+ + I AM IN NEED OF YOUR SUPPORT + +
HERE'S MY STORY:
I created and opened Kitch n' Kaffe, a 3,000 sf kitchenware store & coffee bar, in September 1998 to fill a need in Putnam County, NY for a store that would stock the largest selection of hard-to-find kitchen tools & ingredients for the home chef. The store currently has over 10,000 items in stock and I am known to source just about any item that my customers request. I also maintain a website where we make many of the same items available to consumers across the country. In addition, I incorporated into the store a full-service coffee bar that offers the best quality beverages in Putnam County and has become a community gathering place. Over time we expanded into offering cooking classes taught by local restaurant chefs throughout the year. I have also been offering Next-Day Knife Sharpening since the beginning of the business.
The business model was working superbly with a great staff of trained culinary experts, extremely delighted customers and sales volume that increased each year. Business was so good that in 2008, I decided to open my 2nd store in Mt. Kisco/Bedford Hills, NY.
THEN THE RECESSION HIT THE AREA HARD almost immediately as the 2nd store opened. Imagine that you invest $185,000.00 from your 1st store's profits, personal funds, and then borrow the balance from a local bank and then hardly anyone comes in to spend money because of the economic downturn. In 2011, after 3 years of losing money due to the lack of shoppers and consumers' loss of disposable income, I was forced to close the new 2nd store and layoff all of my talented employees. It's now 2014 and business at the original store is still down since the good old days, plus I took a hard hit with bad weather this past winter which further decreased my cash flow. I haven't been able to afford to pay the salaries of employees, so it's just been me running the store 7 days a week from 8am-7pm for just over a year. Since I can't leave the store to recruit local chefs, our cooking classes have been put on hold until I can hire an employee. I have cut all of my overhead to the bone but still have the debt from my 2nd store to pay each month.
I have become more entrepreneural during this recession and have added the following services to the store: eBay Consignment Service, Gold/Silver Buying Service, Check Cashing Service, and now sell Generic Ink Cartridges & Toner at 50% Off Name Brands to keep the business going. These have helped but can't make up for the high overhead costs that I incur each month. I am developing additional businesses that I'll launch soon within the store.
I've been giving back to the local community since the store's inception in 1998 and I now call upon my friends to help me keep Kitch n' Kaffe from closing its doors and leaving the community with a void and yet another empty storefront. With your help, I'll get out of this financial hole and start employing great local residents once again.
Every June for the past 15 years I've personally donated and served over 3,000 cups of coffee at the American Cancer Society's RELAY FOR LIFE at Mahopac High School. In addition, I have helped the Women's Resource Center (for battered women) in organizing "The Hudson Valley Food & Wine Experience" fundraiser event. I also adopted Route 6 and Croton Falls Road in Mahopac, where you'll find me four times each year picking up trash to help beautify the community.
I have also done all that I can to help promote and mentor to other locally-owned businesses by volunteering my time as a Board Member for the Mahopac Carmel Chamber of Commerce and for the Putnam County Independent Business Alliance.
Lastly, I founded "Cash Mob Putnam County", where I gather local residents each month in one of the towns in Putnam County to surprise locally-owned business where they promise to spend $10 or more of their own money to give the merchant an immediate economic stimulus. I haven't been able to continue this program as I'm unable to leave my store to organize the events. Help me to employ others at my store which will allow me to get out and once again bring Cash Mob Putnam County back to life!
This is one of my last efforts to keep Kitch n' Kaffe open until our busy Christmas season kicks in. The business model still works well but the lack of foot traffic and my debt load is what's causing all of the trouble.
Thank you for donating whatever you can to keep Kitch n' Kaffe alive and well. In return, I am offering rewards for your donations, so see which one you'd like to receive in return for your contribution. You can also contribute at the store and receive the same rewards listed here. Lastly, you may contribute any amount of money anonymously if you wish. I hope to see you soon at Kitch n' Kaffe.
I and my family are truly appreciative of your efforts.
John B. Porter
Kitch n' Kaffe
985 Route 6
Kmart Shopping Center
Mahopac, NY 10541
Tel (845) [phone redacted]
STORE HOURS: Mon-Fri 9am-7pm & Sat-Sun 10am-6pm
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