who am I?
Emily, Emunah, Ima, call me what you will. I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin where I started writing recipes and drinking coffee at the ripe old age of 7. I never grew to be taller than 5 feet, but it was all worth it. I started working in restaurants when I was 14 and have hardly stopped since. I learned Spanish, got interested in coffee growing in Latin America, went to college, shopped at the farmer's market every week, ate at some amazing restaurants, lived and worked in Peru for a while and eventually got married in Jerusalem, Israel where we lived for the past three years. We came back to the U.S. with a toddler and an even stronger desire to build a diverse community around food.
what will MOSS CAFE be like?
Imagine the quality and style of a hip Manhattan café but with the small-town warmth of a neighborhood coffee shop. Imagine being able to get your kids a treat you actually feel good about giving them, your relatives a meal that is "normal enough", your trendy brother a cup of coffee he actually approves of, and indulging in an early evening artisanal cheese plate and wine with friends, ALL AT THE SAME PLACE (but probably not at the same time).
That's what MOSS will do, and more. Come plug in your laptop and get some work done over endless lattes, grab breakfast to go or linger with a book and a scone, take the night off and pick up a healthy dinner, or just peruse the "market" for inspiration from our home-made specialties such as granola, jam, seasonal pickles, pestos and preserves or other local grocery items. Come with friends, family, or on your own. You're bound to see someone you know or make a new acquaintance. We'll get to know your drink order, your dog's name, your daughter's sandwich shape preferences and whether you like to talk to people before you've had your morning coffee. It's okay, we get it. That's what we're here for.
MOSS is a café committed to community, sustainability, quality, and creativity. Our approach to food is simple: use the best local ingredients and let that speak for itself. Our coffee is done right, crafted using freshly roasted beans from local roasters. Our community is warm and open; it is both a respite and a place to connect.
The growing diverse population of Riverdale and the surrounding area is unique and yet, there is not currently a space where anyone and everyone can feel welcome and where community can be built beyond social bounds. In addition, the area is lacking a kosher establishment that can provide residents with creative healthy food options in a stylish and well-designed space. MOSS aims to fill that void and offer the Riverdale neighborhood a sophisticated and creative menu using seasonal, organic and local foods as well as artisanal baked goods and amazing coffee made by knowledgeable baristas.
MOSS will appeal to all kinds of Riverdale residents: commuters looking to grab coffee and a pastry before work or a quick beer and a snack with friends after work. Stay-at-home parents, retirees, those who work from home, students and other community members working in the area will have an inviting, affordable local place to gather for a breakfast date, a working lunch or a treat after school with kids. The menu is truly accessible to everyone, offering something small or substantial at every hour for those on the run or looking to sit down for a while.
how can YOU HELP?
After almost a year of searching, planning, meeting and feeling out the community, we are finally in a position to make this happen for REAL! We found the perfect space on Johnson Avenue, a busy area with lots of shopping, errand running and foot traffic, but which is also completely without a kosher restaurant. We need to sign a lease as soon as possible to not miss out on this amazing opportunity (the space has parking, people!).
This is where YOU come in. In all of our research, we have yet to find a single person in Riverdale who doesn't want this café to open here (hooray for community support!) so we're hoping that we can collaborate with all of you to make this dream a reality, for all of us. PLUS, there are some amazing incentives in addition to the awesome café that will soon be in your neighborhood. Check them out to the right!
HELP US MAKE MOSS CAFÉ HAPPEN!
(Music in video by Sufjan Stevens, Asthmatic Kitty Records.)
Risks and challenges
Our biggest challenge will be timing. As the current space is in need of a major make-over, the renovation process is not only seriously necessary, but expensive and most likely, time-consuming. While it is already a restaurant, which helps tremendously, there is a lot involved in turning a non-kosher establishment into a kosher one and completely changing the look and feel of the interior. We've done quite a bit of ground work in order to make the process move as quickly as possible once we sign the lease, but delays are inevitable and without proper funding, we will be sure to face more. We hope our supporters will see this project through patiently, knowing that the anticipation will only make the revelation sweeter (literally, there will be cake!)
The good news is that we've already sourced most of our ingredients and are excited to work with some amazing farms and artisanal producers. We have extensive plans that are completed down to the moss covered table decor and we are SO passionate about seeing this project through, it would take quite a serious force to hold us back now.
As I see this café as more than just a personal dream of mine, but rather an offering to the community, I am happy to share my business plans with anyone interested. Please feel free to contact me with questions, advice and words of support :)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)