Wow! What a year of pop-ups it has been. Our goal in our pop-ups was to spread awareness, bring the community together, and share meals. We wanted to get our name out and demonstrate how our model can and will work here in Raleigh.
We started at Solas. We had no idea what we were doing, but thank goodness we had Leadership Raleigh to help us. As their class project, they helped us launch our pay-what-you-can pop-up meal concept to over 200 people in late April. With many volunteers, sponsors, and donated food it was a success and we knew we had to do it again. We went to Relish next. On August 22nd, our devoted volunteers and board members served more than 250 hungry diners who braved record-breaking temperatures to stand in line for a pay-what-you-can brunch buffet prepared by Buku’s Sean Degnan, Todd Ohle and Tony Hopkins. With a suggested donation of $10 per plate, our patrons could not believe the immense value they got for their money! Relish was a blast and we immediately started planning the next one.
While Solas and Relish were pay-what-you-can pop-ups, we decided to host a different kind of pop-up at Trophy Brewing. As a team, we sat down together and made a plan for how we could raise money to open our doors by getting our friends, families and community members out to support us at a major event. It was our first “real” fundraiser. It was our first cornhole tournament. It was our first time partnering with food trucks (shout out to Pho Nomenal Dumplings, Qspresso and Sweet Stacey Cakes!). It was our first silent auction. It was our first 50/50 raffle. It was our first time using the word “fundraising” in our marketing collateral. It was a risk we took, and it was worth it. Our preliminary estimates indicate that more than 250 of you amazing souls joined us and we successfully raised over $10,000 – a huge step towards opening our doors!
At all three of our pop-ups, we met many amazing people, shared our concept, and spread awareness about our mission in Raleigh. If you missed them, we hope you will attend our next one in 2017. Until then…