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Transforming Taco Punk into more than a conscious fast casual dining experience.

Taco Punk opened as a quick service restaurant in Jan 2012 serving hand made tacos in the revitalized NuLu neighborhood in Louisville, KY. In the following year we built a steady business providing our loyal customers with tasty tacos within an environmentally conscious and socially responsible business model that we believe should be the industry standard.

After a successful 10 year career in fine dining (mostly at local favorite Jack Fry’s and as chef de cuisine at the avant garde 610 Magnolia), chef and owner Gabe Sowder turned his attention to creating a quick service restaurant that would use the foundations of fine dining to provide the very best food to the greatest number of people possible. Our menu features the finest quality all natural meats and vegetables sourced from local farmers whenever possible and prepared in the most delicious and heath conscious manner. 

Taco Punk is also a leader in environmental responsibility. In addition to food waste, all of our service wares are compostable and to date we have composted over 38,000 pounds and recycled over 20,000 pounds in our first year. Our commitment to purchasing locally raised meats and produce retains capital in the local economy and reduces the amount of fossil fuel used in production and shipping. 

Our social commitments include paying our employees an above average wage, a refugee hiring program, regular charity fundraising nights and participation in numerous charity events totaling over $12,000 in donations and contributions. 

Most of all, Taco Punk is a family run restaurant. My entire family helped with the design and construction, my wife Dana Andriot runs the office and our son Ezra created the name Taco Punk. We truly love what we do and hope you will recognize our passion and dedication. Most of all, we value “all the little things” that are involved in making food great. 

The NuLu neighborhood is an urban revitalization development following the relocation of a major homeless shelter and public housing project. We are within one mile of downtown Louisville which includes numerous hotels, a convention center, a newly constructed arena and our wonderful Ohio River Riverfront Park. In our business plan we accounted for a significant portion of our sales from traffic related to events at these nearby venues.   

Unfortunately, these sales simply did not develop. The result has left us with serious first year losses that we do not have the resources to sustain. Simply put, this shortfall in convention, arena, and event business has left us unable to keep operating without some help: your help.

Fortunately, Taco Punk is located in a beautiful building with great potential. We need your contributions to develop the potential of this restaurant. Our plan has two elements; marketing our infant catering program and transforming our existing side lot into a beautiful alfresco dining area. 

Our catering business will be grounded by our location. We are located minutes away from numerous major hospitals, medical facilities, and offices. (The 5000,000 sq ft Nucleus Building three blocks away is scheduled to open in May and will be a goldmine of potential clients.) The University of Louisville campus is also nearby and has already been a repeat catering client of Taco Punk. Furthermore, the NuLu neighborhood is constantly growing. The next two years will feature a $12 million streetscape renovation as well as the completion of numerous urban housing developments that will bring in literally thousands of new, hungry residents. 

However, to successfully compete with existing fast food catering options we need to develop a marketing campaign including direct sales, targeted advertising, color brochures and innovative green packaging. Catering jobs are a low labor, high profit product that will significantly add to our profitability.
Taco Punk plans on transforming our 1,200 square foot gravel lot into an alfresco dining area, sculpture garden and performance space. We will partner with Metro Sewer Department to divert our rainwater runoff into this space to act as a rain garden. This partnership will result in a grant based on the square footage of Taco Punk. In addition to outdoor dining, this space will be used for concerts, performances, private events, beer tastings, food demos and competitions. The revenue from added dining and events will allow us to capitalize on the opportunities during the warm months to offset slow periods.
If your response surpasses our $20,000 goal, we have immediate plans for those funds as well. Our building also has the potential of an undeveloped 1000 square foot room behind our kitchen. With any additional funds we will be able to attract a tenant or finish it into a private dining room and event space. Subleasing this space to a complimentary business or finishing it as flex room will completely fulfill the potential of our building and make Taco Punk a truly profitable enterprise. 

The fate of Taco Punk in NuLu is in your hands. If you are a person who values where your food comes from, how it is prepared and the responsible disposal of the waste, this is your chance to support a business that believes this is the way of the future. For all of you who want to see better food at a reasonable price, we cannot keep operating without your help, right now. Each of your contributions is deeply appreciated and will be one more “little thing” that keeps Taco Punk alive. We thank you very, very much!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

As we've already established our business over the past year, Taco Punk's main challenges in the future involve securing all necessary permits for the new outdoor space and to operate a catering outift. However, we're all very confident we'll be granted every permit and license we need - it's simply the matter of all the paperwork and red tape, and making sure these documents are obtained in a timely manner.

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    SALT --- Many thanks for your kind gesture. You bring out the flavors in all our dishes. You get a Taco Punk Bumper Sticker.

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    BLACK PEPPER --- You are the world’s favorite spice. In addition to our thanks, you get a Taco Punk Bumper Sticker and a free beverage card.

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    CUMIN --- Just smelling you makes our mouths water with anticipation. A big thanks for the Jackson! You get a Taco Punk Bumper Sticker and a Free taco card.

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    CORIANDER --- Your bright sunny flavor makes us smile. You are truly a Taco Punk lover for sure! You get a Taco Punk Bumper Sticker, Free taco card and T-shirt.

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    GUAJILLO --- You are our most used chili. Everyone loves your mild warmth. For the taco die hard you get a full SWAG pack: Bumper Sticker, Free taco card, T-shirt, and Stocking cap.

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    PASILLA NEGRO --- Dark and earthy, you add a fullness to our salsas and moles. A true Taco Punk fanatic gets a full SWAG pack and free Punk Platter card.

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    NEW MEXICO --- Your sharp sunny flavors are like a summer day! Thank you so much for your generosity. Come join us with a full SWAG pack, free Punk Platter card & an invitation to our Exclusive Kickstarter party with complimentary food and soft drinks.

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    CHIPOTLE --- Holy smokes! What could be better than a jalepeno but a smoked jalepeno? Besides being awesome, you get a Full SWAG pack and free Punk Platter card. In addition, you will receive an invitation for four to our Exclusive Kickstarter party with complimentary food and soft drinks.

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    AJI ARMARILLO --- You are our favorite secret ingredient. A rare chili that makes our fish taco a one of a kind treat. You have our gratitude, a full SWAG pack, free Punk Platter card, and an invitation for four to our Exclusive Kickstarter party with complimentary food and soft drinks. Plus, Chef Gabe Sowder will consult with you to create the taco of your dreams. This taco will then be featured as one of our daily specials for a month. Every day your taco is our special you and a guest will dine for free!

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    SMOKE PABLANO --- A Taco Punk secret ingredient gives that “special something” to our salsas and moles. You are a Taco Punk saint! You get a full SWAG pack, free Punk Platter card and an invitation for four to our Exclusive Kickstarter party with complimentary food and soft drinks. For your generosity, Gabe will open up the Taco Punk Kitchen for you and seven others for an exclusive cooking class to learn the secrets of great tacos. This package includes dinner for 8 at Taco Punk.

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    ARBOL CHILI --- You are a tiny red chili with a mouthful of fire. We cannot thank you enough for your help! You get a full SWAG pack, free Punk Platter card and an invitation for four to our Exclusive Kickstarter party with complimentary food and soft drinks. For your awesome contribution, we will reserve half of our dining room for a party of 12 for a special VIP dinner cooked to your exact cravings. (Date restrictions apply)

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    SERRANO --- You are a sharp punch of pepper power. Wow! We are blown away by your love for Taco Punk. You get a full SWAG pack, free Punk Platter card and an invitation for four to our Exclusive Kickstarter party with complimentary food and soft drinks. In the tradition of Taco Punk’s commitment to charity, we will dedicate one night to the charity of your choice and donate 30 percent of the night’s food sales. (Date restrictions apply)

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    HABANERO --- You are all fire and fruit, a favorite in our Pineapple salsa. You are a taco hero! You get a full SWAG pack, free Punk Platter card and an invitation for four to our Exclusive Kickstarter party with complimentary food and soft drinks. For your beyond generous contribution, Taco Punk will come to you. Chef Gabe Sowder will meet with you and create the Mexican menu of your dreams for you and five other guests to be served in your home. (Distance restrictions apply)

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    HOLY DAMN MOLE --- You are the sauce of sauces. The reason for the being. We cannot thank you enough for your help. You get a full SWAG pack, free Punk Platter card and an invitation for four to our Exclusive Kickstarter party with complimentary food and soft drinks. Because you “own it”, we will close the restaurant for a private party for you and up to 50 guests. (Date restrictions apply)

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Funding period

- (30 days)