What happens when your crowdfunded neighborhood bakery has to find another neighborhood?

Pocket Bakery won’t be opening in the Central District anytime soon. Josh Grunig, the baker behind the bakery said he would still love to open a retail location in the area, but financial realities have forced him to alter his plans from a year ago.

“Maybe I was a little naive, but I also try to be as optimistic as possible,” Grunig said.

He had been operating Pocket Bakery as a pop-up in Magpie, a toy and clothes shop on 20th and Union with plans to open his own retail location in a new building near 23rd and Union. He explored bank loans but ended up raising about $25,000 from crowdsourcing. He has about 100 participants in the loan program, about a third of whom were from the neighborhood, he said.

But $25,000 doesn’t even come close to funding the startup costs for a retail bakery. Building out the dining space alone can run into the six figures, and then there’s still the kitchen. After his fundraiser finished, he found his would-be landlord was not as optimistic as he about his plans to come up with the capital.

“Literally, a week after that was done, they offered the space to someone else who was fully funded,” Grunig said. Continue reading

The Central District crowd rallies to help E Union pop-up Pocket Bakery build a permanent home

Grunig makes another sale (Image: CHS)

Grunig makes another sale (Image: CHS)

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 2.36.09 PMEvery Saturday for the past nine months you could find Josh Grunig selling a changing array of treats. He sets up shop from 10 AM to 1 PM in Magpie on E Union and 20th in the Central District and uses this very direct interaction with customers to hone his menu and get it “to a truly exemplary place.”

These Saturday morning “pop-ups” have been an opportunity for Grunig not only to expand his menu while helping raise his newborn daughter but also to create relationships with the businesses and residents of the Central District. He wants to give back to the “extremely supportive” neighborhood by providing a delicious food made from sustainably-grown, nutritional, local ingredients.

IMG_8154-600x400But frequent customers want access to his vegan sourdough, croissant-donuts, pistachio shortbread and cinnamon rolls for more than three hours a week, so Grunig has started a fundraiser to put his bakery in a brick-and-mortar home in the Central District.

CHS talked with Grunig last fall as he started his pop-up service. At the time, he was hoping to find a location within a few blocks of Magpie — possibly in new construction coming to the area. “There’s a huge amount of opportunity around Union,” Grunig said. “It’s really an opportunity for me to be in a real neighborhood.”

There appears to be plenty of support for the campaign based on the Community Sourced Capital system of crowdfunding in which investors can provide a no-interest loan to small business owners and organizations $50 at a time. The Pocket fundraiser launched on May 15th, and has already raised more than $8,000 of its $10,000 minimum goal.

The ultimate goal, Grunig says, is to raise “$50k for bakery equipment, furniture and all the small things needed to get open. Every little investment is one step closer to our goal.”

For more information on how to help Grunig get his bakery up and running, visit the Pocket Bakery Community Sourced Capital page.

Plan for a Capitol Hill doughnut bar gets one last push with Pettirosso pop-up

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 2.31.40 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 2.30.46 PMThe plan to bring a doughnut bar “inspired by Tom Waits and New Orleans nightlife
to Capitol Hill will get an extra push this weekend with a 9th & Hennepin pop-up at 11th Ave’s Cafe Pettirosso.

CHS told you earlier this month about the early plans from Justin Newstrum to create a joint serving fresh, hot doughnuts, coffee, and booze on Capitol Hill. The fundraiser behind the project stands at just under $5,000 with only a few days left to go on the $16,000 goal Newstrum is hoping to raise to fund the start-up of 9th & Hennepin. You can make your contribution here if you’re interested in helping get the business started and scoring one of the backer gifts.

Sunday night from 6 to 10 PM, you can meet the doughnut entrepreneur and sample his creations — and, hopefully, get inspired to add your dollars to the kitty:

As one last hurrah before my kickstarter ends, the fabulous ladies at Cafe Pettirosso have agreed to host a pop-up up night of fresh-fried donuts at their space on Capitol Hill this Sunday, November 2nd. Cafe Pettirosso will be open for their normal business hours Sunday night, serving their normal menu with Happy Hour all night long. In addition to that, we’re crafting a short menu of our donuts to fry to order. Donuts will be free, but *cash* donations will be accepted, to be donated to the kickstarter project. For those still on the fence about supporting the project this will be an excellent opportunity to come try a taste of what you’ll be getting when we open.

Capitol Hill theater group crowdfunding special effects for first production at 12th Ave Arts

Last week, we showed you inside the major Capitol Hill theater and development project opening this fall at 12th Ave Arts. One of the companies that will be resident in the 12th Ave Arts theater facilities is looking for community support for the high-concept live theater special effects planned as part of its first show in the Studio Theater. The $3,210 pitch from the Washington Ensemble Theatre is above. You can learn more and pitch in here:

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 2.48.00 PMIn January 2015, The Ensemble will open the 12th Ave Arts building with the world premiere of Josh Conkel’s darkly hilarious Sprawl. Cornish alum and writer of The Ensemble’s eighth season smash success Milk, Milk, Lemonade, Conkel’s Sprawl nestles a group of friends and frenemies in a Washington suburban model home for a book club meeting only to have them witness the brutally campy end of the world. Part Mars Attacks and part Serial Mom, Sprawl reminds us that beneath suburban tranquility there are nasty secrets that are wickedly laughable. This production continues and expands The Ensemble’s legacy of big, wild design elements as it requires flying alien insects, battle robots, and crystals that sprout from the ground before our eyes! The questions is: how do we make this playwright’s vision come to life in the most thrilling way possible for our community? This November, the Ensemble will spend a week in a warehouse space experimenting with giant puppets, remote control robots, and motion capture video projection technology. Our goal is to develop new methods of integrating cutting-edge technology with existing theatre traditions, and we can’t do it without your help! With $3,000, we’ll be able to pay for the space, purchase robots, small drones, and reimburse our artists for their time.


Nuflours turns to the crowd to finance Capitol Hill cafe

The Nuflours crew (Image: Nuflours)

The Nuflours crew (Image: Nuflours)

In the wake of the successful SIFF campaign to reopen the Egyptian Theatre in what may have been the biggest crowd-sourced financing drive ever for a Capitol Hill project, 15th Ave E’s Nuflours gluten free bakery is also turning to the crowd for a much smaller loan.

We’re seeking community support in a form of loans which will be paid back based on revenue from our business. Your loan, in the form of a Square will supply the financial support needed for the construction and equipment for opening the retail portion of our store. Here is a link to more information about Community Sourced Capital and how you can help. Our campaign page is http://www.communitysourcedcapital.com/nuflours/

The community loan process is done in $50 chunks — you put up $50 to help Nuflours finance its buildout and you get back $50 from the bakery’s revenue sometime over the next 18 to 36 months, according to the site’s documentation. Continue reading

With fundraising victory, Cappy’s Boxing Gym not going down without a fight

 Ravel Scheiner eyes her rival during a training session at Cappy’s Boxing Gym. (Photo: Peter Allen Clark)

Ravel Scheiner eyes her rival during a training session at Cappy’s Boxing Gym. (Photo: Peter Allen Clark)

After nearly 15 years of supporting Central Seattle’s boxing community, Cappy’s Boxing Gym asked for some online help in return. This summer, they go it.

After facing some recent financial setbacks, owner Cappy Kotz said his 22nd and E Union gym had joined a long line of businesses which have found the raised rents and changing social dynamics of Capitol Hill and the Central District difficult to weather.

So, in order to expand the business and prepare for the future, Cappy’s Boxing Gym began an Indiegogo fundraising project on June 1. The campaign asked for $15,000 to help “continue to produce Olympic caliber athletes and transform lives,” with much of the money going towards marketing. Last week, donors answered the call, raising just over $15,000 well before the July 1st deadline. Coach Ann Bailey said she was overwhelmed with the response.

“We kind of knew something special was happening,” Bailey said. “We were really moved by what people had to say about our gym.” Continue reading

Central Cinema kickstarts to stay indie, go *fully* digital

The Central Cinema crew needs your help to keep the good times rolling - Central Cinema w/ permission to CHS

The Central Cinema crew needs your help to keep the good times rolling – Central Cinema w/ permission to CHS

It’s a familiar situation for independent movie theaters that have stubbornly fought to remain free of Hollywood constraints but don’t want to be left behind by technology. 21st and Union’s Central Cinema plans to launch a Kickstarter this Saturday, and is looking to crowdsource $60,000 to catch up with the big studios, and ultimately, survive.

“The switch to DCP [high-tech projectors] is something that the movie studios are starting to force onto theaters,” Central Cinema owner Kevin Spitzer tells CHS.  The theater operating on one 35mm Blu-ray camera now needs $60,000 to upgrade to a DCP projector that Spitzer says in a year will become a necessity. Continue reading