Mar 14, 2016 4:51 EST

Seneca – Bottoms Up Cafe: Located just steps away from our Community Gardens, down the street from West Oakland BART, and in the heart of a neighborhood needing access to food

iCrowdNewswire - Mar 14, 2016

Seneca

Bottoms Up Cafe

oakland, CA

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Personal Story

I grew up In Cleveland, OH, the second born of four children. My childhood was amazing, my grandparents were all minutes away and we often got together as a family. My grandfather was born and raised in rural Alabama and always keep a huge garden, right in the inner city, where every summer he grew watermelons, bell peppers, greens and tomatoes. I would also accompany him on trips an hour outside the city to buy half pigs and quarter cows to take back home for processing. Little did I know how much this would impact me later in life as a food justice activist.

After college at Cornell University (c/o 2001) I moved to Los Angeles to work as a Union Organizer. I began cooking as a hobby around 10 years ago and loved it. The best thing about cooking for people is that is a powerful act of service. I love watching people eat and be happy.

Healthy, delicious food should never be elitist. When I moved to Oakland two years ago and first met my business partner Jason Byrne, one of the founders of Bottoms Up Community Gardens, I was inspired by the garden’s community efforts around grassroots food justice and it’s ability to bring a fast-changing neighborhood together around growing food.

In October of 2015, Jason and I decided to put our worlds together, growing and cooking food, and open a Pop-Up Cafe inside a kitchen garden that they built themselves. 5 months later, we are a neighborhood phenomenon. Not only have we been able to successfully build a brand centered around accessible, affordable healthy food, we have also been presented with the opportunity to open a brick-and-mortar just steps away from our gardens. We are excited about Kiva Loans to help us accomplish our goals of opening our doors this fall in our new home.

Business Description

Where We Are;
A community is essential for a neighborhood to thrive. When Bottoms Up Café opened last October in West Oakland, we knew it would impact the community, but we didn’t realize how much. 
We when (Seneca Scott, chef and Jason Byrne, founder of Bottoms Up Community Gardens), decided to build a pop-up garden kitchen, we originally were planning on using it as a platform to teach community members how to use the garden’s variety of vegetable, fruits, eggs, honey, meat, and other ingredients for their own meals.
Shortly after opening the kitchen, we began lamenting the lack of healthy and tasty food options in West Oakland. That’s when we decided to launch a concept of a high-end breakfast sandwich and coffee pop-up cafe in our garden kitchen. Our goal was simple: to use as much as our own ingredients as possible and to increase optimal nutrition by harvesting the food right before putting it on the plate. 
West Oakland has been fraught with systemic di-vestment from the community. The neighborhood spends over 40 million dollars a year on food OUTSIDE of the neighborhood because there are limited local businesses for the community to patron. Bottoms Up Café is and will continue to change this.  
Our delicious food brought neighbors and other locals to the pop-up café. In a short amount of time, we have become a staple in the area, bringing affordable, delicious food to the neighborhood. Our vision for making food began to grow into a community initiative, and now we are seeing even more opportunity to expand. 

Where We Are Headed;
Three months into the café operations, we were approached by a couple of investors who recently bought commercial property down the street from our gardens. They offered us an amazing opportunity to open a brick and mortar right in West Oakland’s Lower Bottoms. This café will be located just steps away from our gardens, down the street from West Oakland BART, and in the heart of a neighborhood needing access to food. This is a transformative opportunity for our entire community.  
The café will feature breakfast, lunch, and dinner made primarily with ingredients from our gardens. We will seek to hire local residents to run the café, and we will function as a community space for art, music, and connection. 
Bottoms Up Café has the potential to make a real difference in West Oakland, but we need your help. 

Where You Come In; 
We have to prove to the investors that we are able to sustain a business by raising $100,000.00 to open the café. To do this, we are asking for your help to raise $10,000.00. By lending, you are becoming a part of our community and joining the movement to ensure food access, nutrition, and safe places to continue to build for the West Oakland community. 
Please lend today, and share with your friends! 
Farm to Belly!

What is the purpose of this loan?

We have to prove to the investors that we are able to sustain a business by raising $100,000.00 to open the café. To do this, we are asking for your help to raise $10,000.00. By lending, you are becoming a part of our community and joining the movement to ensure food access, nutrition, and safe places to continue to build for the West Oakland community. 
Please lend today, and share with your friends! 
Farm to Belly!

 

Contact Information:

Yani Bunch

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