Originally Published: February 22, 2015 6 a.m.
They threatened to do it again, and they did.
After a failed attempt to reach their funding goal last month, Sheryl Strong and Rob Mackey have re-entered the crowdfunding ring with a significantly downscaled proposition for their envisioned restaurant.
Rather than the $175,000 they were hoping to receive in donations the last time around through the popular crowdfunding website, kickstarter.com, Strong and Mackey are now asking friends, family and local community members to help them reach $15,000.
Their concept is to lease out a building in Marler's Square two shops down from Dee's Thai and turn it into a locally focused breakfast and lunch hotspot called The Local.
The restaurant would serve a variety of unusual breakfast and lunch dishes made from scratch with organic ingredients that are locally sourced when possible.
To find out why the first fund raising campaign fell so short-reaching only $14,288-, Strong ran an anonymous survey using surveymonkey.com and received about 100 responses from community members.
"The number one reason that people didn't donate is they didn't have the discretionary income, they didn't have the money," Strong said. "And the second reason is because they thought our amount was too high. So we listened."
Strong and Mackey, therefore, drastically cut their costs by choosing a smaller location that doesn't require as much work to get in shape and have committed $25,000 of their own funds towards opening the restaurant.
"We scraped and scrimped and sold and did what we had to do," Strong said.
They are now looking at about a $40,000 venture.
The Kickstarter campaign is about half way through its 21-day funding period and has raised about half of the $15,000. The last day to pledge money is March 5.
Strong and Mackey expect to reach the funding goal, but of course, there is the chance that those who nearly got them to $15,000 the last time won't back them the second time around.
No matter what, however, the two entrepreneurs plan on making this happen and can't imagine it being anything but a huge success.
"We are 200 percent committed," said Mackey. "If the food is good," (which they say is a guarantee), "people will come."
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