Growing the Kangaroostaurant and the Community

So Much Gratitude
WE at the Kangaroostaurant are overwhelmed and extremely grateful for all of the support and enthusiasm this community of local food lovers has shown to us since driving the Kangaroostaurant into Appleton less than a year ago. The winter was chilly at times, but you kept coming out and we kept cooking. In February, at a time when it was expected for us to not be operating due to weather, we were able to hire our first full time employee. The weather was on our side of course, but, so were you. Eating from a food truck is much more fun when the weather is like today, 70 degrees and sunny. But you showed us that you are willing to deal with a little discomfort to enjoy our delicious food.

Busting at the Seams
So not only are we overwhelmed with gratitude, we are literally bursting at the seams. Below is a photo of some of our storage spaces in our current home base location. Please know, not only are we aware of the issues this causes for us, but also, we are keenly aware that we have been in the way of many other processors in our current facility. Difficulty scheduling time, lack of space and most importantly, LOYAL and DEVOTED customers, have shown us that the time has come for us to GROW!

We have totally maxed out our cooler space.

Without the Culinary Kitchen, we would not have been able to start this adventure. They provided us the chance to see if this idea would fly, or drive as it would be, without the risk associated with purchasing a building and prohibitive start-up costs.

Next Step
Over the past few months we have been looking into several different opportunities and possibilities for growth. A few months ago, the idea of a CSR (Community Supported Restaurant) was presented to us. Claire’s in Vermont is one of the pioneers in this area. Another example of a CSR is Tabella. Both are thriving in their communities, and we thought why not here? So we began researching and talking to folks and listening. In the course of these discussions we also realized the need for value added processing facilities, as well as retail outlets for growers, producers, and processors of local, sustainable foods.
The gears have been turning and shifting and Jay and I finally came up with a plan. One that would not only allow the Kangaroostaurant to grow and continue to roam the streets of the Fox Valley and beyond, but also allow us to open a Community Supported Restaurant, the KangaROOST as well as provide processing space and a retail outlet to farmers, growers, artisan bakers, and any other member, sustainably producing local foods.

The Perfect Place
After a bit of searching and lots of conversations, we have found the perfect space and have placed an offer to purchase on the property at 1915 North Richmond Street. This building has been home to several different restaurants over the past 15 years, most recently, Bella’s Italian Meat Market. The property has a large kitchen, as well as an area that has been certified for Meat and Cheese processing by the USDA. We are very excited to say that the space will not only offer us the ability to grow, but also, offer the opportunity for the farmers, growers and value added processors, the opportunity to grow as well.
Yesterday, we were able to participate in an event on one of the Red Barn Family Farms. It was awesome to be serving in the same place that the food we were serving began. Folks were eating next to the farmer. The milk producer was there. All the pieces of the food chain, together in one place. It was awesome. And this picture was taken. The one before the pose. Notice all the smiles and laughter. The day, with all it’s work and preperation, was so much fun and so energizing.

So we vow to continue bringing everyone together at the same table. This new space does just that. Every partner in the local food community will have a stake in the success of our business, other local food businesses and the growth of the local food culture in Appleton. It will take time to change the way we think about food. We are constantly learning and changing the way we do things to make things more sustainable and ethical for everyone.

How it Will Work
Starting today, we are offering the sale of memberships, or shares, to this venture. Please keep in mind that the restaurant and retail portion of the venture will be open to the public. So, in order to dine with us, you do not need to be a member. However, in order to get this thing rolling, we need capital. It is imperative that we show our bank (and us), we have the backing to support this venture. Aside from the reassurance that this provides, it reduces the risk to any one entity or individual and shares the risk with many. While there is always some risk in starting a new business, this spreads that risk minimally amongst members. It also provides a sustainable approach to business start-up.  Jay and I have realized the many difficulties associated with starting a new business, the primary one is financial. There are many behind the scenes costs and unpredictable events that make a succesful new business start-up a rarity. We have everything we own into the Kangroostaurant ~ and we have, with your continued support, made it to this phase.  Not only are you investing in the Kangaroostaurant, but the community as well. Growing the local food system will build not only a strong sense of community, but by increasing consumer dollars spent on local food by 15%, the potential to inject millions of dollars into the local economy exists. This happens by shopping at Farm Markets, CSAs, Co – Ops and yes, Community Supported Restaurants.

Please call us if you have any questions. Some of this seems complicated, but it is really quite simple. Every dollar invested in a community member share is redeemable over a two-year period for LOCAL FOOD. That means, your investment will stay here. In this community, BUILDING and GROWING this community. Our phone numbers are Kelly 920-277-8173 or Jay 920-915-1491. Please note, we are limiting the number of shares for each option for a variety of reasons, primarily, we want to be able to accommodate what we are offering as well as still allow for folks who aren’t able to make the up front purchase the opportunity to enjoy our food and what we are about.

  • Community Member Share—$500 level (2 year membership) 150 shares available- benefits to include:
    •  10 share cards valued at $25 per year for use at the restaurant or truck  (can be transferred as gifts to friends or family) per year.  One card can be used per month.
    •  Annual Member Dinner
  • Community Member Share—$1000 level (2 year membership) 10 shares available—benefits to include:
    • 10 share cards valued at $25 for use at the restaurant or truck per year—can be transferred as gifts. Maximum of one card redeemable per month. 
    • 10 share cards valued at $25 for use in Retail area per year—can be transferred as gifts. Maximum of one card redeemable per month.
    • Annual Member Dinner
  • Producer Shares (all sustainable producers welcome)$1000 merchandise Credit  plus $1000 cash investment (1 year membership)—5 shares available— benefits to include:
    • 10 gift cards valued at $25 per year for use at the restaurant or the truck per year – (transferable to friends, family, or customers). One card can be used per month.
    • Shelf space (approximately 3’x3’) to market and display goods for sale in retail area.
    •  Annual Membership Dinner
  • Processor Level Shares— $1500 ( 1 year membership) 10 shares available—benefits to include: (available to growers, farmers, processors providing value added processing to sustainably produced foods)
    • 100 hours of processing time in commercially licensed kitchen (additional time available at additional ($7/hour)—yet affordable cost. All equipment in restaurant kitchen will be available to processors. Any special equipment will be obtained by processors.
    • Dry Storage, Walk In Cooler and Freezer Storage Space (amount of space needed by processors will vary greatly. We will work with any potential processors to ensure our ability to accommodate their storage requirements. This will mean different requirements of storage for each individual processor. In this facility, we will work to accommodate a wide range of storage needs – understanding that it will also vary according to season for each processor).
    • Approximately 3’x3’ retail shelf space in retail space (cooler and freezer space will be available in retail area as well)
    • 3  – $25 Cards to be used at either the restaurant or truck
    • Opportunity for processors to gain visibility of their product as well as conduct various types of marketing to judge whether their product is marketable and able to grow into a full-time sustainable business.
    • Annual Member Dinner

There are also larger investment opportunities available. If you or someone you know is looking to make an investment in a small business, PLEASE contact us.

Let it Be So
That’s it. That’s the plan. Now we have to get moving. We have a lot to do in about 3 weeks. In that time we need to prove to the bank in terms they understand (dollars) that we have the backing and support to make this happen.

If you want to purchase a share, please call us today.
Kelly – 920-277-8173
Jay – 920-915-1491
or you can email -
info@kangaroostaurant.com

Please share this with your networks. This is a whole new way of doing things and we need your help.

Whew
So, this is the biggest sales pitch either of us have ever made. It is unsettling yet exciting. Interestingly enough, neither Jay or I enjoy sales. But, we do enjoy what we are doing and are passionate about this, and understand, that we need to sell to continue. So, thanks for your business, your support and as always, your kindness. You are indeed the best of the best when it comes to customers. Many of you have become our friends and we are thankful for your support, in any way – especially, your kindness in thought! We know that so many of you are cheering for us and rooting us on…so please above all, keep that up! And always THANK YOU!

See you on the streets…

Jay and Kelly

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4 Responses to Growing the Kangaroostaurant and the Community

  1. Jeana Schneider says:

    Way to go!!!! Sounds like a great plan!!!!

  2. Tami Gasch says:

    Good luck Kelly and Jay! Wishing you the best on this adventure!

  3. wisotagrl says:

    Wow, this post gave me chills! Good luck to you in this new venture!

  4. veronica flower says:

    Wow! I never come on facebook and the one day I do I find this!!! I’m so happy and proud for you both! Never heard of a csr before but it makes so much sense!good luck with this, love to you both! Veronica

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