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Help Funeral Potatoes find a home of our own

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MAY GOAL: $13,688 Hey customers, friends and family! We're Eve Studnicka & Alexis Thomas-Rice, the head chefs, owners, delivery drivers, accountants, dishwashers, IT department, etc. behind the LGBTQ and POC owned virtual restaurant, Funeral Potatoes - voted Best Meal Kit in The Chicago Reader, featured in Chicago Magazine's 10 Hottest Restaurants and Chicago Tribune's Top 100 Takeout. After 3 years of delivering elevated Midwest comfort food all over the city of Chicago in our trusty (and rusty) delivery van, we're ready to put down roots and open a cafe of our own where we can finally serve our community face-to-face! How It All Started We first met in 2017 while working at a local chocolate shop. We bonded over our shared love of Midwest nostalgia, grandma-core comfort food and community building outside of traditional restaurant culture. By March 2020, Eve was the chef de cuisine at a local Hungarian cafe and Alexis was running her own event catering company - but when the pandemic hit we both lost our jobs and were left scrambling to pay rent. Since we already enjoyed cooking together (and Alexis had a mini-van) we teamed up, released a menu with our favorite comfort foods and to our surprise completely sold out - and kept selling out week after week. Eventually, we upgraded our ordering system, got a newer (slightly less rusty) van, hired a few amazing staff members to help us in the kitchen and decided to name our newfound adventure Funeral Potatoes. For those that don't know, Funeral Potatoes is one of many nicknames for a Midwest potluck staple - the cheesy potato casserole. If you're attending a baby shower, birthday party or funeral there's a good chance that someone's great Aunt brought a crockpot full of 'em and that they WILL be one of the first things to run out. Our name is an ode to the power of cheesy carbs during tough times and a reminder of how we got our start. Where It's Going We never imagined we'd still be going strong 3 years later. Since the first week with two of us crammed into a tiny kitchen, delivering soup in extra Trader Joe's bags - we've grown to a full-time, licensed operation cooking out of a commercial kitchen in Logan Square. We've popped up at local markets, restaurants, concerts and events all over the city and one thing we can't stop hearing from our customers is "When are you going to open a brick-and-mortar?" We're finally ready to take the leap and find a place of our own. Our dream is to open a cozy neighborhood cafe where we can expand our current offerings, experiment with new foods and formats that don't work so well for our current delivery model and create a community hub with the kind of warm & friendly Midwest vibes that encourage you to sit down and stay a while. Our space will be the kind of place where you can sit all day with your laptop and a cup of coffee, go on a first date or grab a bite with friends, with better food options than the typical giant muffins and mediocre bagels. Miles away from the cold concrete and sanitized corporate sleekness of a "trendy" coffee shop, we'll be a community hub where neighbors of all shapes, sizes, colors, creeds and identities are invited to feel safe, eat good food made with love, and enjoy some laidback Midwest hospitality. Best of all, a brick-and-mortar will make it easier for us to serve more of you, the folks that we love. With a solid home base, we'll be able to offer a larger menu, pop up at more markets and events and serve food 6 days a week which means MORE Funeral Potatoes for everyone! What We Need Like our mothers and grandmothers before us, we are thrifty, resourceful, and naturally risk averse. We started Funeral Potatoes with a van full of secondhand equipment and the money in our pockets and have grown it slowly and consistently to where we are today. Now we need the support of our tater loving community to help us navigate the daunting and expensive process of opening a brick and mortar. Here are just some of the many things that your resources will help facilitate. • Renovations: We're on the hunt for a restaurant space that already has a kitchen but we'll need funds to make sure that plumbing, electrical, etc are up to code and that our space is welcoming for our customers. • Equipment & Supplies: Once we have the space, we need to fill it with all of the goodies that make a restaurant work - ovens, sinks, tables, comfy chairs, coffee makers, dishes, maybe even a real dishwasher if we're feeling *luxurious*. • Staffing: We LOVE our current part-time staff and can't wait to be able to offer them full-time positions, as well as expand our employment opportunities. Our staff will earn an actual living wage and have healthcare benefits. • Misc. : Between unexpected repairs, licensing fees, compost pick up, staff uniforms and the hundreds of other expenses that are bound to pop up, we want to give ourselves enough room in the budget to flexibly navigate this process while staying on track with our opening timeline. Listen Beautiful Babes We want you to know that your contribution, no matter how big or small, will have a direct impact on our ability to create a vibrant and welcoming community space and create stability and fair employment for ourselves and our staff. Your contribution is an investment not only in our future but in a more equitable and diverse future for the Chicago culinary landscape as a whole. We hope you'll continue to support us and follow along as we keep working to make our dream of bringing cheesy carbs to all a reality. 
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Donations 

  • Rose Taylor
    • $20 
    • 3 mos
  • Elizabeth Wall
    • $50 
    • 4 mos
  • Yasuyo Yamada
    • $100 
    • 4 mos
  • Tiffany Yanagawa
    • $10 
    • 8 mos
  • Lori Light
    • $50 
    • 8 mos
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Organizer

Alexis Thomas
Organizer
Chicago, IL

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