Open Chicago's First Vegan Cafe, and Experimental Dining Destination
For a few months, we've been in the old Kitchen 17 space on Briar Street, and have hosted dozens of pop-up dinners, cooking classes, special events, and private parties. But now the lease is coming to an end, and in order to continue cooking as we do, we'll need to sign a new lease, and take the next step towards building a new business here in Chicago! The rent is very reasonable, and we have built up a solid clientele over the past 2 years through our cooking. Kevin is a Vegan Iron Chef award winning cook who has catered dozens of vegan weddings, fundraiser dinners for Factory Farming Awareness Coalition, the Humane League, and Farm Sanctuary here in Chicago. We have hosted over 160 vegan popup dinners in the 2 years Fancy Plants Catering has been in the Windy City, and we've built a grassroots network of dedicated diners, cooks, servers, and collaborators.
Our team plans to take vegan cooking to the next step, by opening Chicago's first vegan cafe, which will feature experimental and refined vegan dining options in the evening, as well as serve as an incubator for new chefs, and new concepts.
Kevin has been the chef of 4 successful restaurants and businesses in the San Francisco/Bay Area, and will apply that same determination to our first brick and mortar location here in Chicago.
We want to create a neighborhood cafe culture, where we would be welcoming, personable, approachable, and be 100% vegan. We'll provide delectable pastries, breakfast sandwiches, bagels with different housemade cream cheeses, and grab and go food. We will turn our grab and go food into a weekly meal plan, with deliveries across Chicago, and plan to cater office breakfasts and lunches as well.
In the evening, we will continue the tradition Fancy Plants Catering started with the 160+ vegan popups we've hosted in Chicago, by offering a refined experience of 'farm to table' vegan dining, with rotating themes, guest chefs, special events, and as an incubator for testing new vegan concepts in Chicago.
What we're going to do, is attract people in with our friendly, approachable, bohemian cafe. Then we'll convince them when they try our vegan morning pastries, breakfast sandwiches, and grab and go food. Then perhaps they'd like to join us for our refined vegan dining in the evenings. Come in on a whim for coffee, end up joining us for a 5 course vegan molecular gastronomy dinner. We hope to bring a lot of omnivores to appreciate us by running the spectrum between low commitment morning offerings, to refined dinners in the evening. The mornings can be the anchor, and then we can see what vegan dining concepts Chicago is hungry for as well.
How can you get involved? We have many rewards for donations to our Kickstarter, but if you don't have funds, don't worry! You can help by sharing us on social media.
Risks and challenges
We understand that many challenges face opening a vegan business, and for any new business in Chicago. It takes a village. We do have many good things going for us:
*Our rent is very reasonable, and we're in a great location.
*We have a prep kitchen/walk in refrigerator, literally right around the corner at Kitchen 17.
*We have many revenue streams. The cafe in the morning, the dinners in the evening, grab and go food, meal delivery, office catering, cooking classes, and wedding and event catering as well.
*We have a very committed and diverse team. Kevin has run 4 successful restaurants in SF, and has cooked for thousands of people here in Chicago. We've forged great relationships with many vegan food companies, restauranteurs, animal rights nonprofits, and local Chicago organizations.
*We have a very devoted team. Building people up who work with us has always been a priority, and we have solid people working with us who take on leadership roles, organization, and dedication.
We could never have done any of the ambitious projects we've done without their reliability and support.
*We are adaptable. We will always be 100% vegan, but we're very sensitive to what works and what doesn't when it comes to trying out new vegan dining concepts in the evening. Creativity and risk require honest criticism, and we're adaptable to changing demands and circumstances.
We'll always be 100% vegan, Given this, we can always adapt.
- (30 days)