UPDATE: Now that we've MET our goal (Woohoo!) we wanted to tell you our AWESOME plan! Since we've exceeded one level of stretch funding... an incentive was unlocked for every backer over $25 to receive a free coffee and pastry! If you want in on this deal, you still have time to make a pledge or increase your backing amount.
The second stretch goal of raising $2,500 was UNLOCKED. One random backer will join Chef Angie in the kitchen and be her Official Taste Tester (see the video in Update #5).
If we reach $30,000 in pledges, we will randomly select TWO MORE backers to join Chef Angie in the kitchen and be her Official Taste Tester.
If our campaign raises BEYOND our full stretch amount of $32,060, EVERY backer over $25 will receive an invite to our official SVK ribbon cutting ceremony so WE can all EAT together and CELEBRATE! On top of that, we'll draw names of 30 backers to receive a limited edition SVK Sweetest Fan tshirt. Check out Update #5 for all the details :)
Hello! We're Angie and Anneliese of Sweet Virginia's Kitchen (SVK). Oh, and that's our daughter Sophia. SVK is a family neighborhood restaurant opening in the fall of 2016. Our new storefront is located in the Ravenswood/Lincoln Square neighborhood of Chicago at Foster & Damen.
We've always made an excellent team and enjoy the art of entertaining. So, opening a restaurant is a dream come true for us! Hostess with the mostess, Anneliese, will be our smiling face at the front-of-the-house. Chef Angie will live in the kitchen combining many years of cooking for friends and family with the catering business she started in 2014. We want our guests to feel comfortable in our space as if they're eating dinner at grandma's. Sweet Virginia's Kitchen is named after Angie's grandmother who passed down her love of cooking to her granddaughter.
At Sweet Virginia's Kitchen, we'll offer HOME-COOKED meals from scratch for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We support local businesses whenever possible and use the freshest ingredients. Some of our signature menu items will include farmhouse rice pudding, fresh fried fall donuts, chilaquiles, shrimp tacos with citrus slaw, campfire chicken legs, sweet turkey ancho chili with cornbread, mashed potatoes with caramelized onions and our famous smoked pulled pork. WE LIKE PIG BUTTS AND WE CANNOT LIE. But, we promise to have some tasty VEGETARIAN options as well. Don't just take our word for it -- check out some of our FOOD!
Our vision for SVK, is to create a welcoming space for all. COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT is important to us and we've enjoyed getting to know some of our new neighbors. Over the last several weeks, we've met with our alderman, attended community meetings and workshops, and introduced ourselves to local businesses. We were honored to host a Welcome Back Breakfast for staff at Amundsen High School and Chappell Elementary.
As parents, education is EXTREMELY important to us. Through the years, we've appreciated the support we've received and it's time to give back! Anneliese has also been a social worker in the Chicagoland area for 15 years.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT SVK:
Sweet Virginia's Kitchen is easily accessible by public transportation and has plenty of parking. Our location has had some turnover, but we intend to be a LONG-STANDING FIXTURE in the community. We've been working diligently to create a special space for our guests. Here's a sneak peek of some changes and upcoming projects. Highlights include an icky drop-ceiling removal, which was replaced with a clean new look. Future plans include new signage and a sidewalk cafe. We'll provide updates as we grow.
SVK will have unique decor and we're really excited about it! The space will be warm, with touches of RECLAIMED WOOD and a farmhouse feel. We've collected vintage kitchen pieces we're UPCYCLING as lighting fixtures throughout the dining room and kitchen. Look for our gramophone playing tunes from the 50's and 60's!
SVK By DAY: We aim to meet the needs of our guests who have little time on their hands. The space is set up in a fast-casual setting with counter service that won't feel rushed at all. So if you want to relax and drink your coffee, feel free to cozy up in one of our reclaimed benches.
SVK By NIGHT: By evening, we offer a more elevated dinner service and feature a special mixer menu for guests choosing to BYOB. We hope you'll find our versatility convenient whether you're looking for ice cream after a ball game or a leisurely dinner.
THIS is why we NEED your help:
So now you've heard all about us and if you like what you see, we hope you'll consider supporting our project! We have:
1.) The perfect location;
2.) A team of helpers who have taken just as much pride as we have;
3.) And the determination to make it all happen!
We've already secured traditional loans to purchase some really great equipment:
However, our SVK VISION requires more and commercial equipment is costly.
Stretch Goals: Any funds raised beyond the expense for our kitchen equipment would allow us to showcase the full look of Sweet Virginia's Kitchen both inside and out. SVK plans include a sidewalk cafe in the spring. Comfy tables and chairs would complete our laid back vibe and exterior signage offers a welcoming message to those passing by.
You can feel good about supporting us...
Because we are committed to serving our community + we offer up some damn delicious food. We're thrilled about the buzz and positive feedback we've received, but we understand restaurants are a dime a dozen in Chicago. That's why we're taking extra steps to make sure we don't blend in with the rest. We're serious about our food and we prepare each dish with sprinkles of love. At SVK, we're not just grabbing prepacked items from the freezer and dropping it into a fryer. We put extra prep and time into every dish because as Chef Angie says, "Life is too short, to eat mediocre food."
If you live or work in the neighborhood, we hope you'll decide to back our small business! We're excited about the meaningful connections we're making and we want to connect WITH YOU TOO!
As a way to give a special thank you to our backers, we are offering unique rewards for different levels of pledges, which are listed on the right side column of this page. Once this project succeeds, you will be asked any necessary information (i.e. shipping address, shirt size, etc). Some of the rewards include: Our packaged SVK house blend coffee, SVK ultimate fan t-shirt's, homemade goodies, private parties, branded limited edition ceramic handmade coffee mugs & serving bowls by Pottery After Dark:
Please remember, if we do not make our goal in time, we receive no Kickstarter funding. NOT A PENNY. Kickstarter is an all or nothing platform, so please help us out by sharing this campaign with your friends and family. With your continued support, we can turn this dream into reality! Thank you for taking the time to read about us and we hope to see you soon at Sweet Virginia's Kitchen!
SPECIAL SHOUT OUT TO:
For this awesome article written by Patty Wetli at DNAinfo.com
HUGE THANKS TO: Mary Moy, Jamie Fuller, Mars Bagacina, Courtney Fong, Jacob Novak, Carolyn Boubel, Zeina Zahr, Holly King, Desmond Ryan, Jason Berumen, Elizabeth Beach, Dave Beach, Amanda Crawford, Shannon Pechak, Teresa Blomquist, Michelle Hierzer, Christina La Porte, Auna Foote, Suzanne Collins, Trish Bombard, Amanda Bombard, Anita Fuller, Kelly Cushion, Kim Kelly, Erin Kato, Rachel Patino, Chi-an Chang, Patty Wetli & David Alexander. Without all of you, SVK would only be half as awesome and we are forever grateful!
Risks and challenges
Opening in November is the most present obstacle to overcome. Having the equipment and decor in place; hiring and training new staff; and welcoming guests in the door, make an ambitious business plan. As office manager at a Chicago nonprofit, Chef Angie melded operational, technical and analytical projects with her resourcefulness. Her mélange of business skills and instinct for community helped result in increased revenue and market share. Research and planning guided her strategy.
Angie's management experience makes her a relatable trainer and sought-out advisor. Staff will be given the tools and training they need to make SVK the most welcoming respite. Timely hiring is priority as Angie's last few events were at capacity. Angie will post positions for hire.
If there comes a point in the early times where a contingency plan needs to be implemented, Angie and Anneliese will be prepared. They stretch to the extent of their hospitality, from hosting VIP Pride tailgate parties along the parade route to running Angie's catering business.
Anneliese is a local business woman with the perfect set of skills needed to handle stressful situations. She's patient and serves as an excellent support role. There may be some challenges along the way but we promise to keep our backers updated on EVERY step of this process! Without you we wouldn't be able to complete it!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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