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A flexible space for pop-ups, meetings, and classes where food makers and farmers can experiment, create, collaborate, and share.
A flexible space for pop-ups, meetings, and classes where food makers and farmers can experiment, create, collaborate, and share.
391 backers pledged $47,770 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$47,770

391

UPDATE: We have stretch goals! This is what we will do with everything we raise over the $40,000:

1. We are going to build a cookbook library (open to anyone). Shelves, books (oh the books!), and buy some comfortable chairs.

2. If we get to $50,000, we are going to build an official demonstration kitchen station so all makers and guests can have the best experience with the cooking classes, workshops, and more. There will be equipment (the more money, the better this part will be) so our food and drink makers (and you!) can record quality demonstrations, vlogs, cooking shows, etc. 


Okay... here is our story:

Food brings people together, nourishes bodies and souls, and creates a wealth of economic opportunities for everyone from local growers to cooks, bakers, and roasters. The Commissary is a place created especially for people that love, work with, and live all things food and drink.

The Commissary is:
  • A commercial kitchen, storage, and event space for hire;
  • a co-working space for food makers;
  • a base camp for small businesses; and
  • a connection point for the Central Ohio food community. 

In the beginning...

The Commissary began as an idea of where culinary student Kate wanted to be instead of classroom kitchens.

Kate: When I was in culinary school, I had dreams of opening a butcher shop that would make stocks, sausages, and basic mise en place out of local ingredients. I wanted chefs and farmers and produce companies to be able to experiment in that space. I plotted out all of the parts of the business that I still needed to learn before jumping in, and then life intervened. I’ve worked my way through that list since. 

When my first son was born, I made all of his baby food with ingredients from my favorite farms. I looked into selling the food at a farmers’ market, but regulations require all frozen foods be prepared and stored in a commercial kitchen. At the time, I couldn’t find any restaurants that were willing to let me rent space in the off hours. The light bulb flickered back on and ever since I have been making plans and meeting people who need this space to happen just as much as I want it to.

At first, The Commissary was going to be in a gorgeous space on Town St in Franklinton, but after some time I had to acknowledge that the fit was not right. At the same time, Steve and I started talking more seriously about a partnership.

Steve: For nearly a decade I worked in an asset management office where I provided financial, administrative, and compliance services for a number of independent representatives. Essentially, my job was to enable those representatives to focus on the core aspects of building their businesses. For all of those years, I drove by 1400 Dublin Road every day and imagined the possibilities of that space. After a big career change into the food truck world and time spent working next to other truck owners, I realized that many food makers need that same sort of back office support and 1400 Dublin Road would be the perfect place to make that happen.

Together, we have made The Commissary a place where the possibilities include: 

  • Entrepreneurial chefs can try out new dishes and gain the experience they need to open their own restaurants with substantially less financial risk. 
  • Cooks and bakers will be able to teach a variety of classes covering everything from theory to hands-on techniques.
  • Established restaurants can experiment with new concepts or create special meals for a select clientele without disrupting their establishment.
  • Community organizations, companies, and decision makers can meet, taste, network, and work on ways to make our city safer, happier, and more delicious.
  • Entrepreneurs can share their experiences, ask questions, and get support from the community.
  • There are so many more things that can happen, like team building activities, community outreach, networking events, private parties, photo shoots and marketing, and on and on…

In creating The Commissary, we want to contribute to the energy and momentum of the food community in Columbus and open doors to growth as yet only imagined. That said, it truly does take a village to get our dream off the ground, and we couldn't have gotten this far without all of those people who believed in us, helped us get established, and continue to help us grow. We look forward to a lifetime of bringing people together over food, and to growing our list of partners—both in profession and in spirit—day by day, week by week, year after year. We hope you join us.

Why Kickstarter?

We have been working on The Commissary for a while. When we began planning out all of the spaces in The Commissary, another business was partnering with us to complete a spectacular tasting room/event space. When they needed to slow their timeline down and ultimately pull out of the project, we were left with so much possibility and not enough room in the budget to make everything happen. Be our partner! Let’s work together to make this exciting space a reality. 

Construction is really progressing on over 2000 sq ft of kitchen space, an experimental brewery, and roasting space; the storage space for equipment, trucks, carts, and inventory; co-working office spaces; and more. We need you in order to create the belly of the business: a space for the community to gather, network, learn, collaborate, taste... 

A quick peek at our plans (note: these drawings are a few months old and some great changes have been made, including a bigger common space)
A quick peek at our plans (note: these drawings are a few months old and some great changes have been made, including a bigger common space)

This Kickstarter fundraiser is all or *gulp* nothing: if we don't reach our goal, we will not receive any of the donations pledged, your credit card will not be charged, and the special dining events we have planned will not happen as scheduled. If we do reach our goal (yay!), your credit card will be charged when the campaign ends on July 10th. To the right you'll find a list of rewards and special dining events for different levels of pledges. Please help us take this space from a dream and turn it into a reality! 

How will the money be spent? 

Where we want to end up (the top) and where we are right now (the bottom)
Where we want to end up (the top) and where we are right now (the bottom)

We have a 1200 sq ft construction zone to convert into a community space before anyone gets to gather and dine: 

  • Tables and chairs
  • China, glassware, flatware
  • Lighting and interior finishes
  • AV equipment 
  • Demonstration equipment
  • Beer taps and cooler
  • Licenses and permits

It all adds up. The more we can gather, the more we can share with the diverse community that will fill this space.

We will be working with local craftsmen and craftswomen (and some successful Kickstarters) to make this community event space perfectly local. For example, Griffen Hollow Studios has been designing tables that will make you want to pull up a chair. They will also be carving the names and messages of each of our supporters into wooden spoons to be hung up in a great big public display of our affection – I mean art. Affectionate art, perhaps. Alison Rose will be screenprinting some swag. Valerie Starr is one of the local artists that will be filling our walls with lovely art. Igloo Letterpress's beautiful prints will beautifying our walls (and possibly yours too!).

The architectural plans have already been approved and construction of the kitchens in The Commissary is moving so fast. We have food makers committed to fill this event space calendar with all manner of special dining experiences. 

When will the parties start? 

June/July: Construction of The Commissary continues. 

August: Fill the kitchens with equipment, the event space with tables, pass our final inspections, and host a helluva grand opening party! 

September/October: Special dining events begin! 

Thank you for taking the time to learn about The Commissary and our fundraising campaign. We are so excited about seeing this space transform into a gathering place for the community and are grateful for your support. For real.

Kate & Steve

More about the rewards (updated frequently):

Wooden spoons with your name or message!
Wooden spoons with your name or message!
This beautiful 8.5x11 limited-edition print is hand-printed on French Paper Company coverstock. It was lovingly set by the presswomen at Igloo Letterpress using antique wood and lead type and pulled on a 1942 Vandercook #4 press.
This beautiful 8.5x11 limited-edition print is hand-printed on French Paper Company coverstock. It was lovingly set by the presswomen at Igloo Letterpress using antique wood and lead type and pulled on a 1942 Vandercook #4 press.
  
Your Commissary Baggu market bag
Your Commissary Baggu market bag
Rustic hearth bread instruction by Dave Scarpetti
Rustic hearth bread instruction by Dave Scarpetti
An introductory baking class with Matt Swint of Matija Breads (Photo by Nicole Pallante, A Local Choice)
An introductory baking class with Matt Swint of Matija Breads (Photo by Nicole Pallante, A Local Choice)
Dumpling class with Helen
Dumpling class with Helen
  
A cycling jersey!
A cycling jersey!
Workshops for a year #giveandget
Workshops for a year #giveandget
    
A preview of Bebida with Chef Matt Heaggans
A preview of Bebida with Chef Matt Heaggans
Pop-up with Kenny and Misako of fRESHSTREET
Pop-up with Kenny and Misako of fRESHSTREET

Risks and challenges

Every project has potential obstacles. These are a few risks to The Commissary's community space:

Kitchen incubators are fairly young as far as business concepts go. We have done extensive research, toured several facilities around the state, and talked with even more around the country. We have made many of our business decisions and forecasts by drawing on our business experiences, feedback from our networks, and this research. However, we don't know enough about the long term challenges for kitchen incubators to know what we don't know yet.

We are building a business based on serving small businesses. Their problems are our problems. We want to create an environment that presents those businesses with many opportunities to grow and thrive. To do so means that we can only be as successful as the businesses that fill our kitchens.

Marble Cliff is willing to take a chance on a kitchen incubator and food truck base camp in their safe village boundaries. The Commissary will need to prove itself as a good neighbor to any that may be nervous we may be too loud or smelly. Not doing so could result in limitations on our business.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • This is great! If you have not already pledged, please select the level that you want to pledge from the options at the bottom of the screen. In the "Enter your pledge amount", put the total of your level + $15 for each additional wooden spoon you would like.

    If you have already pledged, you can click “Manage Your Pledge.” Enter a new amount in the pledge amount box (the total of the reward level that you want + $15 for each wooden spoon you would like engraved). Note that you are not adding to your existing pledge; the amount you enter will be the total amount collected if the project is successfully funded.

    Thank you for your support!

    Last updated:
  • While we do have many secure parking spaces for food trucks and kitchen space for rent, that is perhaps where the similarity with the Food Fort ends. The Commissary will have many spaces ripe for collaboration, experimentation, and growth: a brewing space; coffee roasting space; a variety of specialized kitchen equipment (both time saving and fun stuff); dishwashers (the equipment and the staff); an organized indoor loading and unloading area for food trucks, caterers, and delivery trucks; office space with a variety of technology; a focus on sustainability; washer and dryer; a shower; and also the community event space that is the very thing we are trying to Kickstart. While the Food Fort's mission focuses on mobile trucks, we are reaching out to a variety of food makers, growers, and eaters to fill our space. Food Fort's success speaks to the level of need for that one community, and we at The Commissary can't wait to fill the many needs left unserved.

    Last updated:

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $6 or more About $6

    You're our hero! You'll receive our eternal gratitude and a Commissary sticker delivered right to you.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    We are going to hang a wooden spoon engraved with your name or message on The Commissary's main wall. You will also receive our gratitude and a Commissary sticker.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    We are going to send you an 8x11 "Food is fun. Let's cook." poster printed at Igloo Letterpress, heaps of gratitude, and a Commissary sticker. We'll also be hanging a wooden spoon engraved with your name or message on The Commissary's wall. (You can also add $25 to any other pledge level to receive this beautiful poster.)

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    You are appreciated at the t-shirt level! In addition to a wooden spoon engraved with your name or message hanging on our wall, you will receive a sticker and Commissary t-shirt.

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    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    Chef Laura Lee of Ajumama is going to mix things for this one. For one night only, she will prepare a four course meal bursting with Korean + Mexican flavors. Contributors at this level will get a seat at the table for the whole meal, including drinks. Tickets to this special dining experience will not be available to anyone else until the Kickstarter is funded. You'll also get a Commissary t-shirt and stickers, and your Wooden Spoon on our Wall. Thank you so much!

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    You will receive a custom printed Commissary Baggu (foldable market bag) that will quickly become your go to bag for market days, a Commissary t-shirt, sticker, and your spoon on our wall. Have we told you that you are awesome and appreciated? You are. Thank you!

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    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    We have the perfect gift for someone that loves food and the community: a gift basket (a Cambro, actually) with some of the best food and drink that Columbus businesses have to offer, a Commissary t-shirt and sticker, and a few of our favorite kitchen tools. In addition, your name or message will be engraved on a wooden spoon to hang on our walls. Thank you!

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $95 or more About $95

    Oh how we are grateful for you! Eric Drake, a founder of Brothers Drake Meadery, is going to teach you how to make mead. Each supporter at this level will make a 1 gallon batch of traditional mead with his guidance, receive a kit for future mead making experiments, a Commissary t-shirt, and sticker. A wooden spoon will be engraved with your name or message and will be hanging on our wall! Thank you.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    This level of appreciation can best be matched by baking a rustic hearth bread in the very space you are helping to build. Dave Scarpetti will guide you through the process of baking free form rustic white bread. No baking experience needed. In this class you'll mix your own dough, form, bake, and eat delicious bread. You'll leave with a Commissary t-shirt and sticker; the recipe, skills, tool kit, and dough required to recreate the experience and bread at home; and a set of Darista Dips for the ultimate pairing.

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    Reward no longer available 10 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    This level of appreciation can best be matched by baking a rustic hearth bread in the very space you are helping to build. Dave Scarpetti will guide you through the process of baking free form rustic white bread. No baking experience needed. In this class you'll mix your own dough, form, bake, and eat delicious bread. You'll leave with a Commissary t-shirt and sticker; the recipe, skills, tool kit, and dough required to recreate the experience and bread at home; and a set of Darista Dips for the ultimate pairing. AND A WOODEN SPOON!

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    Pledge $105 or more About $105

    Get your sass to class! AJ Perry from the delicious Sassafras Bakery will lead you through a step-by-step workshop on pie crust making and apple pie baking, just in time for the holidays. This is a hands-on course and you'll go home with your very own five-inch apple pie and the recipe for Sassafras Bakery's Signature Apple Pie.You will also get a Commissary rolling pin, a Commissary t-shirt, sticker, and your wooden spoon on our wall.

    (There will be no additional tickets to this event - it is just for our Kickstarter supporters that pledge at this level. This time, at least.)

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    Reward no longer available 12 backers
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $110 or more About $110

    The maestro behind Matija Breads, Matt Swint, will introduce you to the art of bread baking and give you hands-on instruction for a delicious, adaptable focaccia. You'll leave with a basket of fresh baked focaccia, the Matija Breads special focaccia recipe, a set of Darista Dips, a Commissary baking tool kit, a Commissary t-shirt, sticker, and your wooden spoon on our wall. (There will be no additional tickets to this event - it is just for our Kickstarter supporters that pledge at this level. This time, at least.)

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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $135 or more About $135

    We want to shake your hand and say thanks. You'll get admission to our Commissary Block Party (food, drinks, music, tours) and a custom printed Commissary Baggu (foldable market bag), t-shirt, and stickers. While you are here, check out your wooden spoon hanging on our wall. (There will be no additional tickets to this event - it is just for our Kickstarter supporters that pledge at this level. This time, at least.)

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    Pledge $140 or more About $140

    Chef Laura Lee of Ajumama is going to mix things for this one. For one night only, she will prepare a four course meal bursting with Korean + Mexican flavors. Contributors at this level will get 2 tickets for the whole meal, including drinks. Tickets to this special dining experience will not be available to anyone else until the Kickstarter is funded. You'll also get a Commissary Baggu (foldable market bag) with 2 Commissary t-shirts and stickers, and your Wooden Spoon on our Wall. Thank you so much!

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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $155 or more About $155

    Thank you! Helen of Helen's Asian Kitchen will teach you how to make Xia Long Bao (soup dumplings), Guo tie (potstickers), and Jiaozi (steamed pork dumplings) in the community space you are helping to build. Instructors from the Columbus School of Chinese will join us to teach pronunciation, the history, and to share dumpling stories. You will leave with recipes, skills, the tools to make dumplings at home, a Commissary Baggu market bag, t-shirt, and stickers. Your name or message will be engraved on a wooden spoon to hang on our wall. (There will be no additional tickets to this event - it is just for our Kickstarter supporters that pledge at this level. This time, at least.)

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    Pledge $160 or more About $160

    The Commissary is easily accessible by highway and the bike paths. In fact, the Scioto Trail Greenway crosses by our parking lot. Ride your bike to The Commissary Block Party, pick up your new Commissary cycling jersey, Baggu bag (foldable market bag), t-shirt, and stickers. We'll engrave your name or message on a wooden spoon to hang on our wall. Thank you!

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    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    Are you interested in starting a kitchen incubator? Supporting your local food supply chain? Food maker entrepreneurship? Join us for a Skype conference! Meet the founders of The Commissary, talk about the entrepreneurship journey, market research, take a look at the details of our business plan, and ask us all of the questions. We'll send a Commissary t-shirt, Baggu (foldable market bag), and stickers; and, of course, we want to engrave your name or message onto a wooden spoon for our Supporter's wall. If you find yourself in Central Ohio, join us for our Commissary Block Party! Thank you so much.

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    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    Special Reward Level just for Jeremy Ball!

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    Pledge $185 or more About $185

    We want to keep good people like you around. With this level, you will be able to participate in four workshops throughout the year. At each, we’ll provide the ingredients, tools, instruction, recipes, snacks, and space (that you are helping us build). You will help prepare, assemble and finish each project. At the end of each workshop, you will leave with half of the fruits of your labor and the other half will be delivered to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio.

    You'll also receive a Commissary tshirt and sticker, and a spoon with your name or message to add to our collection.

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    Pledge $230 or more About $230

    A very special reward for Kim Jordan

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    Pledge $245 or more About $245

    You will receive 2 tickets for an unforgettable, dynamic dining experience prepared by Chef Matthew Heaggans of Swoop! Food Group and Bebe at the HeyHey. For one night, Chef Matthew will be unveiling his master restaurant plan for Bebita in the dining space that you helped build. Tickets to this taste of the future will not be available to anyone else until the Kickstarter is funded.

    You'll also get admission to the Commissary Block Party where you can pick up your Commissary Baggu (foldable market bag) with 2 Commissary t-shirts and stickers, as well as your Wooden Spoon on our Wall. Thank you so much!

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    Reward no longer available 4 backers
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  22. Select this reward

    Pledge $245 or more About $245

    MORE BEBIDA!

    You will receive 2 tickets for an unforgettable, dynamic dining experience prepared by Chef Matthew Heaggans of Swoop! Food Group and Bebe at the HeyHey. Chef Matthew will be unveiling his master restaurant plan for Bebita in the dining space that you helped build. Tickets to this taste of the future will not be available to anyone else until the Kickstarter is funded.

    You'll also get admission to the Commissary Block Party where you can pick up your Commissary Baggu (foldable market bag) with 2 Commissary t-shirts and stickers, as well as your Wooden Spoon on our Wall. Thank you so much!

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    Limited 2 backers
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    Pledge $255 or more About $255

    Chef Kevin Caskey of Skillet Rustic Urban Food is known for his commitment to seasonal and sustainable eats. He is going to wow you with a feast in The Commissary community space that you helped build. Tickets will not be available to anyone else until the Kickstarter is funded.

    You'll also get admission to the Commissary Block Party where you can pick up your Commissary Baggu (foldable market bag) with 2 Commissary t-shirts and stickers, as well as your Wooden Spoon on our Wall. Thank you so much!

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    Reward no longer available 4 backers
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    Pledge $265 or more About $265

    This level is for you from us with gratitude.

    You will receive 2 tickets to a very special dining experience in the community space you helped build. Kenny Kim & Misako Obha, the wonders behind Freshstreet and our original Columbus pop-up maestros, are going to come back to Columbus just to break in The Commissary and feed your faces. Tickets will not be available to anyone else until the Kickstarter is funded.

    You'll also get admission to the Commissary Block Party where you can pick up your Commissary Baggu (foldable market bag) with 2 Commissary t-shirts and stickers, as well as your Wooden Spoon on our Wall. Thank you so much!

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    Reward no longer available 4 backers
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    Pledge $265 or more About $265

    A SECOND NIGHT!!

    This level is for you from us with gratitude. You will receive 2 tickets to a very special dining experience in the community space you helped build. Kenny Kim & Misako Obha, the wonders behind Freshstreet and our original Columbus pop-up maestros, are going to come back to Columbus just to break in The Commissary and feed your faces. Tickets will not be available to anyone else until the Kickstarter is funded. You'll also get admission to the Commissary Block Party where you can pick up your Commissary Baggu (foldable market bag) with 2 Commissary t-shirts and stickers, as well as your Wooden Spoon on our Wall. Thank you so much!

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    Reward no longer available 4 backers
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    Pledge $275 or more About $275

    You clearly like the best in life.

    You will receive 2 tickets to a very special cooking class and dining experience in the community space you helped build.

    The cooking class will include a demonstration by Chef Hartmut Handke, CMC; a copy of the menu, wine notes, recipes, & dinner with drinks selected to complement the cuisine. Tickets to this class are limited and exclusive - they will not be available to anyone else until the Kickstarter is funded.

    You'll also get admission to the Commissary Block Party where you can pick up your Commissary Baggu (foldable market bag) with 2 Commissary t-shirts and stickers, as well as your Wooden Spoon on our Wall. Thank you so much!

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    Reward no longer available 4 backers
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    Pledge $405 or more About $405

    The Commissary is all about collaboration and experimentation. We will fill a day with you, and up to seven of your friends (choose wisely!) to join one of our own collaborators, Actual Brewing. They will lead a hands on class in our Experimental Brewing Space; there will be plenty of swag (t-shirts, stickers, etc) and refreshments (the latest flavors from Actual and snacks from our kitchens). Three short weeks after this class, your creation will be bottled. (21 and over only)

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    Reward no longer available 4 backers
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    SPONSORSHIP LEVEL: Your pledge will give a local food maker time (45 hours) to grow their business in any of our kitchen spaces. You can choose the maker or we can help pair you up with the next big thing. We'll also send a Commissary t-shirt, Baggu (foldable market bag), stickers, and gratitude your way.

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  29. Select this reward

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

    We appreciate you and want to give you all of our swag. You will receive admission to our Commissary Block Party where you can pick up your engraved cast iron skillet, a Commissary rolling pin, Baggu (foldable market bag), t-shirt, hand inked Igloo Letter press print, stickers, and anything else we can find! Your name or message will be engraved on a wooden spoon for our wall. You will be added to our VIP list that will get first dibs on tickets for all public events and classes and because we appreciate your support, the first 4 tickets are on us.

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  30. Select this reward

    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    You are our Big Spoon! We want you to name either one of our kitchens or the community space you helped build. We'll make the signs, we'll update the website, and we'll tell the world about your honorary space. You will also get all of our swag and admission to the Commissary Block Party. We will add you to our VIP list for first dibs on tickets for all public events and classes and the first 4 tickets are on us. Finally, your name or message will be engraved on a really Big Wooden Spoon to hang on our wall. Thank you. Thank you so much.

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    Estimated delivery
    Limited 4 backers
    $
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    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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Funding period

- (37 days)