About this project
WHAT IS OSAKANA?
OSAKANA will be a Japanese-style fish retailer dedicated to providing high-quality, local, and seasonal seafood to the community. Our customers will find fresh, expertly sourced fish, prepared and presented with respect by the team behind OKONOMI.
While New York has witnessed a flourishing of artisanal butcher shops, the number of local fish purveyors has diminished, despite the city’s proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. Our aim is to help diversify the local food economy and revive the city’s connection with its neighboring ocean.
To do this, OSAKANA will not only offer a seasonal selection of local seafood for customers to purchase, but it will also provide a community space in which people can learn more about these ingredients through discussions, meals, tastings, and classes. In Japanese, osakana means to "honor your fish (お魚を大切に)." Our hope is to embody this precept to the fullest.
WHEN AND WHERE WILL OSAKANA OPEN?
We've already found a location in Williamsburg, Brooklyn just a few blocks from OKONOMI. With a successful fundraising campaign, we can begin the work that will hopefully open OSAKANA by July 2016.
WHAT CAN WE DO WITH $50,000?
With $50,000, we will be able to open up a premiere seafood retail space in New York City. Our hope, however, is that this is just the beginning. To fully realize our vision, we will need significantly more funding. We’d like to share our “stretch goals” — our plans for the next $50,000 — so that fans and supporters will consider helping us get there.
IF WE REACH $75,000...
We will be able to equip OSAKANA with a 6-seat ramen bar. With this cozy dining nook in the back of our space, we’ll be all set to dish out more seafood-rich ramen as well as the freshest donburi lunches in town.
IF WE REACH $100,000...
We can fully build out our kitchen and acquire a liquor license. Our dream is to create a space for omakase dinners that will pair exciting preparations of seafood and sashimi with assorted Japanese whiskeys, all in the back of our little market. With this level of funding, we can work towards making this unique dining experience a reality.
We are excited to offer an array of unique objects and experiences to our Kickstarter supporters. Here's a peek at our rewards!
Want to be one of the first people to see recipes from our upcoming cookbook? Interested in being part of the process and actively contributing to its development? Claim this reward tier, and we'll send you a recipe from our cookbook and ask for your personal feedback. However involved you choose to be in this process — you're welcome to just privately savor the recipe on your own! — you'll have our sincere gratitude, and we'll keep you in the loop through the publication of the book and beyond.
Claim one of these high-quality, canvas bags, printed with our "fish-kanji-in-a-bowl" logo by artist, designer, and former employee Momoe Narazaki. Perfect for a trip to the farmers' market or for hauling goodies back from Mitsuwa.
Spread the word about Japanese breakfast! Snag one of our screen-printed 100% cotton t-shirts, which celebrate the three pillars of the ichiju sansai meal: fish, rice, and miso. Both logo styles are available in blue with white letters and white with black letters in sizes S, M, L, and XL.
Stay warm and look sharp in one of our hand-printed, old-school logo sweatshirts, envisioned and worn here by our tenchō (general manager) George-san! Sweatshirts are available in navy or gray in sizes S, M, L, and XL.
Together with premier Japanese knife retailer, Korin Japanese Trading Company, we are offering a stainless steel Japanese chef's knife printed with our logo. This elegant and versatile tool is available as a reward by itself or paired with a class on the care and sharpening of Japanese knives.
Over the past two years, we have had the privilege of working closely with Jordan Colon, the chef-turned-ceramicist who supplies the beautiful plates, bowls, and cups in our restaurant.
In collaboration with OKONOMI chef and owner Yuji Haraguchi, Jordan will produce a series of hand-painted and wood-fired pieces based on the sets we use at our restaurant, exclusively for backers of our Kickstarter campaign.
We are inviting backers who choose these rewards to come to our studio above OKONOMI to select their sets themselves from our collection. Each piece has its own character. Find the ones that speak to you.
Also, the shipping costs for the pottery are fairly prohibitive relative to our other tiers. Backers seriously interested in pottery but who cannot make it into OKONOMI to select their pieces are welcome to message us. We will do our best to accommodate our supporters however we can.
Want to look (and cook) fresh in the kitchen? Pick up one of our Japanese denim aprons or knife rolls, both handmade from salvaged Okayama denim and designed by Chef Haraguchi. Stylish and pragmatic, these aprons clean well, and these knife rolls will keep your essential kitchen tools neatly bundled yet easily accessible.
We envision OSAKANA as a place to grow and share knowledge on how to appreciate local seafood. Our Kickstarter supporters can claim spots in our first round of cooking demonstrations and classes, where, in small groups, they'll learn concepts and techniques of knife sharpening and receive instruction on how to butcher a whole fish.
Party with us! A number of our higher level rewards will include invitations to exclusive dinners and private parties, where you can meet, eat, and "kanpai" with us and your friends! Our most able and generous donors will be able to reserve our entire space for an evening to enjoy an OSAKANA feast with their guests. There will be seafood...
The OSAKANA Banzukehyo is our way of publicly expressing gratitude to our more able financial supporters.
Banzukehyo (or banzuke plaques) are public rankings lists that announce the names of sumo wrestlers participating in a given tournament. Traditional plaques honor higher ranking wrestlers with progressively larger sizes of kanji script.
Our OSAKANA banzukehyo will give thanks to the individuals who have chosen to more heavily fund our project. These select donors will have their names written in kanji script in one of four distinguished tiers (Komosubi, Sekiwake, Ozeki, and Yokozuna) and displayed at OSAKANA!
(NOTE: For those without an existing kanji name, we'll happily help translate the phonetics of your name into a meaningful kanji moniker.)
Our banzuke-level supporters will all be invited to join us at the OSAKANA opening party, where we will celebrate together and personally thank you for helping us make this vision a reality!
Risks and challenges
Opening any brick-and-mortar business in NYC is never simple. We've been through this process before, but every location has its share of unexpected obstacles and challenges. Thankfully we are blessed with a dedicated and talented team. With the support of our fans, we are prepared to face down construction delays and natural disasters with the same determination that has brought us this far already.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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