My name is Luke Zahm and I'm the Chef and Owner of the Driftless Café.
With the help of my wife Ruthie and 30 employees, we own and operate our 44 seat restaurant. As Wisconsin natives, the Driftless Region is where we call home. After working in kitchens for over a decade, I decided that if I wanted to cook with the best ingredients possible I would need to move back to the Driftless – back to the epicenter of the organic food and farming movement.
In the field with Ridgeland Harvest
We purchased the Café in 2013 with the idea that we could create a restaurant that was about more than just food – we wanted to showcase the amazing farmers and food artisans that call this place home. We wanted to support our friends and neighbors to create a stronger financial community. We wanted our food to serve as a bridge in our community and as a vehicle for growth into the future.
Good Energy = Good Food!
This has been an amazing year at the Driftless Café. We have seen an overwhelming response to the food and food experiences we offer. In May, we purchased the building adjacent to the current Café (formerly known as Viroqua Computer Supply Store) in order to serve up to twice our usual capacity, five days a week!
We knew that in order to build a sustainable business that continues to showcase the food produced by our farmers, neighbors and friends – we needed to expand.
We decided to move forward with developing seating space as quickly as possible all the while knowing that it would take the support of our community to make the final component of this space a reality: THE KITCHEN!
What your money will buy:
Your financial support will allow us to secure the following:
A commercial hood system
A commercial dishwashing system (we currently do all of our dishes by hand!!!)
An equipped cooking line
Commercial refrigeration systems
When you pledge, you are putting dollars back in the hands of some of finest farmers in the world, supporting the growth of rural businesses, and saying out loud that you truly believe Good Energy does equal Good Food.
Risks and challenges
We've made it this far from strong partnerships with those who support us by way of contributing their products as well as by eating at our restaurant. Together, we are destined to see this project through – but we are literally out of space and tools...
With your help we will be able to:
+++ Increase our cooking capacity!
+++ Decrease wait time for lunch and dinner service!
+++ Continue taking on new farmers/food producers, while deepening partnerships with our current producers!
Even though we have the seating space and bar open for business, we cannot pursue the next phase of kitchen expansion unless we succeed. If we do make our financial goal, we plan to purchase tools and continue remodeling the kitchen for the next 4-6 months. Customers and backers will be able to benefit from this project as soon as Spring/Summer 2015 growing season starts! However, no matter if this campaign gets funded, Driftless Café is open for business.
Come see us!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (28 days)