Funded! This project was successfully funded on November 15, 2012.

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Looking to get my scrumptious & well-loved foods into your mouth. And your friend's. And your family's. And your co-worker's......

*******  last minute reward:  if you're thinking of ordering thanksgiving take-away in SF, think of ordering it from me!  Donate through kickstarter and you'll receive a dollar for dollar "reward" to add to your friends and families day! *****

I lost a bet. That’s how my career started. The terms were: working in this chef’s restaurant for a week. It was awesome.  I loved it. I was good at it.  He was impressed. He got fired. I was asked to take the reins. I had no idea what to do, but somehow I held it together til a new chef arrived. 

3 years (and 5 other restaurant gigs later) I attended the Culinary Institute of America, and I've been cooking ever since. The early years, in Washington State, were at The Pink Door, Wild Ginger, The Ark and The Shoalwater Inn. In the Bay Area, Tra Vigne, Terra, Table 29, Smith Ranch and Kate’s Kitchen. 

I had the time of my life creating this restaurant with John Snell. Its style, humor and the light-hearted dining experience we provided was well received.  Many customers & staff still rhapsodize about their experiences.
I had the time of my life creating this restaurant with John Snell. Its style, humor and the light-hearted dining experience we provided was well received. Many customers & staff still rhapsodize about their experiences.

My first business was The Meetinghouse: A Contemporary American Restaurant. The biscuits were the "must-eat" item during its 8-year tenure. We became one of the "best-kept secrets" among SF foodies, serving farm-fresh, American-based cuisine in an informal, lighthearted atmosphere. Why did it close?  Doctor's told me I'd never hold a knife or rollling pin again after a 3rd-degree burn scorched my entire right hand.  Then the culinary duo of the soon-to-be "Quince" restaurant made an offer. Yes.... now my hand is 100% able to roll, slice & dice!  And now, Baker & Baker resides in my old space - headed up by Jeff Banker, a staff member from our early days. 

Re-vamping the Hotel Utah and The Elite Cafe were gratifying experiences that were well-received. Opening Sweet Jo's | More Than a Cafe was more than an enormous undertaking. They each brought new fans to my Americana-influenced global foods.
Re-vamping the Hotel Utah and The Elite Cafe were gratifying experiences that were well-received. Opening Sweet Jo's | More Than a Cafe was more than an enormous undertaking. They each brought new fans to my Americana-influenced global foods.

Meetinghouse Biscuits are in a category all by themselves. Legendary, I’m told.  "The biscuit lady", I'm called.  I sell a few hundred boxes a year with little marketing. Many families tell me they wouldn’t consider it a real Thanksgiving OR Christmas OR Easter without my biscuits on their tables. They were named one of the "50 best bites" in San Francisco Magazine, and were featured in the William Sonoma holiday catalogue. 

September 28th, 2012:  they were just featured as one of the Four Fabulous Biscuits You Can Find in San Francisco:  http://t.co/6ubZvk7F  via @7x7 Magazine by Marcia (rhymes with garcia) Gagliardi.

I put my heart and soul into other restaurant projects, creating down-home, Americana foods and capturing more fans here in SF.  Many of these have a potential future as additions to the Sweet Jo's line e.g. frozen bake-at home brownie and cookie doughs, soups and stews, sauces and jams.

AND then there's the chili:

Sweet Jo's Beef & Red Bean Chili and Vital Vegan Chili have a growing fan base and are already branded, labeled and ready to go. Currently served at pop-ups and catered events; a "hot, ready-to-eat" delivery service is in the works.

yep.... my delivery team and I will be there as fast as possible!
yep.... my delivery team and I will be there as fast as possible!
Did you know OCTOBER is National Chili month? Or that Chili originated in America? And the only requirement is that it has CHILI peppers.  And that "chili con carne" is a special dish that CANNOT have beans.  But all other chilies can have them.
Did you know OCTOBER is National Chili month? Or that Chili originated in America? And the only requirement is that it has CHILI peppers. And that "chili con carne" is a special dish that CANNOT have beans. But all other chilies can have them.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/sweet-jos-chili-and-biscuits-san-francisco-2

17 different chili peppers, both fresh & dried go into my chili base. It's the secret ingredient.  I call it "chili auxiliary" and plan on jarring it for YOU to use for your own creations. Because of this 'secret', Sweet Jo's Chilies have a range of tastes rarely found. Everyone prefers their own chili "style"; my customers say the depth of flavors that come from Sweet Jo's brand make them unique.

Now’s the time to get my product line rolling: With new branding Meetinghouse biscuits will expand into flavored biscuits: (think ham & parmesan; rye & cheddar; bacon cheese & scallion), scones and other sweets to bake at home. I've invented a line of complementary items that go with them: Meyer lemon curd, fresh fruit jams, sausage gravy, smoked ham hock & tomato stew.  The chilis will grow to include not-so-spicy and extra- spicy versions as well as chicken and turkey varieties.  My trademarked "chili auxiliary" will be branded and packaged for home use.

Full of vegetables, quinoa, tofu & more; at Sweet Jo's Cafe many of the nutritionists, fitness trainers and members of Club One ate it every day!
Full of vegetables, quinoa, tofu & more; at Sweet Jo's Cafe many of the nutritionists, fitness trainers and members of Club One ate it every day!

MONIES RAISED THROUGH KICKSTARTER WILL GO TO: 

 1) funding the dietary analysis and FDA approval of the tried and tested items and potential new products. These can run over $2,000. per product.

 2) producing a new run of biscuit boxes right away, designing and producing packaging the for new products and exploring options for freezer-to-oven baking trays. A minimum of $8K is realistic to get this rolling.

Here's the first draft of the new biscuit box. All my graphics, logos and brand identity are created by Matt & Sajee at Navigate 9 Design.
Here's the first draft of the new biscuit box. All my graphics, logos and brand identity are created by Matt & Sajee at Navigate 9 Design.

 3) marketing to local stores, gourmet catalogues, researching potential wholesale accounts, setting up corporate catering accounts and administration of my own web store, shipping and handling.

 4) investing in shipping materials and negotiating lower shipping fees - many of my regulars may remember the holiday season UPS was charging me $55 per box to ship 1 box. This will change when a professional shipping manager negotiates with USPS, or UPS and we invest in software systems to assure a professional appearance and accuracy in deliveries.

 IF YOU DONATE THROUGH KICKSTARTER AND I RAISE THE FUNDS I AM AIMING FOR, I GET IT. IF I DON'T MAKE THE GOAL, I GET NOTHING.  

Part of successful "crowd-funding" is getting the momentum going.  Please consider making a donation right away!  The more backers in the first few days, the more interest from others. And I DO want to continue making my biscuits, and chili, and lots more goodies for you and yours.

IF I RAISE MORE THAN THE GOAL - I will be well-capitalized and will be able to hire staff and move quicker to get products to you sooner and then move on toward my end-goal: a fast/casual cafe, where I can serve you in person!

yeah yeah...... I'm not that sweet.  but my logo is!
yeah yeah...... I'm not that sweet. but my logo is!

Feel free to e-mail with questions.
 JOKARLINSKY@GMAIL.COM

I appreciate the interest and can't wait to get moving, with more organization, structure and support staff, on what has been my "side" business for many years.

please share this link with your friends!  the more contacts I make, the more likely I will reach or surpass my goal!  

yep, I cater and consult as well - and still have holiday catering dates available!  All my events are custom, uniquely designed for your event.
yep, I cater and consult as well - and still have holiday catering dates available! All my events are custom, uniquely designed for your event.

Bonus - if you want an extra treat to be delivered with the "reward" you get for your donation... tell me a story. (Write it in comments on the donation page.  It will be posted for others to see.) About your experience at one of my restaurants, or what I "put on your table", or what funny story I told you / or you heard about me, or about your experience with someone who worked for/with me...  yeah... I'm collecting.  A book? perhaps!  a scrapbook? not likely - I'm just not the type.

press & links:

http://www.7x7.com/eat-drink/four-fabulous-biscuits-you-can-find-san-francisco
http://www.dailycandy.com/san-francisco/article/29824/Meetinghouse-Biscuits
http://www.joannakarlinsky.com/plaudits.php

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

I've got 28 years of cooking and restaurant business under my belt. I have a well-loved, established product in need of a kick start. Two products in need of a real launch. And a host of other potential products waiting in the wings. The mechanics are no problem! Knowing when to drop an unsuccessful product is humbling, but necessary. Reveling in a big hit must be tempered with modesty.

My biggest challenge is narrowing it down. Keeping it simple. Accomplishing one step before moving on to the next. Keeping myself focused. Hiring support staff when needed. I am a champion multi-tasker. However, this has led me to be "good" at a lot of things, but not necessarily excellent at any one thing. It's time for me to reign in excess energy and channel it into JUST THIS ONE PROJECT (NO restaurant openings, NO pop-ups, NO "big" catering events, NO writing business proposals or anything else to take my mind and energy away from this one undertaking).

Marketing is never any easy task for those of us who constantly strive to be better and rarely think what we've done is as good as it can be. But I'm ready to take it on. I can see my achievements and be proud of them. And acknowledge my setbacks and have the armor to avoid a repeat of them.

The biggest risk for me is not stopping and surveying each step in order to move forward with more structured, knowledgable plans. But now that I said it, I'll have to live up to it!

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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    1 backer

    For a $5 donation you can have my "zynga" handle so you can play games with me as I wait for chili to simmer. Or deal with insomnia. and a big thank you shout out on FB, blog & newsletter

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  • Pledge $10 or more
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    7 backers

    a pint of chili of your choice to be picked up in SF. (shipping possible - @$12 extra) and a big thank you shout out on FB, blog & newsletter

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  • Pledge $25 or more
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    13 backers

    3 pints of Chili to be picked up in San Francisco. (shipping possible - @$14 extra) and a big thank you shout out on FB, blog & newsletter

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  • Pledge $40 or more
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    10 backers

    a box of biscuits for you - to be picked up in SF. Or make a few $40 donations and get a box for a friend, neighbor, or family member. (shipping possible - @$16 extra) and a big thank you shout out on FB, blog & newsletter

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  • Pledge $50 or more
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    21 backers

    a box of biscuits for you AND a quart of chili - to be picked up in SF. (shipping possible - @$18 extra) OR make a few $50 donations for a friend's holiday gift. and a big thank you shout out on FB, blog & newsletter

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  • Pledge $60 or more
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    11 backers

    a box of biscuits for you AND 2 quarts of chili - to be picked up in SF. Or make a few $60 donations and get a treat for a friend, neighbor, or family member for the holidays. (shipping possible - @$18 extra) and a big thank you shout out on FB, blog & newsletter

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  • Pledge $75 or more
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    0 backers

    Make a donation in any amount and that money will be put towards your thanksgiving-to-go order! Pick ups on wednesday the 21st AND thanksgiving morning! quesitons? call me 415-336-9473 or e-mail: jokarlinsky@gmail.com

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  • Pledge $75 or more
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    3 backers

    A Sweet Jo's logo t-shirt with the tagline : 'cause you can never be too rich or too hot" on back AND a box of biscuits for you and 2 pints (or 1 quart) of chili - to be picked up in SF. (shipping possible - @$18 extra) and a big thank you shout out on FB, blog & newsletter

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  • Pledge $100 or more
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    18 backers

    1 logo T Shirt, 2 Boxes of biscuits AND 4 quarts of chili to be hand delivered in the Bay Area. Any and all can be delivered to you OR as gift from you to someone you love (shipping possible - @$22. extra) and a big thank you shout out on FB, blog & newsletter

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  • Pledge $150 or more
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    4 backers

    3 Boxes of biscuits, 3 quarts of chili, an extra special treat from Joanna's biscuit toppings -think lemon curd, strawberry butter, sausage gravy..... OR samples of potential NEW biscuit flavors, and one of our logo T Shirts hand delivered in the Bay Area. (shipping possible - @$22. extra) Ever wanted a friend to try Meetinghouse biscuits or sweet jo's chili - donate in their name and we'll send a card to them, from you. and a big thank you shout out on FB, blog & newsletter

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  • Pledge $200 or more
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    6 backers

    2 logo T Shirts, 2 Boxes of biscuits AND 3 quarts of chili. to be hand delivered in the Bay Area. Any and all can be delivered as gift from you. And an extra special treat: samples of potential NEW biscuit flavors and samples from Joanna's biscuit toppings -think lemon curd, strawberry butter, sausage gravy..... AND a sneak preview of a potential future product to try out - chicken chili, frozen raw brownie dough -to bake at home, frozen cookie dough in time for the holidays... (all shippable for a fee) AND....YOUR NAME WILL BE ON THE NEW BISCUIT BOX DEDICATED TO THANKING DONORS PUBLICLY, showing that you helped make it happen . and you'll be eligible for any of the other rewards mentioned. especially if you make a donation for a friend as well

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  • Pledge $350 or more
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    3 backers

    Jo will drop off (in the Bay Area only) a dinner for 4 to 6, of your choosing (within reason) and will stock your freezer with biscuits and chili. If she's in a grand mood she may confetti your dinner table. But for sure, ....YOUR NAME WILL BE on the new biscuit box DEDICATED TO THANKING DONORS PUBLICLY, showing that you helped make it happen . and you'll be eligible for any of the other rewards mentioned. you may consider part of your reward a gift for a friend or family member and it'll be there by the holidays.

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  • Pledge $500 or more
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    3 backers

    Jo will come to your home to cook a family meal or teach a cooking class or cater a small get together (grocery costs added). And leave your freezer stocked with biscuits, chili and other fun foods to feed your soul. .....AND....YOUR NAME WILL BE on the new biscuit box DEDICATED TO THANKING DONORS PUBLICLY, showing that you helped make it happen. Please inquire about substituting any of the rewards previously mentioned.

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  • Pledge $750 or more
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    2 backers Limited (8 left of 10)

    Jo will cater an event for you for up to 8 guests (grocery costs added). A freezer full of chili & biscuits, Up to 4 Tee shirts for friends OR family. ....AND....YOUR NAME WILL BE on the new biscuit box DEDICATED TO THANKING DONORS PUBLICLY, showing that you helped make it happen. Please inquire about substituting any of the rewards previously mentioned.

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  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    3 backers Limited (1 left of 4)

    Just tell Jo what you want in your freezer (items you've eaten in my businesses OR items you want to see a chef's version of) in addition to biscuits, chili, samples of baked goods, biscuit toppings and side dishes. Tee shirts too. Or how about a catered event for your favorite people (groceries and servers fees added)? OR a donation of a catered event to be auctioned for your favorite charity. AND....YOUR NAME WILL BE on the new biscuit box DEDICATED TO THANKING DONORS PUBLICLY, showing that you helped make it happen. Please inquire about substituting any of the rewards previously mentioned.

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  • Pledge $2,500 or more
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    1 backer Limited (3 left of 4)

    a catered affair of your choosing? (add groceries) A "personal chef for the night in your home" (includes groceries) A donation to your favorite charity? Tell Jo what you want! If it's possible she'll do it! And of course: tee shirts, a freezer stocked with biscuits, chili, jo's baked goods, and many samples of future products ,AND....YOUR NAME (in a really big FONT size) WILL BE on the new biscuit box DEDICATED TO THANKING DONORS, showing that you helped make it happen. Please inquire about substituting any of the rewards previously mentioned.

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Funding period

- (30 days)