Last night Kickstarter approved Taco Punk's $20,000 fundraising campaign. The NuLu capitalist venture is now ready to accept your donations ($1 minimum).
With 29 days remaining, 12 people have donated $515. If Taco Punk doesn't reach its goal of $20,000 by 3:16 p.m. on Feb. 22, all committed funds will be returned.
And—good news— while chef and owner, Gabe Sowder's, original email made no mention of Taco Punk providing rewards for donations, there will be incentives (a Kickstarter requirement). While equity, interest, or a tax deduction aren't among the benefits for giving money to this privately owned business, donors will receive rewards ranging from bumper stickers (for a $5 donation) to a private party (for a $5,000 donation, but hurry, this prize is limited to just two donors). Best not to compare the dollar amount of the donations to the monetary value of the rewards though.
Before you hit that "back this project" button, however, meet Hassan. He's the fella with the disarming smile to the right. He says hi. Hassan is a 30-year-old Azerbaijani trader. In addition to the candies and tea he was carrying, he wanted to start selling spices and beverages. Through Kiva, the "online lending platform connecting online lenders to entrepreneurs," Hassan borrowed $1,200. That's right, borrowed. He didn't offer a SWAG pack (as cool as a t-shirt reading M?n H?s?n sevgi would be). No, instead Hassan paid back all of the funds. Why shouldn't Taco Punk, again, a private company whose owners are looking to profit, at least do likewise? Taco Punk, you are no Hassan.
Here's Sowder's email from last night:
Good news Taco Punk friends and family, our Kickstarter project has been approved and launched!
For those of you who are not familiar with this crowd funded website, the rules are simple. In order to be approved, the project must have specific goals and offer a tiered structure of rewards for contributions. If the project reaches or exceeds the goal, we collect (minus Kickstarter and Amazon's fees as well as taxes) In turn, we will send you the reward for your contribution level.
We are well aware this project will attract its share of criticism as well. There will be many questions raised and part of the Kickstarter platform is to answer them in the form of updates. I will go ahead and answer the first question most people will ask : "Why should I support a business that is admittedly on the ropes?" The answer is that we are not that far away from making it. The first year of a restaurant is financially brutal but we have learned from those harsh realities and are currently running proper food and labor costs for a restaurant our size. Our first year losses and the overhead for a modern restaurant are killing us. But without additional support we simply cannot make the changes we need in order to grow. A healthy catering program and regular events in our outdoor space will allow us to close that gap and realize a tiny profit and make it into our second year.
Below is the link to our project page. Simply highlight, rightclick and select "open link" and you will be there. You will find a video, narrative and reward tiers. I thank you all for your support!
PS: Big thanks to Clay, Michael and George at ParkerLane for the video production and project help.
Watch Taco Punk's Kickstarter video here:
·Taco Punk: Hey, Ho, Let's Go somewhere else [The Louisville Cardinal]
·Gabe Sowder: 'Rae Hodge, businesses such as Taco Punk are revitalizing a wasteland into a vibrant neighborhood' [Insider Louisville]
[Photos: Top, Taco Punk Courtesy Kickstarter/The Taco Punk Expansion Project. In-text, Hassan Courtesy Kiva]