Save Fannie's Cafe

$32,304 of $65,000 goal

Raised by 532 people in 23 days
We don't want to say Goodbye! So we're asking our community to help.

A little over 3 years ago Fannie's expanded to our space on Montrose Ave with the goal of creating a community space that celebrated hand crafted goods made with intention by local people. We are all about craft and community and a special vibe of comfort and happiness. 

What Happened?
In our first 18 months in the new space we encountered a series of disasters (5 major power outages, 3 plumbing system failures) that caused us to lose approx. $20,000.  On top of that we had been supplying  Treasure Island foods (a very large grocery store account for us) and they dropped their small vendors (and have since gone out of business). This was devastating at the time but we had hopes to get a small business loan through a bank or the SBA to help.

While we searched for financing we fell behind on every bill. Rent, taxes, the lights were shut off a few times when we couldn't pay utilities. But we kept fighting and growing and managed to stay open.      When no bank would help we were forced to take unsecured money from alternative lenders at a very high interest rate. Hoping this would be a bridge to a proper business loan from a bank or the SBA.

It wasn't. There was no bank that would approve a loan. We have spent the last year fighting, barely keeping our heads above water everyday to keep the doors open. Unfortunately the financial hole from the first year and a half has caught up to us. We've spent the second 18 months buried in loan payments, late fees, penalties, and trying to survive rent increases, payroll increases with minimum wage rate rising, insurance costs rising and more. 

What will the funds be used for?
We are raising funds to pay our landlord back rent we owe to avoid them taking any action to evict us. We also need to make a payment to the state of Illinois to maintain a payment plan on the back taxes owed. We are facing shut off notices on utilities and collection action from a few of our vendors (insurance company and pest control). We have enrolled in a debt restructure program to reduce our loan payments to a manageable amount.

We CAN STAY IN BUSINESS! We know many will wonder if this ship is worth saving. We promise it is! Our monthly revenues are enough to pay our bills. We are not asking for money to pay every debt. If we can fill that hole from the beginning of our time here we can stay in business and continue to grow and offer even more amazing things to our community.

You can help!
There are no words to express what your help will mean to the team here at Fannie's. This is a business that has been built with fierce love and dedication by an incredible group of family, friends, and customers that understand and believe in our mission of craft and community. This wasn't just Fannie's dream and vision. It became that for everyone involved. We employ 18 people that live right here in the neighborhood. Saving our business means saving their jobs, preventing another empty storefront, and declaring that you believe in the little guys too. 

We've become a vehicle for outreach programs. A meeting space for neighborhood organizations and non-profits. A gathering space for family parties and community fundraisers. We're the bakery that still makes your grandma's coffee cake. The cafe where your uncle's band can play at brunch. Where your friends handmade knitted scarf can be on display and for sale.  Where your kids build Gingerbread houses.

There is so much more we want to do. We don't believe this is how the story ends for Fannie's and we don't want to say Goodbye. Anything you can give will help. If it's not in your budget to donate funds please share our story and help us get the word out!
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I've been doing my best to answer the many questions coming our way since launching this campaign. Here is the cliff notes version of the FAQ's I've received so far.
No the landlord is not required to fix things in our building. Commercial lease is very different from residential lease.
Yes we have been making payments on the taxes we owe, however the state of Illinois is not very flexible and does require large down payments for payment plans.
Yes we have looked at options with SBIF, SBA, Small Banks, Big Banks, worked with SCORE mentors, applied with Accion, searched for grants and more.
The truth is my experience as a business owner in this building, in this city, with these set of circumstances has been more of an obstacle course than a supported path to success. We've jumped through quite a few flaming hoops but are so ready and willing to stay in the fight. There is so much more we want to do.
The support we've received so far tells us our community wants us here too!
We're nearly halfway there. Please give this a share and help keep Fannie's in business.
Very sincere Thank you from all of us here at Fannie's.
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The support we've received so far is amazing and we are so grateful. We've paid a few bills and bought some time. We're still fighting! And when I say "we're" I mean the whole Fannie's Family. This next video talks about that. Please check out our campaign and thank you again from the bottom of our hearts
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$32,304 of $65,000 goal

Raised by 532 people in 23 days
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