Help Take Critical Grind to the Next Level!

TLDR: Critical Grind has existed for 2 months and we're slowly growing, but we could use a little push.

That old adage "you need to spend money to make money" has never made more sense to us than it does right now. Our tables just aren't as great for games as we thought they would be so we would love to upgrade to larger tables, and we would love to expand our retail section to include card games like Magic the Gathering, Pokemon, One Piece, and more. We'd also like to offer branded items like Coffee Mugs, T-Shirts, and Playmats. But MOST importantly, we have a couple of loans we are still trying to pay off. Every bit helps. And if you'd prefer to support us and get something in return, come to the cafe and buy something. And tell your friends about us.

TL:DR; We are trying to fund unforeseen remodeling costs for a board game coffee shop in Shorewood, IL, a south suburb of Chicago.
Hello! My name is Dana Buxbaum and my husband, Shaun Tennant, and I have owned Critical Grind, Inc since 2018. Critical Grind started as a board gaming events company but we always had the goal to open a board game coffee shop. Here we are, almost 4 years later and we have finally decided to go for it. We decided to use our savings and dive in. We got a location and bought most of the equipment and seating, but there are some remodeling costs we had not anticipated. Like many other small businesses, the pandemic hurt us. We were stopped in our tracks. Without revenue from the last 2 years, banks won't give us loans. Now we look to the generous hearts of the communities.
We are converting a former kickboxing gym into a coffee shop environment. We need the money primarily for plumbing and electrical updates to the space, though any money raised over that amount will be used for things like our sign, shelving, and general incidentals.
There are no local coffee shops in the city of Shorewood. There are no board game coffee shops anywhere in the Chicago suburbs. There are a couple of great local game stores, but nothing like what Critical Grind will be. With special events, supporting other local organizations, and curating a welcoming and inclusive board gaming environment, we want to be here for our community.
I am appealing to board gamers, coffee fiends, local citizens, friends, family, and strangers with money to support small businesses. Watch our video. Listen to our full story. Please donate something. A little, or a lot. Whatever you can. Share the page. Spread the word. We appreciate you.

Unnecessary extra information: My life-long dream has been to open a coffee shop. I was inspired by Central Perk in Friends, Luke's Diner in Gilmore Girls, and Karen's Cafe in One Tree Hill. I would also like to give an honorable mention to the Open Door Teen Coffeehouse. I started going there when I was 13 years old, started volunteering there when I was 15, and it closed when I was 21. That place made a big impact on who I am as a person. 

Donations (59)

See top
  • Anonymous
    • $100 
    • 8 mos
  • Pamela Graham
    • $200 
    • 8 mos
  • Abigail Lebioda
    • $25 
    • 9 mos
  • Michael Reeser
    • $500 
    • 9 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $20 
    • 10 mos
See all


Dana Buxbaum-Tennant
Shorewood, IL

Your easy, powerful, and trusted home for help

  • Easy

    Donate quickly and easily.

  • Powerful

    Send help right to the people and causes you care about.

  • Trusted

    Your donation is protected by the  GoFundMe Giving Guarantee.