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I'm ready to take Ripe Cuisine to the next level & continue to serve healthy, local + seasonally inspired dishes to Houston's streets.
104 backers pledged $12,022 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$12,022

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Hi, my name is Stephanie Hoban and I am a Natural Foods Chef, Registered Dietitian, and owner of Ripe Cuisine, a healthy, locally sourced and seasonally-inspired food company in Houston, Texas.  Thanks for viewing my Kickstarter project!

Ripe Cuisine: A Short History 

In 2012, I launched a blog called Ripe Cuisine with the mission to share my knowledge of cooking healthy, whole, plant-based foods.  I was in graduate school and wanted to ‘keep up’ with the culinary training I had completed two years prior.  What started as a way for me to showcase my passion for both nutrition and cooking quickly became something I knew I wanted to make into my life's work. 

In the spring of 2013, only a year after starting my blog, I launched the Ripe Pop-Up Market Cafe at Urban Harvests' Farmers' Market in Houston.  Soon I had developed a following and requests for catering and private chef jobs came rolling in as well.  Through Ripe, my goal has always been to inspire people to try a new vegetable, a new way to cook and eat it, and broaden everyone's diet in a healthful way.  In August of 2013, I quit my 'day job' as a full-time Registered Dietitian for a local healthy takeaway food concept to determine how far I could take Ripe.  Now a mere one year after my first appearance at the Farmers' Market and with so much positive feedback from my customers, I'm ready to expand my hours of service and offerings with a Ripe Cuisine Food Truck!

The Ripe Pop Up Market Cafe on opening day in May of 2013
The Ripe Pop Up Market Cafe on opening day in May of 2013

Check out some of the press Ripe Cuisine has received since it's beginning....

Eater Houston - Houston's Best Vegan Dishes by Darla Guillen

Culture Map - by Whitney Radley

Houston Modern Luxury - by Chris Kelly 

002 Magazine - by Dominique McGhee

My Table- Houston's Dining Magazine - by Robin Barr Sussman

The Ripe Cuisine Food Truck: The Next Chapter

A food truck is the next best step for me and the best way for Ripe to expand and continue to serve the greater Houston-area with healthy, plant-based cuisine!  Each time I present my food at the Farmers' Market or at a catering or special event, I get asked where my restaurant is located, or where else my food can be found.  The people have spoken and healthy vegan eats are what they want and enjoy! 

I've already purchased my truck! She's a 14 ft step van I've named Wanda. But I need your help to build it out into a mobile kitchen!
I've already purchased my truck! She's a 14 ft step van I've named Wanda. But I need your help to build it out into a mobile kitchen!

Just as every dish served at my Pop Up Cafes has reflected Ripe's mantra of “Eat with a purpose. Stay Ripe.”, so too will my food truck.  What does that mean for you?  Is it more Bistro Burgers?  Without a doubt.  Local corn tortillas stuffed with layers of flavorful vegetables, beans, and grains?  You betcha.  Longer service hours and more days to fill your bellies with Ripe eats?  Dang right!  A larger menu with more delicious, and creatively inspired vegan options to choose from?  Pinch me, I think I’m dreaming!  I plan on having a small ‘set menu’ with some of my most popular items from my Pop Up Cafe as well as daily specials, side offerings, drinks, and even baked goods!  A food truck will not only allow me to serve more healthy plant-based options to the people of Houston, but will also allow me to expand our operations to perhaps 5 or even 6 days per week with potentially multiple service hours each day!

Veggaletta: a Ripe-afied version of the Muffaletta will definitely be on the menu
Veggaletta: a Ripe-afied version of the Muffaletta will definitely be on the menu
There will never be a shortage of delicious, healthy, Tex-Mex inspired eats
There will never be a shortage of delicious, healthy, Tex-Mex inspired eats
Or a lack of seasonally inspired, locally sourced dishes like this Roasted Corn & Tomato Salad with Roasted Jalapeno Aioli
Or a lack of seasonally inspired, locally sourced dishes like this Roasted Corn & Tomato Salad with Roasted Jalapeno Aioli
Oh and did I mention, we'd offer some sweets too??!
Oh and did I mention, we'd offer some sweets too??!
How You Can Help {This is the part where I ask for your money} 

In order to bring this delicious dream to life and spread healthy plant-based eats throughout Houston, I need your help to put my food truck on the road, up and running!  While the truck is already purchased, it is still a black canvas. Here’s a short list of just some of the things your pledge will help with: 

• Kitchen equipment inside the truck including a reach-in fridge, freezer, prep tables, sinks, gas range, ovens, flat-griddle top, commercial vent hood, etc.
• The buildout of the truck, including a generator, plumbing and electrical work, and designing and installing the graphics 'wrap' to make my truck look as good as my food is delicious.
• Cooking equipment such as pots, pans, sheet trays, knives, measuring cups, spoons, cutting boards, blenders, food storage containers, and the list goes on…. 
• Approximately $1,500 of license fees and permits required for my vehicle to meet all the codes and pass required inspections.

With your help, I could be standing in a sparkly new kitchen, instead of an empty truck!
With your help, I could be standing in a sparkly new kitchen, instead of an empty truck!

To help ensure I receive the full amount of pledges I can, I’ve made my goal conservative, as my initial costs will be much more than $10,000.  If I don’t meet my goal, I don’t get a penny of any of the pledged money! 

So, do you want more veggie-friendly options in Houston?  Want to support a company who wants to help people eat healthier and feel better?  Want to give to a cause where your hard earned dollars will be well spent?  Do you like to eat?  If you answered yes, to any of these questions, then you can help bring the next step of my dream to life! 

So, what do you need to do?? It's simple really… 

1. Click on “Back This Project” at the top-right of this page, choose which level of giving and incentive you’d like, and you’ll be ask to fill in some personal information. 

2. Enter your secure payment info via Amazon. 

3. Choose your pledge amount.

4. Spread this campaign!  Share it with your BFF, co-workers, parents, favorite barista, college roomate, your cousin’s girlfriend's hairdresser, and anyone who will listen and believe in this awesome project!  Stay up to date with the campaign's progress on Facebook (www.facebook.com/RipeCuisine), Twitter and Instagram @ripecuisine, and with the hashtags #wheels4ripe & #stayripe. 

And here are some of the sweet things you can get in exchange for pledging to make my dream a reality!

Look like your favorite food truck in one of these limited edition tees* upon successful funding of this project, you'll be contacted regarding size
Look like your favorite food truck in one of these limited edition tees* upon successful funding of this project, you'll be contacted regarding size
Stay Ripe in your kitchen with an Official Ripe Cuisine Apron - The apron is washed denim with the logo embroidered across the front
Stay Ripe in your kitchen with an Official Ripe Cuisine Apron - The apron is washed denim with the logo embroidered across the front
Imagine this truck catering your next event or riding along with us for a day!
Imagine this truck catering your next event or riding along with us for a day!

With your help, I should be able to hit the road in late Summer 2014!  Remember, if I don’t reach my stated goal of $10,000, I won't receive any of the pledged amounts, and, simply put, that would be a SHAME.

Thank you everyone, and as always Stay Ripe,

Stephanie

 

Risks and challenges

"I never dreamed about success. I worked for it." - Estee Lauder

Buying a food truck and building it out from the ground up is no small endeavor. This kickstarter campaign is just one of the ways I am planning on succeeding, as your funding will greatly help me get this project up and running.

I am working with an experienced, Houston-based mobile cart builder who has a great reputation in the 'food truck community'. I have seen their work firsthand and know my truck will be built with utmost quality. They are also aiding in the necessary requirements to be approved for health department inspections. I have done my homework and research. I know the local codes and regulations I must maintain and exceed in order to provide the tasty and healthy cuisine for which Ripe is already known. The typical "speed bumps" (pardon the pun) of mechanical and permitting issues for food trucks have been considered and planned for already. I am confident in Ripe will have a first rate truck and kitchen serving food of the highest quality.

A successful food truck has a niche, a steady following, and placement in great locations. I believe Houston is ready and waiting for a food concept like Ripe Cuisine, otherwise I would not be trying to open a food truck. While I may be serving up healthy plant-based cuisine in the land of cattle, there is a growing demand for this kind and style of food. I've tested the waters with my Pop Up Cafe and know Houstonians are ready to see more options like the ones I serve at Ripe. I've already garnished a sizable following from my Pop Up Cafes and I have actively spread the word via social media, this campaign, public events (e.g., Houston Press' Menu of Menus Extravaganza), and have made connections on future locations including the well-known Houston Food Truck Parks. My food truck will allow me additional flexibility to roll with the punches of unpredictable and temperamental weather. Currently, my customers and I are shut out if bad weather occurs on the scheduled day of my Pop Up Cafe. A truck will also provide me the flexibility to cook on-site for parties, catering, and special events that I'm unable to do now.

From Ripe's birth as a small food blog I've been determined to share healthy plant based cuisine with the masses, and will apply that same determination (fueled by green juice and organic quinoa) into putting this food truck on the road. As someone who has worked in the food industry, I know the time and dedication (blood, sweat, and maybe even tears), it takes to run a successful food business and I am not shy of hard work. I am prepared to take on challenges and set backs as they arise, and with Houston's help and support am confident we can conquer them one by one.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Good karma, cyber high fives, a lifetime of gratitude + a personal Thank You and shout out on our Facebook page and website

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    A lifetime of gratitude from us + a personal Thank You and shout out on our Facebook page and website + a digital voucher* for 1 (one) entree and drink to be redeemed at the Ripe Cuisine Food Truck (*a digital voucher will be emailed to you for redemption at the truck)

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A lifetime of gratitude from us + a personal Thank You and shout out on our Facebook page and website + a digital voucher* for 1 (one) entree, drink AND dessert to be redeemed at the Ripe Cuisine Food Truck (*a digital voucher will be emailed to you for redemption at the truck)

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A lifetime of gratitude from us + a personal Thank You and shout out on our Facebook page and website + an official Ripe Cuisine t-shirt* (*shipping cost included OR pick up at the truck and receive a complimentary side item!)

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    A lifetime of gratitude from us + a personal Thank You and shout out on our Facebook page and website + a digital voucher* for 1 (one) entree, drink AND dessert to be redeemed at the Ripe Cuisine Food Truck + an official Ripe Cuisine t-shirt* (*a digital voucher will be email to you for redemption at the truck)

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    A lifetime of gratitude from us + a personal Thank You and shout out on our Facebook page and website + customized Ripe Cuisine apron.* Look like a pro while cooking our recipes from the blog! (*shipping cost included OR pick up at the truck and receive a complimentary side item!)

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    A lifetime of gratitude from us + a personal Thank You and shout out on our Facebook page and website + a digital voucher* for 2 (two) entrees, drinks AND desserts to be redeemed at the Ripe Cuisine Food Truck + an official Ripe Cuisine t-shirt* (*a digital voucher will be emailed to you for redemption at the truck)

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    A lifetime of gratitude from us + a personal Thank You and shout out on our Facebook page and website + an official Ripe Cuisine t-shirt* and custom Ripe Cuisine apron* (*shipping cost included OR pick up at the truck and receive a complimentary side item!)

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Everything included above (gratitude, 2 meal vouchers, t-shirt voucher) + a half-dozen vegan cupcakes, flavor of your choice*, made with organic whole wheat flour to be picked up from the Ripe Cuisine Food Truck (*after the successful funding of this project, you will be contacted with flavor choices)

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    RIPE VIP LEVEL: become a 'Stay Ripe VIP'* for a year by skipping the line every time you come see us! (*a Stay Ripe VIP card will be provided to you and must be presented at the truck to skip the line) + receive everything included at previous pledge levels (gratitude, 2 meal vouchers, t-shirt voucher, 1/2 dz cupcakes)

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  11. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    THE RIPE RIDE-ALONG: Come see what it's like to work on a food truck and serve the street's of Houston! Join our team for a day from start to finish as we load up, cook, and serve - help as little or as much as you want! You'll get an exclusive Ripe employee t-shirt and hat as well as enjoy lunch on the truck with us. The perfect experience for yourself or a fun gift for a friend!

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    FRIEND OF RIPE LEVEL:
    Introduce Ripe Cuisine to your friends, family or co-workers with a Ripe catered lunch for 10 (ten) delivered to your home, office or lunch spot of choice* featuring a custom menu chosen by you! To include a side item to share and 1 (one) entree, drink, and dessert per person. (*within 25 miles of downtown Houston, Texas) + receive everything at previous pledge levels for yourself (2 meal vouchers, t-shirt voucher, 1/2 dz cupcakes, VIP status)

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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    RIPE AFICIONADO LEVEL:
    Get the opportunity to collaboratively craft and name a dish inspired by you with Chef Stephanie! This dish will run as a special for 1 (one) month + receive everything at previous pledge levels (2 meal vouchers, t-shirt voucher, 1/2 dz cupcakes, VIP status)

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  14. Select this reward

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

    RIPE CONNOISSEUR LEVEL:
    a private party for 15 with the Ripe Food Truck at your home, office, or party spot of choice* featuring a custom menu chosen by you! (includes 2 hours of time, 2 (two) passed appetizer option for all guests, 1 entree, drink, and dessert, + t-shirt per guest) *within 25 miles of downtown Houston, Texas + receive added bonuses for yourself - 4 (four) meal vouchers, 2 (two) t-shirt vouchers, 1 dozen cupcakes, + VIP status

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    RIPE DEVOTEE LEVEL : a private party for 25 with the Ripe Food Truck at your home, office, or party spot of choice* featuring a custom menu chosen by you and a special menu item collaboratively crafted and named by you! (includes 2 hours of time, 3 (three) passed appetizers options for all guests, 1 entree, drink, and dessert, + t-shirt per guest) *within 25 miles of downtown Houston, Texas + receive added bonuses for yourself - 4 (four) meal vouchers, 2 (two) t-shirt vouchers, 1 Ripe apron, 1 dozen cupcakes, + VIP status

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Funding period

- (29 days)