An Incubator Kitchen

This week in Forage Kitchen

Hello. This is Iso, and this is the first of a series of weekly posts I’ll be writing about what’s going on with forageSF and Forage Kitchen. It will be a running log of triumphs and failures (hopefully more the former than the latter). Building out an 8000 sq ft space is a huge endeavor. As many of you know, I organized a kickstarter a few months back to raise funds, but also to get people in the community involved in the project. When this space opens, I want people to feel like it’s their space.

I want to involve anyone who is interested in being involved all throughout the process. This blog is one step in that direction, the kickstarter is another, and another thing that Im really excited about is having the design of the space be a community effort. I want you to walk into Forage Kitchen when it opens and see your input in front of you.

The first step in that direction involves my new favorite word, “charette”. A charette is basically a design brainstorming session. Once we’ve laid down some initial ideas-to give ourselves a framework, we are going to open up the process to you. We will be organizing a few community charettes over the next few months, where we talk about our ideas, and hear all the good ones you have.

The more I talk about the project with people, the more ideas I hear, the better the project becomes. It’s exciting how much better it has become because of the input from folks, so why not formalize that process? Ill be reaching out to our email list with dates of these, so I hope you’ll come.

In other news, I’m at the point now where the foundations of Forage Kitchen are being laid. I’m interviewing architects and general contractors, trying to create the right team to make this space a reality. It’s a new and interesting process for me, learning the differences in approaches, as well as learning the jargon of design and construction. I’ve also submitted an LOI (a good piece of jargon, an LOI is a “Letter of Intent”, basically a pre-lease document that says I’m interested in the space, before a lease is discussed), and just heard back that the developer is going to be sending a response soon!

It’s a really great space, 8000 sq. ft old factory, all brick and windows and steel girders and this really amazing crane that runs the length of the space. The crane doesn’t move at the moment, but we were thinking if we could get it working that we could use it to create spaces that could be transformed within the building. Maybe during the day the crane would create an office, and then at night it would move to create an event space, possibly with some kind of moveable wall attached to it. Its fun to stand inside a space like that and imagine what it could become.

Other than lease matters, I’m working with my lawyers to develop the final terms for investors. I’ve had some great interest, so its going to be cool to formalize that process.

Im going to be interviewing interns next week, to get some more support in that area, and soon going to be interviewing for the operations manager position. Im excited to get a rockstar for that job, someone who can help us take the project to the next level.

And not to make this post too much of a list, the kickstarter rewards are another thing I’ve been focusing on. The way kickstarter works is that they don’t actually give you the address of the people who have pledged, so you have to reach out to each person to find the place to send their reward. The problem is that only about half our backers have  people responded…which puts us in a bind as far as figuring out how many of each reward we need to produce. So if you are a backer and you havn’t filled out this form, please do! Don’t you want the great shwag that you’re entitled to?

Thanks for reading, see you next week.