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Winston-Salem's Dinners on the Porch is building The Porch, a Kitchen + Cantina.  We need your help to do it!
Winston-Salem's Dinners on the Porch is building The Porch, a Kitchen + Cantina. We need your help to do it!
267 backers pledged $31,565 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$31,565

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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 historic Hoots Roller Mill - soon to be the center of the West End Mill Works.
The historic Hoots Roller Mill - soon to be the center of the West End Mill Works.

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!

Porch Pockets & a cold beer are made for Fridays on the Porch!
Porch Pockets & a cold beer are made for Fridays on the Porch!
Tomato Jalapeño Bacon Pies are awesome!
Tomato Jalapeño Bacon Pies are awesome!
Fresh & creative dishes bring family and friends together at the table
Fresh & creative dishes bring family and friends together at the table

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

Our Warehouse - work is already underway!
Our Warehouse - work is already underway!

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.  

Rewards:

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!

Thanks from all of us - Claire, Matt, Finn, Gus & Ruby (on one of our favorite porches!).
Thanks from all of us - Claire, Matt, Finn, Gus & Ruby (on one of our favorite porches!).

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!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Thank you so much! Drive in style with a hip new Porch bumper sticker inviting everyone to meet you on The Porch!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Thank you so much! You'll be forever known to Porch people as someone who helped us because your name (or your kid's name, or your dog's name - we don't care!), will be painted onto the Porch floor for all to see!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Join us at The Porch for some free Queso wearing your new Porch T-Shirt! You'll also want to hunt around and find your name on the floor, and you'll look good doing it!
    (You can choose from Kids' or Adult sizes)

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Join us at our Porch Grand Opening Event! It'll be awesome, featuring music, great food, drinks & fun.
    Includes two tickets, two T-Shirts, plus your name on the floor.

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    Reward no longer available 100 backers
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Out of Towner's Special! We know those of you who don't live in Winston-Salem are sad you can't come hang at The Porch every day! Be there in spirit by wearing a cool Porch T-Shirt and drinking your daily joe our of our awesome Porch coffee mug! Plus, you can come find your name on the floor whenever you come visit us!

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    9 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Dinner & Drinks for Two!

    Bring your S.O. or a friend you really want to impress and we'll treat you like the VIP you really are! Plus you might be seated on top of your name on the floor!

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Two tickets to a cooking class of your choice! We'll be offering monthly classes, starting in January, and you won't want to miss! Bring your mom, your college-bound kid, or your S.O. and make it a date night. (There's an old saying: "if you teach a man to cook, ... he'll make a really big mess in the kitchen." Better to learn in our kitchen!)
    Also includes your name in our floor painting!

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Your family can help us create a Kid's Meal of the Month! Bring your little chefs (up to 3 kids) over to our kitchen for a tour and an hour-long meal-planning session! They will create a Kids' Menu Special and, of course, have the fun of naming their masterpiece!

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Happy Birthday! Celebrate your child's birthday with a Pajama Party on the Porch on a Saturday morning, complete with chocolate chip pancakes and ice cream! Invite 10 friends & your child will receive his or her own Porch T! (Parties can be scheduled any Saturday beginning January 2014.)

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Join the Queso Club!! We'll give you your own special Queso Card to present anytime you come to the Porch for one year, good for a free bowl of Mimi's Chile con Queso & Chips! This is a priceless item, and there are only a few available!

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    Limited 6 backers
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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Create and name your own Craft Cocktail or Taco & we'll include it on the menu! We'll work with you in the kitchen or bar to come up with something awesome & you can invite up to 4 friends to come sample your creation!

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    7 backers
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Join the Coffee Club! Receive two personalized Porch mugs and enjoy a refill on us anytime you come in for a year! Enjoy while wearing your Porch T-Shirts and looking for your name on our floorboards!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Help us make the Porch beautiful! Our own artist, Beth Spieler, will work with you to design and decorate a table or barstool that will be the talk of the town. Sit down and show it off to friends every time you come in!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Lunch Catering for up to 20 people! Treat your colleagues to a surprise lunch or make your next Book Club or Garden Club memorable! We will help you plan a great, fun menu, deliver and help you set it all up for success.
    (Can be scheduled any weekday starting in January)

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

    Tailgate season will be here soon, and you can support the Deacons & delight your friends at the same time with a delicious Tailgate menu. We will help you plan a unique and fun event for up to 20 friends! (2013-2014 Wake home games)

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

    Sunday Soireé! We had so much fun filming this Kickstarter video one Sunday evening that we wanted to offer y'all the chance to do it too! We're happy to host you and up to 25 friends on the lawn of the Porch or in your own back yard. (Seasonal reward: plan it for early Fall or late Spring when the weather is likely to cooperate with outdoor fun.)

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

    Chairman of the Board! Enjoy the respect you deserve in life! We'll design you your own Porch Chairman or Chairwoman T-Shirt that you can wear with pride when you come in to enjoy free tacos for a year! We'll also invite you to any and all Porch Board Meetings, which are very serious affairs, as you might imagine!

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Funding period

- (33 days)