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$9,257 pledged of $50,000 goal
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By V Marks the Shop
$9,257 pledged of $50,000 goal
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About this project

Philadelphia is the City of Brotherly Love. We believe it is the perfect city to build an all-vegan convenience store that is reflective of Philly's diversity! With quality animal-free products that are accessible to everyone, our dream for a compassionate store supported by the global community can be a reality called V Marks the Shop!

Hi! We're Carlo and Carmella. We're two vegan New Yorkers who have fallen in love with Philadelphia and its vibrant vegan scene. The people that we've met have been nothing short of welcoming. We love the food across the city from vegan options at Memphis Taproom to seitan wings at Blackbird! Seeing the community support of veganism is inspiring! This is why we want to be part of it with V Marks the Shop!

At our first pop-up event!
At our first pop-up event!

Our dream of opening V Marks the Shop began with Carlo's Grandpa John. 

Carlo's dad & grandparents Connie & John
Carlo's dad & grandparents Connie & John

Grandpa John came to the U.S. from Sicily in the 1920s with a strong sense of entrepreneurship. He started with an egg and milk cart in New York City's East Village. That cart later became a neighborhood Italian grocery store, ran with Grandma Connie and where Carlo's dad grew up. Carlo's dad, Carl, would then carry that spirit by becoming a classically trained chef and opening a run of Italian restaurants and a deli in Northern New Jersey. 

Carlo never wanted to run a restaurant. However, he loved seeing how his dad and grandparents connected themselves to their local communities. Just as they grew communities from New York to New Jersey, we wanted to do the same by bringing our dream for V Marks the Shop to Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love. 

As we deepened our connection to veganism, we thought how we can deliver a message of compassion and tie it back to family. That was where our idea for V Marks the Shop was born. We talked about how important friends, family and neighbors were to small businesses. We talked about the lessons learned from Carlo's family's history. We talked about our dreams of making veganism accessible to everyone.

Our vision for V Marks the Shop is based on sharing veganism with the world and bringing it back to family. We believe this store would be the perfect connection people can make to it. We'll do this in 3 ways:

  • Creating a retail & meeting space for the whole COMMUNITY to experience & enjoy
  • Spreading COMPASSION to vegans and non-vegans alike
  • Delivering CONVENIENCE through the products we sell & events we host

Community is both local and global! Our goal is to bring people together! The brick-and-mortar store in Philadelphia will also be a meeting place. Whether you're running in to get quick snack or attending a cooking demo, we want people to get to know their neighbors. We hope to get to know you all too!

We're currently looking at four (4) neighborhoods to develop the store:

  • Newbold
  • Point Breeze
  • University City
  • Fishtown

Community support will play a role in the final location!

The online store will be open 24/7 to everyone. We plan to include a support forum, list vegan events, share recipes and more! We want to become a resource to new and veteran vegans, as well as those interested in giving veganism a try!

Compassion is rooted in veganism! It's about respect for everyone! 

For us, spreading compassion grows community!

Convenience is accessibility to great vegan products at reasonable prices from food to apparel, no matter where you are!

Our brick-and-mortar will be based in Philadelphia. However, in keeping true to being a store for everyone, we'll have an online shop that ships amazing vegan products across the United States. You can order your favorites and try new vegan finds!

 V Marks the Shop will offer:

  • Vegan products at reasonable prices for everyone
  • Online shopping via vmarkstheshop.com with shipping across the United States (coming soon
  • In-store pick-up and local deliveries within Philadelphia, PA
  • Community meeting place
  • Events such as cooking demos, book signings, etc.
    We want V Marks the Shop to be driven by the community. Your support of our Kickstarter campaign will help to bring the store to life! The monies pledged will go towards the following:
  • Inventory (We want to get amazing vegan products in your hands)
  • Refrigerators/freezers
  • Equipment & supplies (POS system, shelving, paint, etc.)
  • Initial rent
  • Permits, licenses, all that fun paperwork!
  • Miscellaneous expenses

We thank you for your support, and we hope to see you soon!

LET'S GROW V MARKS THE SHOP TOGETHER!

Risks and challenges

Upon funding, our biggest challenges will be to secure the right location and meet the city's zoning requirements (e.g. for truck deliveries, and business classification). In addition, the cost of equipment and initial set-up of the store will be large factors in the timing of our brick-and-mortar opening. We will be working to develop the online business and attending local events.

The success of V Marks the Shop will rely on community support! We understand the risks that come with starting a new business. Carlo has a background in community relations and customer service. Carmella's background is in e-commerce, operations and marketing. We feel strongly that our combined experience has helped to prepare us in connecting with the community-at-large.

We have consulted with similar businesses in other cities. We also have a mentor from SCORE through the Small Business Administration. Our family has over 50 years in the food industry, and continues to offer advice and guidance.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    STEP RIGHT UP REWARD!

    Your name will be added to our virtual Wall of Vegan Awesome as "thanks" for your support!

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    NEW REWARD ALERT!

    THE BALLYHOO REWARD!

    A personalized haiku of THANKS, written by the Strongman himself, Carlo!

    Includes $10.00 reward!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    THE COOK HOUSE REWARD

    Our first-ever official V Marks the Shop 10-recipe hand-drawn e-zine (PDF), called CONNIE'S COOK HOUSE!

    This zine will be full of fun, easy vegan carny-themed with "a touch of Grandma" recipes to make everyday a party!

    Plus $10.00 rewards!

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    CARRY ON REWARD!

    The official V MARKS THE SHOP TOTE BAG, perfect for when you visit the store or to strut your vegan pride!

    You'll also receive the first-issue of CONNIE'S COOK HOUSE e-zine (PDF)

    Plus $10.00 rewards!

    INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING: You will be responsible for any customs, duties, tax or other related required fees to receive this perk in your country.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    NEW REWARD ALERT!

    THE CONCESSIONAIRE'S SPECIAL!

    With your pledge of $45.00, you'll receive an added bonus of your choice. You may select from either:

    - One (1) Sweet Treat

    or

    - One (1) Savory Snack

    $40.00 rewards are included!

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    WALK THE MIDWAY REWARD!

    The official V MARKS THE SHOP TOTE BAG, perfect for when you visit the store or to strut your vegan strong pride!

    You'll receive the first-issue PRINTED version of CONNIE'S COOK HOUSE with SIGNED NOTE OF THANKS!!

    Plus $10.00 rewards!

    INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING: You will be responsible for any customs, duties, tax or other related required fees to receive this perk in your country.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    NEW REWARD ALERT!

    THE SPOTLIGHT SURPRISE!
    Whether you hang with us on Twitter on Wednesdays & Sundays at 8pm ET, or just like to see what people are tweeting with our favorite hashtag, #VeganFoodChat, we've put together a special reward, just for you!

    With your pledge of $60.00, you'll receive a little something(s) extra in your tote bag:

    - One (1) sweet treat
    - One (1) savory snack
    - One (1) #VeganFoodChat surprise!
    - Plus, all the items in the WALK THE MIDWAY reward ($50.00 level)

    There may also be a handwritten pun or two!

    Limited to 20!

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    NEW REWARD ALERT!

    COOKING WITH CONNIE REWARD

    Be a part of CONNIE'S COOK HOUSE zine's first issue!

    With your pledge of $75.00 or more, you get naming rights to a recipe, featuring one of your favorite ingredients!

    That's right! Tell us your favorite ingredient, and we'll create a recipe to be named after you! We'll also include your photo in the zine!

    Also includes the $50.00 reward!

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    THE "WITH IT AND IN IT" REWARD

    Wear the official V MARKS THE SHOP T-SHIRT with vegan strong pride! We'll also include the official V MARKS THE SHOP CAN KOOZIE, because we all get thirsty while having fun!

    Includes $50.00 rewards of tote bag + zine!

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    THE TOWNIE REWARD!

    Celebrate at our grand opening party in Philadelphia, PA! You'll receive a V Marks the Shop t-shirt, tote bag, koozie and two invitations to the food & fun...and party bag at the event!

    Note: If you reside outside of Philly, you will need to supply your own transportation to the event. We will give 4-6 weeks notice with the party invitation!

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    THE OUT-OF-TOWNER REWARD

    Won't make it to Philly for a while? No problem!

    V MARKS THE SHOP GIFT BASKET will come your way which includes our favorite 5 products, with at least one Philly-made item! It will also include a t-shirt, tote bag, koozie and zine!

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    THE TRAVELERS' REWARD

    Let's explore Philadelphia's vegan scene together. Starting at our store location, we'll guide you and a friend on a Philly Vegan Food Crawl of some of the best that this city has to offer. We'll snack and sample at 4-6 spots in town!

    Includes t-shirt, tote bag, zine and koozie for up to 2 people, which you'll receive at the start of the food crawl!

    NOTE: Travel to Philadelphia and hotel accommodations are not included. Date of crawl TBD!

    BONUS REWARD (Compliments of ThankTank Creative):
    Your own professional logo created by vegan design and marketing firm, ThankTankCreative.com! ANY backers of this reward will ALSO receive a customized, professionally-designed logo for their business or personal brand!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    GATHER ROUND THE TABLE REWARD!

    We cordially invite you and a guest to a delicious all-vegan Italian dinner in Philadelphia, made by Carlo and Carmella! We'll share our childhood favorites and Carlo's grandmother's Sicilian specialities!

    Includes official V Marks the Shop t-shirt, tote bag, zine and an invitation for 2 to the grand opening party (Date TBD).

    We will give 4-6 weeks notice with the party invitation and dinner! That means we get to hang out at least TWICE, right?

    NOTE: Travel to Philadelphia and hotel accommodations are not included. Date of events TBD!

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

    THE PERMANENT FIXTURE REWARD!

    Be a fixture of V Marks the Shop...literally! Your likeness will be painted on our store mural! You'll also receive a t-shirt, tote bag, zine, koozie and invitation for 2 to our grand opening party in Philadelphia, PA!

    We will give 4-6 weeks notice with the party invitation!

    NOTE: Travel to Philadelphia and hotel accommodations are not included. Date of event TBD!

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

    RUN OF THE STORE!

    You'll have 30 seconds to fill your V Marks the Shop tote bag of vegan awesome with items from the shop in Philadelphia, PA

    Includes official V Marks the Shop t-shirt, tote bag, zine, koozie and an invitation for 2 to the grand opening party (Date TBD).

    We will give 4-6 weeks notice with the party invitation!

    NOTE: Travel to Philadelphia and hotel accommodations are not included. Date of event TBD!

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Funding period

- (35 days)