692
692
14

Save Fannie's Cafe

$45,702 of $65,000 goal

Raised by 758 people in 2 months
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. 
36334464_1548345810117528_r.jpeg

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.
36334464_1548280782343809_r.jpeg

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. 
36334464_1548272589414373_r.jpeg

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!
+ Read More
So here we are friends. Tomorrow we will close the campaign as we approach deadlines for various debtors. You have helped so much and we have made significant progress to fix this and keep Fannie's alive. But we are not in the clear yet! If you have been on the fence about helping, please watch the videos and read our stories. I would also suggest reading the comments from the incredibly wonderful people who have donated to help us. This is your chance to prevent another empty storefront and help keep something positive and valuable to the community. Thank you.
+ Read More
Final Days Friends! We have one week left to raise funds. On April 12th we will close the fundraiser. It is our deadline with IRS and other debtors for final payment arrangements. Throughout the week we will post updates and stories about Fannie's. On Thursday April 11th, 6:30pm we will have a final fundraising event at Fischmans Public House 4058 N. Milwaukee Ave Chicago. Our collaboration beer "Fannie's Chocolate Cake Stout" will be on draft for one night only! We will have split the pot raffle, silent auction, and loads of baked goods for sale. Please join us, spread the word, and help keep Fannie's alive! Thank you for all your help and support.
+ Read More
We are still here and still fighting. The response we've received so far has been amazing, and humbling, and left us speechless with gratitude and determined to keep going. BUT we still have a way to go. The amount we're asking for is genuinely what we need to catch up on rent and satisfy the minimum requirements for a payment plan for back taxes owed. This new video I've posted addresses some questions we've been asked. To summarize here is what I'd like to explain further
-No the landlord does not have to fix things. The way commercial leasing works in Chicago puts the liability for building maintenance on the renter and not the building owner. So no, the landlord is not required to fix a problem when something in the building breaks unless it is outside walls or roof.
-Yes, $65K seems like a lot of money. It is. But in business terms its not an outrageous number. To put it in perspective, our rent is over $4,500 a month. Utilities here are over 2k per month. Payroll tax payments monthly exceed $4,600. I'm providing these numbers for some context to understand how it is possible to fall behind and quickly find yourself in a hole of debt. When we suffered a large loss of nearly 20K that first year we would have had to somehow quadruple sales the next day to stay current with everything.
-Yes we are aware of the SBIF program. We looked into the application, it does require a building owner sign off that we did not get so we do not know if we would have gotten any of that money.
-Yes we are aware of business interruption insurance. Honestly it was an expensive policy that didn't fit in our budget when we expanded. We didn't buy it and stayed with basic liability. It stinks, but that's what happened.
There is so much more we want to do at Fannie's. Your help is meaningful and has a direct impact on our business, our future, and the future of our community. Please help spread the word, donate, and keep the campaign going and help us reach our goal.
From the bottom of our hearts here at Fannie's - Thank you
+ Read More
Half way! I'm full of gratitude for the support we've received so far. This makes us more determined to be here and better than ever. If we can pull this off and hit this goal we will continue to be everything you love about Fannie's and more. Please help us spread the word! Thank you!
+ Read More
Read a Previous Update

$45,702 of $65,000 goal

Raised by 758 people in 2 months
Your share could be bringing in donations. Sign in to track your impact.
   Connect
We will never post without your permission.
In the future, we'll let you know if your sharing brings in any donations.
We weren't able to connect your Facebook account. Please try again later.
SF
$100
Spina Family
7 days ago
$50
Mariana Glusman
7 days ago
CS
$100
Chris Schoewe
8 days ago
LP
$10
LaShaunna Pearson
8 days ago
LC
$500
Lisa Cowgill
8 days ago
$10
Jennifer VanderPloeg
8 days ago
$25
Amy Jarrett-Clancy
9 days ago
$25
Anonymous
9 days ago
TH
$20
Teresa Houston
9 days ago
CH
$50
Charles Heinrich
9 days ago
or
Use My Email Address
By continuing, you agree with the GoFundMe
terms and privacy policy
There's an issue with this Campaign Organizer's account. Our team has contacted them with the solution! Please ask them to sign in to GoFundMe and check their account. Return to Campaign

Are you ready for the next step?
Even a $5 donation can help!
Donate Now Not now
Connect on Facebook to keep track of how many donations your share brings.
We will never post on Facebook without your permission.