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Chef Maya Lovelace is putting down roots, expanding Mae's southern Appalachian offerings and introducing a new restaurant named Yonder.
Chef Maya Lovelace is putting down roots, expanding Mae's southern Appalachian offerings and introducing a new restaurant named Yonder.
736 backers pledged $85,778 to help bring this project to life.

About

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Build Mae + Yonder a Permanent Home on NE 42nd Ave

$85,778

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When Chef Maya Lovelace was young, her grandma’s kitchen felt like church. With each visit to Mae Lovelace's home in Hickory, North Carolina, Maya would learn a thing or two: how to shape yeast rolls, how to fry summer squash in a cast iron skillet, how to make sweet tea. 

Grandma Mae's lessons were intentional, methodical, and one-of-a-kind. They imbued Maya with valuable tools to feed her loved ones and earn a living.

After more than a decade of training with some of the best chefs in Charleston and Portland, Maya enlisted her partner Zach Lefler to build a tribute in her grandma's name--a little neighborhood pop-up called Mae. Nestled in a garage just off NE 42nd Ave, we have spent nearly three years serving up fried chicken, angel biscuits, stone-ground grits, sassafras sweet tea, and the best vegetables grown in Oregon.

Mae has earned local media attention from Portland Monthly, Willamette Week, The Portland Mercury and The Oregonian, plus national accolades on Eater(Young Gun 2016, Portland Chef of the Year 2016) and Zagat (30 Under 30 2017). Maya has been nominated for a James Beard Award twice (Rising Star Chef 2017 and 2018), and since its inception in early 2015, our pop-up has served more than 8,000 guests.

"When I think of what my grandma would’ve felt, seeing her food and her story honored in this way, I feel like my heart might explode with joy."

Preparing three fat skillet-fried chicken and pimento mac & cheese.
Preparing three fat skillet-fried chicken and pimento mac & cheese.

Now Maya and Zach want to bring their love of Southern cuisine to even more people. This summer, they'll open the doors to a brand new restaurant offering two distinct dining experiences:

Yonder will be a casual counter-service establishment, in meat-and-three tradition, serving up classic Southern fare on demand. Mae will continue serving intimate, overwhelming, family-style dinners in a cozy private dining room several nights a week. 

With two separate dining rooms, two menus, and one big staff, this project is daunting for first-time restauranteurs. Support from friends, family, and community has always been essential to our success. We want to make sure our backers are involved in every step of this process, so we've put together a selection of brand new dinners, merchandise and ingredient packages just for you.

$100,000 Stretch Goal: OUR VERY FIRST COOKBOOK!

$100k, here we come!
$100k, here we come!

With a little less than 48 hours on the clock, we're throwing you a curve ball. IF WE REACH OUR STRETCH GOAL of $100K, we'll be sweetening the pot for our generous backers of $150 or more (starter kits, dinners, etc.) by creating our VERY FIRST COOKBOOK.

Some of y'all know how inspired we are by old school cookbooks produced by small local organizations in the south - those beautiful, plastic-comb-bound tomes from church groups and ladies' auxiliary clubs - featuring heirloom family recipes printed simply and without unnecessary embellishment. If we can reach our target, we'll be putting together our very own book in this classic style. 

You can expect around ten recipes (unless we get carried away and add more), from our summer chow chow to our famous angel biscuits - each one accompanied by the story of its origin, bound into a neat little volume that we hope will live in your kitchen for years to come, or at least until we release a more comprehensive book one of these days!

Campaign-Exclusive Yonder Drumstick Enamel Pin

Our new restaurant has a complex, nuanced personality--just like you.
Our new restaurant has a complex, nuanced personality--just like you.

Designed by Meagan Geer and manufactured right here in Portland, these finger-licking enamel pins are a special thank you and a tip of the hat to everyone's favorite fowl. Pins ship in May 2018 to anywhere in the United States.

SHIPWRECK Party ft. Piña Coladas and Fried Chicken Sandwiches on 5/22 *SOLD OUT*

On May 22nd, we'll join forces with Eric Steven Nelson and his smash hit cocktail pop-up SHIPWRECK. We'll be serving up our FRIED CHICKEN SANDWICH, "The Intimidator", for the very first time. Eric will sling his beautiful tropical-inspired cocktails for your purchasing and imbibing pleasure.

Each ticket includes a big ol' sandwich (lard-fried, skin-on chicken thigh, pimento cheese, bacon jam, iceberg lettuce, bread and butter pickles on a big squishy bun) and two sides. We may even come up with a special surprise or two to slide onto your table.

Drinks not included, bit deliciously available! Your pledge admits one ($35) or two ($65). Scheduled for May 22nd in Portland.

Basket of Fresh Angel Biscuits *SOLD OUT*

When you come visit Yonder for the first time, show us your BISCUIT card and we'll get a hot basket of our famous angel biscuits ready for you! We'll send it to your table with zippy pimento cheese and bread & butter zucchini pickles. What could possibly go better with all the fried chicken you'll be enjoying? Available anytime after we open!

10-pc Holiday Bucket Jackpot *SOLD OUT*

This memorial day, you'll be a hero to your family and friends when you show up to the party with a 10-pc bucket of our famous three-fat fried chicken, two 16oz sides, and four biscuits! (SOLD>) Pickup on May 28th (<OUT) and by popular demand, (SOLD>) July 4th! (<OUT)

Cotton Tote Bag Screen-Printed with Mae's New Logo

Must-have farmer's market accessory.
Must-have farmer's market accessory.

The first line of merchandise we've ever produced--featuring Mae's brand new logo and designed just for our Kickstarter backers! Ships in May 2018, drumstick pin included, to anywhere in the United States.

Introducing... The Mae-At-Home Starter Kit

Take our signature ingredients home to your kitchen and show Maya how it's done.
Take our signature ingredients home to your kitchen and show Maya how it's done.

Southern ingredients are an important part of our food, and now you can bring these delicious goodies home to your own kitchen. Featuring the pickled ramp pimento cheese, whipped sorghum butter, stoneground white cornmeal, Benton's bacon, and Sea Island red peas you've come to love at Mae. Packaged inside a Mae tote bag, drumstick pin included.

Swing by the restaurant to say hello and pick yours up this May (local pickup only).

Yonder Housewarming Party *NEW*

Come join us for our grand opening! We'll welcome you with a drink and a tour of the space, and then sit you down for a generous family style dinner showcasing our new dishes--you'll eat the whole menu! Come get a first look at the new restaurant, and help us make it a home. Date TBA.

Vegetarian Dinner Featuring Fresh Produce from our Farmer Dan Sullivan

The best vegetables in Oregon.
The best vegetables in Oregon.

Just wait until you meet our farmer Dan Sullivan. Together we'll feature an exclusive vegetarian menu to thank our backers who aren't meat-inclined. Dan'll be there to personally answer questions about the ingredients and where they came from. 

Date to be announced, but plan for late summer! We want everything on our menu to be perfectly ripe for the season. Each pledge admits two!

Winemaker Dinner with Andy Young, Proprietor of St. Reginald Parish on 4/26

He's even more fun in person, we promise.
He's even more fun in person, we promise.

Sit down for a ten-course dinner including beverage pairings with Andy Young, owner and proprietor of St. Reginald Parish. You'll be the first to try their new sparkling wine, Sparkle Motion! 

The grapes for this 100% Pinot Noir (2015 vintage) come from a single vineyard, Sisu Vineyard in Yamhill-Carlton, and it spent six months in a barrel and two full years in the bottle before finding its way to our table.

Only 80 cases of Sparkle Motion were produced, so we're very proud to be offering a bottle to take home with each ticket to Andy's winemaker dinner, as an additional token of our gratitude. Ten courses, each with pairings, plus a bottle of bubbly to take home. 

Dinner's scheduled for April 26th in Portland. Each pledge admits two!

Exclusive Recipe Tasting Dinner on May 1st

When I dip, you dip, we dip.
When I dip, you dip, we dip.

We're excited to give you a taste of what we've been working on, and our vision for Yonder and Mae. At our Recipe Testing Dinner on May 1st, we'll also be soliciting your feedback--your patronage built our little pop-up into what it is today, and we trust you.

Back us, and be one of the first to try...

  • Crispy cornmeal gougeres with collard green cream & vinegar dust
  • Catfish and green garlic hushpuppies with our pickled ramp ranch 
  • Salt rising toast with creamed ramps and morels 
  • Buttermilk brined & lard fried chicken with Western NC “dip” (see above!)
  • Cornmeal fried HOT catfish
  • Country ham braised lima beans and heirloom rice 
  • Comeback coleslaw
  • Old-school apple stack cake

These are BRAND NEW dishes we're hoping to serve from our new kitchen, and we want you to give us your feedback! We'll cook, you'll eat, and then we'll all have a nice little chat about what you liked, loved, or hated. Scheduled for May 1st in Portland, each pledge admits two!

First Dinner in the New Mae Dining Room

Did ya hear? You don't have to BYOB anymore ;-)
Did ya hear? You don't have to BYOB anymore ;-)

New menu, new digs, new sense of style. We're excited to fully realize our vision for Mae, with decor and ambiance perfectly suited to our intimate storytelling dinners.

This summer, you'll be the very first guests to dine in Mae's new home and enjoy tastes from our brand new cocktail menu, created by the lovely Kate Bolton. Will there be smothered pork chops? Salt-rising toast? Collard green gougeres? Apple butter stack cake? 

You'll have to join us to find out. Each pledge admits two!

Our Wall of Fame: Recognizing Grandmas, Grannies, Meemaws and All the Other Amazing Women Who Make the World Go 'Round

Because Mae needs company.
Because Mae needs company.

Matriarchs provide their families with boundless love, support, and wisdom. Honor your granny, your mom, your super cool aunt--any woman who has made an impression on your life. Simply provide us with a framed photo, and we'll hang it on a special wall in Yonder for everyone to see and appreciate. 

We have a feeling that Mae will be in excellent company. On display in June 2018.

Backing Us at $5,000 and Up?

Trust us.
Trust us.

Listen, we all know that's a lot of money.

So if you do us the extreme kindness of backing a new home for Mae + Yonder at that level, we're pulling out all the stops. 

From private cooking lessons with friends, to a special Mae dinner in your very own dining room, we've come up with stellar rewards for our most generous backers. We're excited to spend a little time with you and thank you for helping us live our dream.

The Work Ahead of Us

We're starting this project with an empty concrete box. Over the next few months, we'll be adding walls, hanging sheetrock, laying tile, and painting our little hearts out. 

Starting from the ground up is daunting, but we're excited to put work into every minute detail, building a new home worthy of our guests. We'll be handpicking furniture, hanging portraits, installing equipment and dreaming of the amazing meals we've yet to serve you.

We expect construction to take roughly four months, plus a bit more time to decorate and bring the space to life. Our team is currently aiming for a July opening, God willing and the creek don't rise.

Risks and challenges

A first-time restaurant build out is challenging in any environment. We're supremely confident because--together with your help--we're working in careful coordination with our incredible neighborhood.

We've been serving food on NE 42nd Ave for three years now, and our plan for the old Delphina's Bakery space was hand-selected by Our 42nd, a organization built to ensure that economic change benefits our neighbors in an inclusive way.

We want to built a supportive environment where young chefs can shape a career and neighbors can share a pitcher of sweet tea. Zach grew up just down the street, on NE 40th, and there's no place in the world we'd rather plant roots.

It's possible folks will get tired of fried chicken, but unlikely.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1.00

    Our Sincere Thanks

    Chef Maya Lovelace will whisper her personal thanks to you while stirring a pot of country ham-braised collard greens.

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    Handwritten Love Note *NEW*

    All our thanks, penned by Maya Lovelace, delivered to you on a drool-worthy custom postcard, chicken grease perfume not included.

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    Yonder Drumstick Enamel Pin

    Let everyone know exactly where your priorities lie with this campaign-exclusive enamel pin designed by Meagan Geer.

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    Basket of Biscuits *NEW*

    When you come visit Yonder for the first time, show us your BISCUIT card and we'll get a hot basket of our famous angel biscuits ready for you! We'll send it to your table with zippy pimento cheese and bread & butter zucchini pickles.

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    Reward no longer available 150 backers
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    Shipwreck Party ft. The Intimidator

    Includes 'The Intimidator' (lard-fried, skin-on chicken thigh, pimento cheese, bacon jam, iceberg lettuce, bread and butter pickles on a big squishy bun) and two sides.

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    Pledge US$ 55 or more About US$ 55

    Holiday Bucket Jackpot *NEW*

    A 10-pc bucket of our famous three-fat fried chicken, two 16oz sides, and four biscuits!

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    Reward no longer available 80 backers
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    July 4th Bucket Jackpot *NEW*

    A 10-pc bucket of our famous three-fat fried chicken, two 16oz sides, and four biscuits!

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    Reward no longer available 80 backers
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    Pledge US$ 65 or more About US$ 65

    Shipwreck Party ft. TWO Intimidators

    Includes TWO Intimidators (lard-fried, skin-on chicken thigh, pimento cheese, bacon jam, iceberg lettuce, bread and butter pickles on a big squishy bun) and four sides.

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    Reward no longer available 50 backers
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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Mae Tote Bag

    The first piece of Mae merchandise we've ever produced, featuring our brand new logo! Perfect for bringing your own favorite ingredients home from the market.

    Includes:
    • Yonder Drumstick Enamel Pin
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    Pledge US$ 150 or more About US$ 150

    Mae At-Home Starter Kit

    Take a collection of signature Mae ingredients home to your kitchen: pickled ramp pimento cheese, whipped sorghum butter, stone-ground white cornbread mix (and recipe), Benton's bacon, and Sea Island red peas.

    Includes:
    • Mae Logo Tote Bag
    • Yonder Drumstick Enamel Pin
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    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    Yonder Housewarming Party *NEW*

    We'll welcome you with a drink and a tour of the space, then sit you down for a generous family style dinner showcasing our new dishes--you'll eat the whole menu!

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    Pledge US$ 300 or more About US$ 300

    Vegetarian Dinner with Our Farmer

    One ticket to our backer-exclusive vegetarian dinner featuring local produce from our farmer, Dan Sullivan, who will be on-hand to answer questions about the ingredients and his process.

    Scheduled for late summer 2018, when Portland's bounty is at its peak.

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    Pledge US$ 400 or more About US$ 400

    Winemaker Dinner with Andy Young 4/26

    Join us for dinner and a personal introduction to Andy Young, connoisseur and proprietor of St. Reginald Parish. Get early intel on our menu, straight from the vintner's mouth. Each pledge admits two!

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    Yonder Housewarming Party (2 Tix) *NEW*

    We'll welcome you (and a friend) with a drink and a tour of the space, then sit you both down for a generous family style dinner showcasing our new dishes--you'll eat the whole menu!

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    Reward no longer available 16 backers
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    Exclusive Recipe Testing Dinner 5/1

    Backer-exclusive recipe testing dinner on May 1st. You’ll preview Mae and Yonder’s new dishes and have the opportunity to provide us with your valuable feedback. Each pledge admits two!

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    Pledge US$ 600 or more About US$ 600

    First Dinner in the New Mae Space

    Help us make Mae's new house a home! You'll be the very first people to dine in our brand new space, taste new dishes and explore our new beverage menu.

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

    Honor Your Maw or Meemaw

    We'll hang your framed portrait of your beloved female relative on a dedicated wall in our new restaurant, honoring her permanently and with great distinction.

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

    Make Sunday Supper with Maya Lovelace

    Invite seven of your closest friends: James Beard-nominated chef Maya Lovelace is coming over to teach y'all how to prepare and enjoy a proper Sunday supper.

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

    Private Party at Mae *NEW*

    You and 23 of your best friends will join us for dinner in the brand new Mae dining room. You'll eat and drink the night away, enjoying our full menu. We'll even take special requests! What have you always wanted us to cook for you?

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    Private Catering

    We’ll personally cater your family reunion, birthday celebration or the party of your choice (50 diners max). Valid for two years, Washington and Oregon only.

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    Pledge US$ 10,000 About US$ 10,000

    Mae Comes TO YOU

    We’ll bring the complete Mae experience to your home kitchen for one night, anywhere in the continental United States. Valid for two years.

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Funding period

- (30 days)