A little over 3 years ago we created the Cafe Phenix with the idea of offering our community a very unique place that offers not only some the best coffee in the city, but also delicious sandwiches, salads and baked goods. Since that time, we been blessed to become a well-loved part of our community. Even garnering (2 years in a row!) NBC4's award for Columbus' BEST HOT CHOCOLATE!
From the time we left France in 2016 and moved to Columbus, Ohio, we've dedicated every moment of our lives to building the Cafe Phenix. It's been our life, our love and dream. In fact, at the end of our first week of business I gave birth to our lovely Estelle. My water broke while closing-up the shop that day!
And just a few days later she was in the shop with us! and customers still remember seeing her behind the counter in her bassinet.
So, why are we here on GoFundMe?
The answer is pretty simple. 2019 has found us outgrowing the previous location, and we have been fortunate to obtain our new location at 51 E. Gay Street here in Columbus. It was the perfect opportunity to grow - but along with this growth has come hidden expenses we weren't prepared for. The original plan was to keep both the cafe' at 39 E. Gay, and the bistro at 51. But we recently decided it best to consolidate the two into the 51 E. Gay location to cut costs.
To cover the expenses of opening the new location, we had anticipated securing traditional business funding, but unfortunately that route was was not possible, as unfortunately is the case for many small businesses. Thus we had to resort to alternative lenders with very high interest rates to take the golden opportunity before us to expand into a bigger location that already had the potential to expand our menu as customers increasingly requested. Now we can offer a full all day breakfast menu as well as additional seating to meet our customers needs.
The old location didn't have either the room or kitchen ventilation system required to supply the increasing amount of food and baked goods for our patrons. In fact, all the cooking was done on a small two burner hot plate and a convection oven. We just could not prepare enough food to supply the increasing demand.
Now after nearly 2 months at our new location, we are financially depleted to the point that meeting day to day expenses is almost impossible. With the $250.00 dollars a day being paid back to the alternative lenders, we are struggling to pay all of our expenses and are unable to meet all of our additional obligations. This has put us in a position where our original location's rent has not been met and potentially could have legal action taken against us if we do not pay it back soon.
If we could pay off the daily burden of our high interest loans, we would be able to get back on track and moving forward. Any funding we receive will help us on this path to success.
Our business is well loved in the community and we know that our hearts are set on success and we know it is possible with your help. Our new location is getting busy and we know that it will get even busier quickly, we just need a boost to get past these initial difficulties.
Please help the Phenix to Rise up out of this difficult moment. We want to thank in advance everyone for any help that you could provide. Anything would be greatly appreciated.
A plan for a Silent Auction of Brittney Barnhart's original artwork and reception to benefit the Cafe Phenix Bistro is in the works. Details will be coming soon on this event!
- NAN HUANG
- Mark Ferenchik
- Dan and Lisa
- Jamie Petras
Brittney Barnhart McConnell