Funded! This project was successfully funded on November 24.

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For 18 years, the Birchwood has nourished a growing community with Good Real Food. Now it's GROW time! #gobirchwoodgo

Birchwood Cafe serves Good Real Food, what's that all about?
We opened the Birchwood in 1995 with a vision of serving locally sourced, fresh, flavorful food to our community. We pictured a warm, family friendly and welcoming atmosphere, with high quality food, great local art on the walls, and the knowledgeable service previously only found in fine dining establishments. Since then, the Birchwood has grown into an acclaimed Twin Cities destination for deliciously creative and healthy food. Our community of guests, fans, colleagues, and farmers keeps growing, year after year.

At the same time our commitment to sustainability and local foods has grown stronger in 18 years; it guides our choices every day, on and off the plate. The Birchwood sources its Good Real Food from over 40 local producers, most from within 200 miles of the cafe. We are also dedicated to telling the story of our food, not only in three meals served daily, but with outreach, community support and action. We organize crop mobs with our partner farms and host events with nationally renowned food luminaries such as Will Allen, Joel Salatin, and Michael Pollan. We are actively engaged in helping transform our food system through advocacy and service.

Much to our delight, people responded to our vision and the Birchwood has become a hub for our community—a place where memories are made, ideas are grown, and friends and family connect over Good Real Food.

We want to keep going and to grow our initial vision. To do that, we need your support and engagement!

The Birchwood needs to expand and remodel its current location; it's been a long time coming. We’re dreaming bigger and better because we are literally bursting at the seams! We have a lot of great things we want to do to update and improve our space for our guests, staff, and our farmers and producers. We’re asking you to back our project to help us get there.

Our new and improved cafe will serve more guests with more seats, enhanced service, and shorter lines. We will also offer an expanded menu, a community room, more room for local art, increased catering, and an additional bathroom—hooray!

Photo: Jennifer Simonson
Photo: Jennifer Simonson

Not only will the new facility allow us to buy and serve more food from local farmers and producers, it will provide our team a working environment worthy of their passion and skill. The renovation includes greater kitchen capacity (so no more driving to an offsite kitchen), and the complete overhaul of our refrigeration and HVAC system, which alone are estimated to cost $90,000. We also plan to increase our commitment to sustainable energy with a solar rooftop array and by adding more energy efficient design and appliances throughout the building.

How does Kickstarter fit into all of this?
We have reached a crossroads with our current location and our business is no longer tenable at its current size. We’re reaching out to the community through Kickstarter for help in funding our expansion because conventional financing only takes us so far. In order to open the new Birchwood by next spring (in time for patio season!), we need to break ground before winter, with all of our financing secured.

Plus, we see Kickstarter as more than a fundraiser; it represents a new level in our relationship with our community and we see it as an inclusive process. People have so many great stories about how Birchwood has intersected with their lives. From sponsoring the Birchwood Bike Team as they spread the word about the positive power of cycling, to donating to The Aliveness Project through their annual "Dining Out for Life" program, to helping to found the Minneapolis Public Schools True Food Chef council, we believe in taking an active role in our community.

We want to work with our community so we all can prosper! This expansion lays the foundation to do just that. With your support we can continue and grow as a socially responsible, locally engaged small business.

I'm sold! What do I get by becoming a Birchwood Backer?
We have a bunch of great perks to offer our backers, including:

  • Exclusive Birchwood Backer mugs and tee shirts
  • Tickets to see the new Birchwood before anyone else at a preview meal event
  • Autographed copies of the first-ever Birchwood Cafe Cookbook
  • Cooking classes with Chef Marshall Paulsen
  • Your own private event in the new Birchwood Community Room
  • Pizza Dinner & Hayride at Riverbend Farm
  • A seat at a private dinner with Chef Marshall Paulsen and a local guest chef (check out the list!)
  • A "Dinner on the Farm"  with food by Birchwood Chef Marshall Paulsen and special musical guest Mason Jennings

Thank you!

We would not be here today without the efforts of our fantastic Birchwood crew and of course you—our supporters, friends, neighbors, and customers who’ve been with us all the way. Please consider backing our project. We’re ready to take our next step, and we hope you’ll come with us! Together we can change the food system, one savory waffle at a time!

Please remember, if we do not make our goal in time, we receive no kickstarter funding and cannot renovate. Help us spread the word!

#gobirchwoodgo

Recent Awards & Accolades

  • The Nature Conservancy – Nature's Plate Award / 2013
  • City Pages – Best Farm to Table Restaurant / 2012
  • MN Monthly – Best of the Twin Cities / 2009, 2010, 2011
  • Star Tribune – TASTE 50 / 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
  • Mpls.St.Paul Magazine – Best Vegetarian / 2007, 2008

Press

Kevyn Burger, "Cafe's appetite for Kickstarer exceeds $100,000 goal," BringMeTheNews, November 24th, 2013

Claire Stanford, "Birchwood Cafe Kickstarter Meets Its Goal," EATER, November 22nd, 2013

Rick Nelson, "Charlie Award Winners Announced," Star Tribune, November 17th, 2013

Rebekah Peterson, "Tracy Singleton - Charlie Award Winner," My Broadsheet, November 17th, 2013

Gunnar Liden, "We Back Birchwood Cafe. Support Good Real Food," Youth Farm MN, November 15th, 2013

Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl, "Get a Whole Chef-Delivered Thanksgiving at the Birchwood Kickstarter!" Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, November 14th, 2013

Jess Fleming, "Birchwood launches Kickstarter campaign for expansion," Pioneer Press, November 13th, 2013

Rebekah Peterson,"Birchwood Cafe: Planting a Seed for Growth," My Broadsheet, November 12th, 2013

Spunk Design Machine, "Pledge to Birchwood Cafe Now on Kickstarter!" http://designreplace.com, November 12th, 2013

Tracy Sides, "5 Reasons I Backed Birchwood," Bravely Be, November 9th, 2013

Mark Reilly, "Can Birchwood pull a Travail? Cafe seeks $100,000 on Kickstarter," MSP Business Journal, November 6th, 2013

Joy Summers, Birchwood, Iron Fork, Manhattans, Iron Fork, The Mill NE and… yeah., Eating the Minneapple, November 6th, 2013

"Help Birchwood Cafe -- a local, community-supporting and globally minded business with their Kickstarter," GOOD, November 7th, 2013

Claire Stanford, "Birchwood Kickstarter, Week 2: $33,646," EATER, November 6th, 2013

Joy Summers, "Back Birchwood: Campaign Is Underway," City Pages, November 5th, 2013

Burl Gilyard, "Birchwood Cafe Kick Starts Crowdfunding Campaign," Twin Cities Business, November 5th, 2013

"A Boost to Birchwood’s Kickstarter Is a Boon to Our Tastebuds," Heavy Table, November 5th, 2013

Andrew Zimmern, "Help Birchwood Grow," www.andrewzimmern.com, October 31st, 2013

Leslie Dyste, "Kickstarter Campaign for Birchwood Cafe," KSTP.com, October 27th, 2013

Steven John, "Appetites: Minneapolis' Seward neighborhood becomes a culinary destination," Minnesota Public Radio, October 23, 2013

James Norton, "Birchwood kickstarter and a Cupcake Social storefront," Heavy Table, October 22, 2013

Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl, "Hot Young Chefs: Marshall Paulsen," Minnesota Monthly, March 2012

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

In terms of risks, as with any construction project, there are variables beyond our control and we will do our best to mitigate them. This campaign has been years in the making. We have met with developers and considered other sites, but the heart of the Birchwood lies in the Seward neighborhood. We have consulted with architects, structural engineers and contractors to explore all expansion options and we have settled on a plan that will work well with our current site.

Now, we’re officially approved: The Seward Neighborhood Group voted 141-28 in favor of expanding the Birchwood by up to 1,700 square feet. We’ve also been approved by the City of Minneapolis to rezone the Birchwood Cafe property from a R1A zoning to C1 commercial zoning. Now all we need to continue forward with the renovation is to raise enough money to fill the gap between what we can get from the bank and what we need to break ground. After a successful Kickstarter campaign our plan is start the renovations before the onset of winter.

FAQ

  • Community-supported agriculture (CSA) is a food production and distribution system that directly connects farmers and consumers. Consumers buy "shares" in a farm's harvest in advance. The CSA concept originated in the 1960s in Switzerland and Japan, where consumers interested in safe food and farmers seeking stable markets for their crops joined together in economic partnerships.

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  • Yes you can! If you'd like two rewards (or more!), enter in the donation amount that equals all the rewards combined, then select the reward at the highest dollar amount. After that, send us a message to let us know which other reward(s) you'd like.

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  • Not entirely. Buns, pie, and two of the sides are fully cooked, ready to heat & serve to your guests. The turkey is uncooked, but also unfrozen, so it's ready to prepare exactly how you like it! Our Citrus Sage Stuffing Mix includes a recipe card (you add your own butter—we love Kalona SuperNatural organic butter—and celery, onion & stock or broth) to make preparation easy and then it's up to you: stuff the bird or cook separately.

    Want more bread, sides, or pie? You can purchase additional items for your Thanksgiving meal by special ordering (secure online purchasing, in-person at the cafe, or by calling 612-722-4474). Click here for a complete menu of offerings: https://birchwoodcafe.com/store/thanksgiving *** PLEASE NOTE: all Thanksgiving orders must be received by 3:00PM on Sunday, November 24.

    If you live outside the Twin Cities delivery area but still want to receive this Backer reward, you can pick up your reward package at the cafe on Wednesday, November 27th from 8am-8pm.

    *NOTE: Birchwood aprons will not be available until December. (We will alert you for pick-up at the cafe.)

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    Birchwood Backer / "I Backed Birchwood" heart sticker & digital image to share on social media. Let the world know you're part of our community! / *pick-up at the cafe or add $1 for US shipping. (All giving levels $10 and up receive this.)

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    Hug the Birchwood / Your name as an enduring thank you on the new cafe's Community Wall. (All giving levels $25 and up receive this.)

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    Afternoon Tea for Two / You and your guest will enjoy a fabulous tea party in the Birchwood's new Community Room with Verdant Tea founder and Tea Master David Duckler. Sample a curated selection of the finest seasonal Chinese teas from small family farms, paired with delicious Birchwood Cafe savories and sweets created by Pastry Chef Sandra Sherva.

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    Local Lover's Date Night / You and your date will enjoy a delicious three course meal that includes soup or salad, two pizzas or two burgers, coffee and a delectable dessert sampler to share.*vegetarian and gluten-free options available

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    Tea-Paired Dinner / One ticket to a four-course dinner prepared by Tea Master David Duckler of Verdant Tea and Birchwood Chef Marshall Paulsen at Cooks of Crocus Hill–St. Paul. Enjoy a delicious seasonal menu collaboratively created by Marshall and David, with each course showcasing local, tea-infused ingredients and paired with a tea beverage sourced from Verdant's artisan tea farmers. Also included is a private shopping experience in the Cooks of Crocus Hill store!

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    Summer Sipper / A Birchwood Backer Pint Glass good for complimentary lemonade or iced tea in June, July and August of 2014.

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    6 backers

    Backer Mug* / An official Birchwood Backer mug providing you with unlimited coffee OR Tea OR Chai on 12 monthly Birchwood Backer Days. / *all Backer Mugs may be used for these beverages.

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    Grow your own BLT / Heirloom tomato seedling custom grown by Farmer Greg Reynolds from Riverbend Farm, a pound of Fischer Family Farms bacon, a loaf of our delicious multigrain bread, and a recipe card for our Chipotle Sweet Corn Coulis with Lemon Basil Aioli (the secret ingredients!). / *pick-up at the cafe only.

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    Backer Mug / An official Birchwood Backer mug providing you with unlimited coffee on 12 monthly Birchwood Backer Days. / *pick-up at the cafe or add $12 for US shipping.

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    34 backers

    Backer Mug & Tee / An official Birchwood Backer mug and Birchwood Backer 100% organic Non-GMO cotton tee-shirt. / *pick-up at the cafe or add $12 for US shipping.

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    Easy Bake Birchwood Gluten-Free Donuts at Home / Delight in Birchwood gluten-free donuts in your very own home! Includes our famous gluten-free donut dry mix, baking instructions, your very own nonstick donut pan and a signature Birchwood Cafe apron. Our pastry chef Sandra Sherva will include suggestions for you to create your own custom flavor combinations. *additional ingredients required

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    Easy Bake Birchwood Gluten-Free Donuts at Home / *Makes a great gift!* Delight in Birchwood gluten-free donuts in your very own home! Includes our famous gluten-free donut dry mix, baking instructions, your very own nonstick donut pan and a signature Birchwood Cafe apron. Our Pastry Chef Sandra Sherva will include suggestions for you to create your own custom flavor combinations. *additional ingredients required.

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    Lunch Bunch / You and 3 friends will enjoy a delicious lunch of our famous heirloom chipotle sweet corn BLTs and a glass of homemade lemonade or refreshing iced tea. *free refills!

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    Tea-Paired Dinner / Two tickets to a four-course dinner prepared by Tea Master David Duckler of Verdant Tea and Birchwood Chef Marshall Paulsen at Cooks of Crocus Hill–St. Paul. Enjoy a delicious seasonal menu collaboratively created by Marshall and David, with each course showcasing local, tea-infused ingredients and paired with a tea beverage sourced from Verdant's artisan tea farmers. Also included is a private shopping experience in the Cooks of Crocus Hill store!

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    Local Art Lover / Limited edition poster by Jacob Anderson of space150 and illustrated tee shirt design by Bill Ferenc of Replace Design. / *pick-up at the cafe or add $12 for US shipping.

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    23 backers

    Birchwood Brunch Tasting for Two / You and your guest will enjoy a four-course brunch tasting menu prepared by Chef Marshall in the newly renovated Birchwood Cafe. In a unique collaboration with Peace Coffee Head Roaster, Derek de la Paz, each course will be paired with a unique Peace Coffee drink. *there will be multiple dates to choose from TBD.

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    Dinner & a Movie Date Night / Birchwood dinner for two, including 2 entrées, coffee, and dessert to eat in or take home. Plus your own copy of the DVD documentary "American Meat" featuring Joel Salatin paired with Whole Grain Milling organic non-GMO popcorn and Kalona SuperNatural organic butter!

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    52 backers

    8 Seasons of Soup / Each season you'll take home a quart of our delicious homemade soup and a fresh baked loaf of bread. Think Maple Squash for Fall, Chicken Noodle for Dusk, Split Pea & Ham for Winter, Chilled Minted Pea for Summer. Plus a Birchwood Cafe signature apron. *Vegan and gluten-free options.

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    30 backers

    Backer Box / 1-lb. of our "Breakfast in Heaven" Non-GMO Project verified Granola, 12-oz. bag of Peace Coffee's Birchwood Blend, and 2 Backer mugs. / *pick-up at the cafe or add $12 for US shipping.

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    Pop-Up Brunch Preview / You and your guest will be the first to experience a Birchwood Pop-Up Brunch served at Verdant Tea! Enjoy a one-of-a-kind menu inspired by Verdant's tea growing regions. Four brunch courses, with each course showcasing local, tea-infused ingredients and paired with a tea beverage sourced from Verdant's artisan tea farmers.

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    Dinner & a Movie Date Night (PART TWO) / Birchwood dinner for two, including 2 entrées, coffee, and dessert to eat in or take home. Plus your own copy of the DVD documentary "FRESH" featuring Will Allen, Michael Pollan, Joel Salatin, paired with Whole Grain Milling organic non-GMO popcorn and Kalona SuperNatural organic butter!

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    Nice Ride Tour de Local Food / One-year Nice Ride bike share subscription (must be activated by Dec. 31, 2013) for use during the entire 2014 season (April to November). Fuel one day's ride starting at Common Roots Cafe with a bagel, cream cheese, and coffee, and finish at the Birchwood Cafe with a complimentary meal and beverage.

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    Pizza Party on the Farm / 2 tickets to a pizza dinner (prepared by Chef Marshall in an outdoor pizza oven) and evening bonfire at Riverbend Farm.

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    Guest Chef Dinner / 1 ticket to a five-course dinner in the Birchwood's new Community Room prepared by Chef Marshall Paulsen in collaboration with a local guest chef. Partners will include: Steven Brown, Vincent Francoual, JD Fratzke, Michele Gayer, Jorge Guzman, Joe Hatch-Surisook, Mike Phillips, Alex Roberts, Lenny Russo, J.P. Samuelson, and Lucia Watson.

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    Birchwood Thanksgiving on Wheels / Our Thanksgiving Kit and Kaboodle delivered to your home! On Wednesday, Nov. 27th Chef Marshall will deliver a fresh, local sustainably raised Ferndale Market Turkey (10-15 lbs) right to your door, along with enough cranberry quince chutney, maple squash mash and citrus sage stuffing to feed 8-12! You'll also get a pack of wonder buns and our delicious maple pumpkin pie. Plus a Birchwood Cafe signature apron. * gluten-free pie option available. Delivery time between 10am-4pm. Delivery available for Minneapolis and St. Paul only.

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    Dinner on the Farm with Mason / A single ticket to a unique outdoor meal prepared by Chef Marshall Paulsen at Riverbend Farm, accompanied by a musical performance from Mason Jennings. / *backers may choose from two TBD event dates.

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    6 backers

    Gluten-Free Donut Frequent Flyer Club / Eight times a year, for each of our eight seasons, you'll take home a boxed dozen of our delicious gluten-free donuts, baker's choice seasonal selection. Think Pumpkin Chai Spice for Fall, Eggnog for Dusk, Lemon Thyme for Spring and Strawberry Chocolate for Summer. Bring them to work to share or have your own donut party at home.

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    9 backers

    Birchwood Buddies / Two Birchwood logo pint glasses, 2 Birchwood Backer 100% organic Non-GMO cotton tee shirts, and a seasonal pie to share. / *pie is cafe pick-up only; add $12 for US shipping on other items.

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    Hands-On In the Kitchen with Marshall / 2 tickets to a 16-person hands-on cooking (and eating!) class with Chef Marshall Paulsen at Kitchen in the Market in Minneapolis plus each of you will take home your very own signature Birchwood aprons.

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    Sneak Peek / 2 tickets to one of our preview meal events and a pair of Birchwood Backer mugs. Be among the first to experience the new Birchwood!

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    Family Fun on the Farm / 4 tickets to a pizza dinner (prepared by Chef Marshall in an outdoor pizza oven) and an afternoon hayride at Riverbend Farm.

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    Guest Chef Dinner for Two / 2 tickets to a five-course dinner in the Birchwood's new Community Room prepared by Chef Marshall Paulsen in collaboration with a local guest chef. Partners will include: Steven Brown, Vincent Francoual, JD Fratzke, Michele Gayer, Jorge Guzman, Joe Hatch-Surisook, Mike Phillips, Alex Roberts, Lenny Russo, J.P. Samuelson, and Lucia Watson.

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    Cooking with Birchwood / Acknowledgement of gratitude printed in the forthcoming Birchwood Cookbook (due out in 2015), your own copy signed by Tracy and Marshall, and the first-ever signature Birchwood apron. / *pick-up at the cafe or add $12 for US shipping.

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    Dinner on the Farm with Mason / 2 tickets to a unique outdoor meal prepared by Chef Marshall Paulsen at Riverbend Farm, accompanied by a musical performance from Mason Jennings. / *backers may choose from two TBD event dates.

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    2 backers

    Birchwood Bike Love / New custom-designed Twin Six & Birchwood Cafe cycling kit (jersey & bib shorts), bike cap, bike socks, Birchwood logo water bottle, and Birchwood bike "wallet" to hold your cell phone, ID, credit cards and/or cash. Plus, a Birchwood Backer mug! / *pick-up at the cafe or add $12 for US shipping.

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    Cheese CSA / Shepherd's Way six-month cheese share is an assortment of Shepherd’s Way Farms cheese (1½ pounds or 4-6 pieces per box). Each month you will also receive a Birchwood Cafe seasonal jam or chutney & a loaf of fresh baked bread. Plus, a signed copy of the forthcoming Birchwood cookbook (due out in 2015)! / *pick-up at the cafe only.

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    Summer CSA / DragSmith Farms weekly 1/2 bushel box filled with fresh, locally grown, organic produce along with a signed copy of the forthcoming Birchwood cookbook (due out in 2015) and a signtaure Birchwood apron. / *pick-up at the cafe only.

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    Summer CSA / Bossy Acres bi-weekly share of fresh, locally grown, organic produce along with a signed copy of the forthcoming Birchwood cookbook (due out in 2015) and a signtaure Birchwood apron. / *pick-up at the cafe only.

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    1 backer All gone!

    Summer of Local Food / A Riverbend Farm summer CSA share along with a signed copy of the forthcoming Birchwood cookbook (due out in 2015) and a signtaure Birchwood apron. / *pick-up at the cafe only.

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    Summer CSA / Sweet Beet Farm's weekly Full CSA share: 18 weeks of organic vegetables, fruits and herbs, along with a signed copy of the forthcoming Birchwood cookbook (due out in 2015) and a signtaure Birchwood apron. / *pick-up at the cafe only.

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    Breakfast with the Seasons / 8 seasonal breakfast boxes, each including: 1-lb. "Breakfast in Heaven" Non-GMO Project verified granola, 1-lb. Birchwood Blend Peace Coffee, 1-lb. seasonal breakfast meat, 1 seasonal cream cheese coffee cake, 1 jar seasonal Birchwood Jam, 1 loaf of multigrain bread, plus two Birchwood Backer mugs. / *pick-up at cafe only.

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    1 backer All gone!

    A Year of Eating Local / Bring home a full year of local, organic Featherstone Farm fruits and vegetables with both a summer & winter solo CSA share, plus an acknowledgement of gratitude printed in the forthcoming Birchwood Cookbook (due out in 2015), an autographed copy of your own, and a Birchwood signature apron.

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    Savory Waffle Breakfast Club / A Savory Waffle breakfast party, including Peace Coffee and fresh organic orange juice, for up to 25 people in our new Community Room. Plus, everyone takes home their own Birchwood Backer mug.

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    1 backer

    Lunch Bunch / 3-course lunch for two (including soup or salad, entrée, and dessert with two non-alcohol beverages) in the new Birchwood, every month for a year!

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    Community Builder / Host a private, four-course dinner in the Birchwood Community Room for up to 12 guests. Includes a customized menu prepared by Chef Marshall Paulsen especially for your event. At the end of the evening, you and your guests will take home Birchwood Backer mugs and 100% organic Non-GMO cotton Birchwood Backer tee shirts.

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    1 backer

    Birchwood House Party / Chef Marshall Paulsen and Tracy Singleton will prepare and serve in your home a customized dinner menu for up to 20 people. We'll even do the dishes! Plus, your guests each take home a Birchwood Backer mug and the host receives an acknowledgement of gratitude printed in the forthcoming Birchwood Cookbook (due out in 2015), your own copy signed by Tracy and Marshall, and the first-ever signature Birchwood apron.

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    Savory Waffle Naming Rights / Your name here for one year: The ________ Savory Waffle on the Birchwood menu! Plus, all the Backer merchandise: Birchwood Backer mug, Birchwood Backer 100% organic Non-GMO cotton tee shirt, signature Birchwood apron, and an acknowledgement of gratitude printed in the forthcoming Birchwood Cookbook (due out in 2015), your own copy signed by Tracy and Marshall, and the first-ever signature Birchwood apron. AND 2 tickets to a Sneak Peak preview meal event and 2 tickets to Dinner & Music on the Farm with special guest Mason Jennings.

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Funding period

- (28 days)