Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cafe Momentum Update: The Momentum Is Building

Greetings from the land of culinary dreams and a happy Cafe Momentum Eve to you all!

Did you know that tomorrow night’s Cafe Momentum dinner with Matt McCallister is the largest one yet? So large, in fact, that three of our young men who already have graduated from the program are coming back to help us out. There are enough positives in that last sentence to put even Chad on Santa’s “good” list this holiday season.

Tomorrow night’s event will be our sixth Cafe Momentum “pop-up” dinner. All of them sold out within 72 hours. Tomorrow night’s dinner actually sold out in 36 hours! These statistics are mind-blowing and reassuring. The idea behind the pop-up dinners was three fold:

  • Prove the young men were capable of performing at such a high level (*accomplished)
  • Prove that Dallas chefs would embrace the project (*accomplished)
  • Prove that the good people of Dallas were craving (pun intended) a restaurant with great food for a great cause (*accomplished) 

That last objective was easily the most nerve-wracking for all of us behind Cafe Momentum. The first pop-up dinner was supposed to be very, very simple. We agreed we would cook for only 50 guests. We went so far as to figure out how many tickets each one of us would have to sell so that we would even have 50 guests, just to make sure that it sold out.

Then, it happened. Two of us posted a link to the dinner on our Facebook pages. Within 24 hours, yes we said 24 hours, we were so overwhelmed with ticket sales that before we could scramble to cut off the PayPal account, we had booked 68 seats!

Here we stand today, with (almost) six dinners under our belts. We have raised more than $50,000, one-fifth of our goal. We have collected more than 100 plates and more than 70 sets of silverware for the permanent location. We have finished the financials that prove Cafe Momentum will be 100% self-sustaining, and we turned them over the good folks at Slow Money (thank you, Steve Carlson) for review. We have finished a solid draft of the business plan, and we are turning it over to some of our peers to critique. And, as of Monday, we have officially applied for funding from the Crystal Charity Ball! 

Cafe Momentum is no longer a question of if, but when! Stay tuned, because the momentum continues to build. Thank you for supporting Cafe Momentum and helping us all to accomplish our no. 1 goal: make a difference in the lives of some truly special young men!

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