LeRoy’s Detroit Soul Food Canada
LeRoy has been serving authentically luscious soul food to Ottawa since 2008. He needs your help to bring it back in a new restaurant.
If you already know LeRoy, you know how happy it makes him to feed good food to people. If you don’t know LeRoy, you should know that his cooking from his grandma’s recipes were the reason for Jean Albert’s (in Hallville and on Somerset in downtown Ottawa) and Detroit Soul Food (on Gladstone).
What you may not know: LeRoy was the pioneer in Ottawa soul food—before he turned up, no Ottawa restaurants offered chicken and waffles, and a request that the kitchen dish up mac ‘n’ cheese on the side just made your server look at you kinda funny.
LeRoy is going to open a new place and satisfy your cravings. But he needs his Ottawa FAM to help him get set up.
What We Need & What You Get
To open a new place, LeRoy needs $33,000 start-up money to rent, equip, and supply the space, including:
- deep fryers
- waffle makers
- hot and cold holding units
- heat lamps
- shelving and lighting
- prep tables
- cleaning supplies
- printing (like business cards ‘n’ such)
Plus LeRoy needs to train up and pay a staff. You read that right—this time, LeRoy won’t be on his own. Also, he’s keen to teach someone on the staff what he knows about cooking soul food.
He’ll need money to pay the landlord first and last month’s rent, of course, but also the building contractor, the lawyer, the accountant, and this-here fundraising website: Indiegogo. (Everyone else involved in the fundraising—it’s just me, Doug!—is doing it all for free.) Plus, LeRoy has to pay income tax on everything you give. That’s a big part of the reason he’s asking as much as he is.
There have been a lot of voices raised on Facebook and on Twitter telling LeRoy they’re behind him. This is Ottawa’s chance to turn the talk into action and show LeRoy how stand-up a city we are, particularly when the reward is authentic soul food for ourselves, our families, and our visitors.
Speaking of rewards, here are some of things you can get if you support this campaign:
- Fried chicken (with or without waffles–but trust me, get the waffles)! People rave about how good LeRoy’s real fried chicken is. It’s what fried chicken is supposed to taste like. My mother is an amazing cook, and LeRoy’s fried chicken is way better. (Sorry, Mom!)
- Fame! Being a local hero might not be as good as fried chicken (because whatis?) but you can see your name on LeRoy’s new menu. That’s right, LeRoy will choose a dish and you will decide what it’s called. You don’t have to name it after yourself (because this would be worth serious points with your spouse!) but no one will blame you if you do.
- A food-for-life subscription! Imagine being able to walk into LeRoy’s new place every week, knowing that the bill is already paid.
What is Soul Food, Anyway?
It’s comfort food, southern-style.
- Main dishes like fried chicken (with waffles!), ham hocks, and pork ribs
- Side dishes like mac ‘n’ cheese, black-eyed peas, collard greens, cornbread
- Desserts like sweet potato pie
And if you don’t get the whole thing with the waffles, then don’t worry. Lots of people don’t until they try it for the first time. Your chance to try it is coming soon!
LeRoy’s soul food comes from the family recipes he learned from his grandma Theria Jones.
Fewer Risks; Lesser Challenges
LeRoy has been running restaurants since 2008. He doesn’t just know how to cook, he knows his way around a business, and he knows the players.
Here’s where you can watch LeRoy on CTV Ottawa Morning Live: for Jean Albert’s, introducing to the world his invention of chicken and waffles on a stick, all the way back in 2012 :
Here’s where you can watch LeRoy on CTV Ottawa Morning Live for Detroit Soul Food:
Here where you can watch Lamont Ferguson giving Detroit Soul Food a shout-out:
Here’s where you can read the Ottawa Citizen coverage of Jean Albert’s:
And here’s where you can read Ottawa Magazine‘s coverage of LeRoy’s food truck:
What’s Different This Time?
Ever since an unfortunate “life event” (as my employer’s human-resources department euphemistically calls it), LeRoy has been trying to feed Ottawa all on his own. That hasn’t been easy… and even LeRoy admits that it hasn’t worked.
So what’ll be new in the new restaurant?
- Behind the scenes, I’ll be starting from scratch with my own equipment in an empty facility rather than trying to use someone else’s design for a restaurant. That allows me to give you…
- The same quality, slow-cooked food but with 3-minute service, much fasterthan I’ve ever offered before.
- I’ll be training up a full staff. That should allow me to give you…
- A full menu–not just a breakfast menu, a lunch menu, and a dinner menu. I’m talking about every item shown always being available to order.
- I’m also looking for a central location which means a wider delivery area. In other words, more of you will be able to order my food delivered right to your doors.
Other Ways You Can Help
If you’re strapped for cash right now, we get it. But you can still help by getting the word out! It’s just one click to share with Facebook and Twitter and Google+.
Please, tell your friends, your co-workers, your family, and your in-laws. Text ’em, phone ’em, email ’em, maybe even talk to them face-to-face. Help us make some noise.