Hey Winston-Salem! Dinners on the Porch is so excited to announce that we're building The Porch, a Kitchen & Cantina where all are welcome to come eat, drink, hang out, play & just be together.
From our new Kitchen, we will be able to run Dinners on the Porch, cater, have prepared food for sale all the time, and welcome everyone onto the Porch to eat and drink.
The Porch will be located in the West End Mill Works, a hip old/new warehouse district tucked in between Downtown, the West End and Hanes Park.
A Little History:
We've spent the last few years building a loyal and wonderful community of Dinners on the Porch customers, perfecting our recipes, and making folks all over town happy with our great fresh and frozen delivered dinners, and now we're ready for Phase II of our grand scheme to bring people together over the dinner table.
In the many cities I've lived over the years, I've always gravitated towards casual places that draw an eclectic crowd . I love to find a place I feel comfortable going out with friends, with my kids, on a date night, or even after a jog, depending on the day. Even better if there's great food and drinks, outdoor space, and friendly people.
Several months ago, I had the luck and very good fortune to meet some Winston-Salemites who had undertaken the work of restoring the historic Hoots Roller Mill adjacent to Hanes Park, just behind all of the shops on West End Boulevard. Their vision to revive this beautiful piece of Winston-Salem's history and transform it into a vibrant place for folks to come hang out took my breath away, and I literally could not stand not to be a part of it! So many of the things I had in my head and heart for what I wanted to do with Dinners on the Porch were already a part of their vision, so I got to work trying to make those dreams a reality.
The Porch Concept
Our vision for The Porch is truly an extension of what we've been doing with Dinners on the Porch these last few years. From our new kitchen, we'll keep creating weekly fresh dinners to deliver to our customers on Tuesday nights, but we'll also be open for y'all to come anytime you like to pick up fresh and frozen dinners to enjoy at home with your family. We'll keep it fun & fresh - taking advantage of some great local suppliers to prepare delicious and innovative recipes - everything from Texas Chili to our Farmer's Market Israeli Couscous to Thai Green Curry. We know everyone has a favorite, and we're excited to come up with more favorites very soon!
The Porch will be a place to pick up delicious prepared food to enjoy at home, but it will also be a great place to come eat and hang out. We'll be open for breakfast & lunch during the week, and on Friday & Saturdays, we'll have a fabulous, fun dinner menu. As you can see from the video, it will be casual enough to bring your kiddos, but so much fun that you'll want to come for date night too!
Our eat-in menu will feature favorites like Mimi's Chile con Queso, Porch Pockets, great salads, sandwiches, burgers, and, of course, awesome Tex Mex Tacos, Nachos & Burritos! And we all know that great food goes down better with a good drink, so we'll have a full coffee bar, specialty cocktails, local beer & soda, wine, margaritas & Mexican Martinis to wet your whistle!
The West End Mill Works
The West End Mill Works includes the historic Hoots Roller Mill, a flour mill built in the 1930s that is historically and architecturally significant to our area, a lovely lawn for lots of outdoor play, and an adjacent 1930s warehouse that has been restored and renovated to house The Porch and five other very cool local businesses. Our neighbors at The Porch will be The Breathing Room, a yoga, massage and wellness studio, The Olio, a glassblowing studio, Hoots Roller Bar & Beer Co., a Mixed Martial Arts studio, and a local rum & whiskey spirits distillery, and an organic plant nursery. All in all, it will be a center of creativity, entrepreneurship and fun! As a bonus, it's within walking distance of almost everything in town.
Why We Need You
Having never build a restaurant & commercial kitchen before, I was a little blown away by the enormity of it all. The total cost to open the doors is well over $300, 000, much of which we have raised through loans and personal investment.
While the percentage of the total investment we are raising on Kickstarter is not huge, this Project is a huge part of the total picture, because we will use this money to make the Porch itself. We want it to be a gathering place for you and your families and friends, and we want it to be awesome! We are asking for your help because we truly think of this as your Porch, where you can come as you are, any and all the time, and feel welcome.
This is big, and we need your help to make it happen.
How Kickstarter Works:
If you're familiar with Kickstarter, you know that we don't get any money at all unless we reach our $30,000 goal. If we don't, you keep your money. Because of that, we kept the goal low, but we'd love to raise even more, so don't be shy!
To support us, you will create a Kickstarter account, and then it guides you to pledge through Amazon's payment system. If you already have an Amazon account, you don't even have to enter payment info (bonus!).
Your pledge will only be drawn from your account if we reach the goal, otherwise you will not be charged.
We have been brainstorming up a ton of creative and fun Rewards for anyone who contributes to our Campaign! Any of the Rewards are available to you once The Porch is open - projected to be late Fall 2013, and some will be available even sooner. Once the Campaign is over, we will contact you and make sure you get all set with your reward. Everyone who contributes is truly helping up build this Porch, and we want you on it all the time! All of your names will be woven into our hand-painted floor, so it will be fun to come explore and find your name every time you come.
Thank You! Thank You!
Most of all, Thank You so much to everyone who has supported Dinners on the Porch and made it possible for us to pursue this new endeavor! We have the best customers and friends, and we are eternally grateful for your willingness to try new things, your suggestions, your encouragement and your friendship.
A big Thank You to Jenni Mowery & Brad Bunyea for imagining, filming and editing this awesome Kickstarter video! I almost certainly would have just had my husband use his IPhone to film me in our living room if left to my own devices.
Thanks to the many who have helped with The Porch project, including but not limited to: Cindy Christopher, Joe Williams, Julee Nunley, the City of Winston-Salem, Cary Clifford, Sociale Gourmet, everybody at the West End Mill Works, First Tennessee Bank, and all my Dinners on the Porch peeps - Alex, Beth, Felice, Nathan & Susan.
And Thank You head to toe to friends and family for patience & support in this and everything.
There, now I don't feel the need to give an Oscar speech anymore.
Thanks everybody - we appreciate your support!
Risks and challenges
We have been working so hard for the past several months to make The Porch a reality, from securing funding to meeting with business leaders to trying out recipes. It has been exciting, challenging and fun at the same time.
And also scary, because there are pitfalls and risks and things that I suspect I don't even know I should be worried about.
Our goal is to open the doors and welcome you all to The Porch this Fall, and I feel confident we can do that. We have a great team of hardworking and dedicated people, support from the community, experience and lots of good advice from smart people.
If, for whatever reason, we stumble in any way - with delays, funding, or just unforeseen snafus, we will deal with them as quickly as possible and move forward. And knowing we have so much support will make easier!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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