Six years ago, we decided to put down roots in the heart of downtown and open a neighborhood ramen shop with the hopes of building community. One bowl of soup at a time, through radical welcome and with a passion to nourish all, we’ve had the privilege and honor to support various grassroots organizations, help combat food insecurity, and serve countless loyal guests. Our primary goal is to be a nurturing, safe space for everyone. Unfortunately, we are facing an insurmountable roadblock in order to continue.
Although our current expenses and wages are financially sustainable in the long term, we have a large debt that was accrued at the beginning of 2020. We chose to prioritize our employees and ensure that their wages remained consistent during the pandemic. We did so at a loss. While we were planning to resolve this debt on our own, inflation and rising overhead has made it impossible to set aside any money beyond our normal operating costs. If we are unable to meet this amount soon, we will be forced to close our doors. After weighing our options and searching for other solutions over the past year, we have come to the very difficult and painful decision to ask the community for help.
While we know our customers would be heartbroken, shutting down would be especially devastating to the 20 absolutely wonderful humans we employ, who give so much of their time and energy to make the shop a compassionate, cooperative space for all. Since we opened, our team has shown us that real hospitality begins with giving care to ourselves and each other. That care and nourishment translates through the food and genuine community relationships we get to be a part of. Our team comes from many life experiences and identities. It is an honor and a gift to see them be exactly who they are as they learn together and grow through the vast challenges of this industry, all the while being uncompromising in their respect and support of one another. Morris Ramen is every part theirs as it is ours. It has been a space to engage in the brave work of self-discovery, autonomy, and collective care.
We know what our community is capable of when we come together, and how much impact small deeds can have when they are combined with collective action. We don’t take this request lightly. Your support means more to all of us than words can express. If you’re not able to contribute, please consider sharing this with those around you.
With immense gratitude,
Matt, Fran, George, and the Morris Ramen team
*This gofundme is being organized by Nicole Schmies. I am the sister of Matt Morris. I live in Madison and am helping to organize this as a way to help as best I can. All donations raised will go directly towards removing their debt and the heavy burden it has placed on my brother, his restaurant and his staff.