" Our dream is to say "Yes! Come to Reem's every day!"

Our goal is to raise as much money as we can toward our total funding goal of $300,000, which will permit us to do the full kitchen build out, buy equipment, furnish our space, and double Reem's team.

Where it All Began...

Six years ago, the dream of Reem's was born at the doorstep of a street corner bakery in Beirut, Lebanon. The scent of za'atar, yeasted bread, and sweet orange blossom syrup right out of the oven and the sounds of laughter and chatter in Arabic all around me conjured up every forgotten memory I ever had of loving my childhood and every hope I've ever had of creating home and community in the United States.  

It was in watching the bread flying out of the oven, literally into hungry people's hands, and witnessing the life inside those bakery doors despite the political turbulence outside of them that I realized my people are masters of bread and hospitality: the lifeline of our history and what has kept us resilient over many generations despite colonization, war, drought, and famine in the Arab world. 

Kasab, Syria, 2010
Kasab, Syria, 2010

On this soul searching trip to Lebanon and Syria, I decided to bring this experience to the Bay. I wanted to bring more than just a bakery. I wanted to create a transportive experience of the sights, sounds, tastes and aromas of the streets of Damascus and Beirut, and at the same time a space that feels familiar and inviting to all cultures.

The Evolution of Reem's

In 2015 we launched our business as a proud participant of La Cocinaa women's food business incubator program.

We have since grown into a staff of 8, serving our breads and street food fare at farmers markets (including the renowned(CUESA Ferry Building Farmers Market), food festivals, events, and a series of pop ups attended by hundreds. Over the last year, we built a recognizable brand and were covered by numerous publications, including the San Francisco Chronicle.

Our specialty is the quintessential street food of the Levant called the man'oushe, a fresh baked pillowy flatbread with a variety of toppings, most notably za'atar- an herb and spice blend of wild thyme, sumac and sesame seeds. Anywhere on the streets of Beirut, you can see people eating these flatbreads topped with spices, cheeses, meats and veggies and wrapped to go.  

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound
  • Off
    • العربية

We're a Community-Built Enterprise!

At Reem’s we know it takes a village, and we value each and every contribution that will make building our dream bakery possible. We are offering rewards for a variety of contribution levels, so each person in our community can see themselves reflected in our bakery, take part in building this community enterprise, and be rewarded for their contribution.

For all contributions of $250 and above, contributors will get their names in Arabic calligraphy included on the mural in our brand new bakery. Contributions of $500 and above will receive experiential rewards, bringing the warmth of the Reem’s experience directly into their spaces. From hands-on cooking classes, to Reem’s signature catering, to intimate dinners prepared just for you, contributors at this level will experience the warmth of Reem’s Arab food and hospitality at its best.

Sport your own Reem's swag with a $50 contribution!
Sport your own Reem's swag with a $50 contribution!

 

Risks and challenges

With the help of La Cocina staff, who have extensive experience in building out restaurants, we are working tirelessly to create a plan and timeline that works for us. We are working with kitchen designers, architects, and lawyers to come up with a feasible plan for build out. We hope that this project will be completed by the end of the year to be able to open the doors of a brand new bakery by early 2017. We are confident that with the resources around us and the partnerships we have built, we can make it happen.

We will be able to provide the smaller gifts within a month of your contributions and the experiential gifts in the next 3 months. We will continue our markets and catering in this time but the challenge will be taking on this project and continuing to keep up with our demand during our regular farmers market operations.

We anticipate that the next 3 months will not come without challenges. Signing a lease and building out a restaurant is no easy feat. We consider this project a community partnership and collaborative process and will be transparent about the challenges as they come. We will continuously update you on the progress and journey. We cannot get through this next phase without you!

#feelthewarmth

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Feel The Warmth

    Feel the warmth of taking part in building a community institution! Stop by and get a nice, warm hug.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    19 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

    Bread Baking Crash Course

    A warm thank you and video tutorial on the basics of Arab bread baking from Reem herself.

    Includes:
    • Arab Bread Baking Video Tutorial
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    42 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 $25 or more About $25

    Reem's Treat

    Stop by our stand and let us treat you to a Reem's favorite meal:

    Classic with Avocado and Labneh
    Damascus Lemonade
    Mahalabiya

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    65 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 $50 or more About $50

    Man'oushe Enthusiast

    Satisfy all your man'oushe cravings with a Reem's pass for 5 free mana'eesh! Redeemable from our new brick and mortar.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    87 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 $60 or more About $60

    Reem's Swag

    Rep Reem's in your very own stylish Reem's T-Shirt!

    Includes:
    • Reem's T-Shirt
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 30 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 $100 or more About $100

    Man'oushe Lover

    Can't wait for the opening? Satisfy your craving for free mana'eesh! Redeemable from our farmer's market locations.

    Includes:
    • Gift Card for 8 free mana'eesh with unlimited add ons.
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    53 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 $250 or more About $250

    Art in Action

    Help us build our space and see yourself reflected in our space with your name in Arabic calligraphy on our bakery walls.

    Includes:
    • Your name in Arabic calligraphy on our bakery mural
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    13 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Cater To You

    Enjoy a drop-off catering spread of Reem's mouth-watering dips, breads, and signature dishes for a gathering of up to 50 people.

    30 days advance notice required. Available in the Bay Area only.

    Includes:
    • Reem's Drop-Off Catering for up to 50
    • Your name in Arabic calligraphy on our bakery mural
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 15 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Reem's VIP Experience

    Experience the ultimate VIP experience with a party for you and up to 3 of your friends at Reem's home away from home-- Penelope Bar & Lounge in Oakland, CA. Enjoy a multi-course meal with specialty pairings prepared by Reem and her team.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Reward no longer available

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

    Get Your Hands Dirty

    Get your hands dirty with a private hands-on cooking class with Reem for up to 10 people. Includes a sit-down dinner.

    30 days advance notice required. Available in the Bay Area only.

    Includes:
    • Hands-On Cooking Class with Dinner
    • Your name in Arabic calligraphy on our bakery mural
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 5 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    The Reem's Experience

    With our "Reem's Experience" full service catering, the Reem's Team will cater a party of up to 100 people, complete with mana'eesh made fresh off our "saj" griddles and all the fixin's.

    30 days advance notice required. Available in the Bay Area only.

    Includes:
    • "Reem's Experience" Full-Service Catering for up to 100
    • Your name in Arabic calligraphy on our bakery mural
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Reward no longer available

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

    Eating With The Stars

    With this exclusive reward, you'll be eating with the stars with a private dinner for up to 10 people cooked by Reem and surprise guest star chef.

    Includes:
    • Private Dinner with Reem and Guest Star Chef
    • Your name in Arabic calligraphy on our bakery mural
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  13. Select this reward

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

    Arabee Lamb Roast Feast

    With this exclusive reward, you and up to 75 of your friends and family will enjoy a lavish Arabee-style lamb roast feast hosted by seasoned chefs from renowned business incubator La Cocina and feature esteemed Bay Area guest chefs. Dessert will include ice cream from the famous Bi-Rite in San Francisco.

    Available in the Bay Area only.

    Includes:
    • La Cocina Arabee Lamb Roast
    • Your name in Arabic calligraphy on our bakery mural
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (40 days)