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Help Lakou Cafe Expand!

Help us take Lakou to the next level. We would like to purchase/renovate our existing location, expanding our footprint 4x its current size!

$10,000
pledged of$10,000 goal
1
0Days Left

Project Description

  • What is the mission of your company or project?
    • Lakou's mission is to create an oasis that nourishes our community physically, mentally and spiritually through healthy food, engaging and educational conversations and artistic expression. We honor this mission by bringing together long-term community residents, freelancers, on-the-go working professionals, and neighborhood transplants through tasty food/drink, wellness, art, and culture.
  • Describe the problem you are solving.
    • Weeksville residents desire to live a healthy and socially connected lifestyle. However, few sit down eateries with wi-fi, programming, and a warm and welcoming atmosphere exist in Weeksville. Residents only other option is to leave Weeksville and visit eateries in Bed-Stuy, Franklin Ave or Manhattan. This unfortunately costs residents unnecessary time and money, and it hinders residents from building relationships with fellow neighbors.
  • What is the market size/opportunity?
    • Total Addressable Market for walk-in/dine-in cafe sales is ~7,500
    • To date we've penetrated less than 1/4 of that market to date
    • This number increases once we add our delivery platform and catering opportunities
  • What is your company/product about and how does it solve the problem? 
    • Lakou Café opened its doors May 9, 2018 and operates 7 days a week from 9am to 7pm.
    • We provide a space in the community for residents to have business meetings, meet with friends, have some alone time or simply escape New York City’s chaos.
    • Our offering includes café foods with a Caribbean twist, including Haitian coffee and treats, vegan curry chickpea crepes, Kreyol chicken sandwich, saltfish avocado toast and spicy Haitian peanut butter smoothies to name a few.
    • Lakou Café also provides opportunities to learn and get to meet new people through workshops, mixers, art shows, brunches and more.
  • Why are you seeking funding and how will you spend the funding?
    • Since 2020 our sales have doubled. We expanded our menu and our customer base. Currently, we average 150 tickets a day at about $17 per ticket.
    • We are constantly having to refuse catering and event rental projects primarily because of space is too small.
    • To address this issue, we would like to purchase the building we are in and convert it to a full commercial building. This would expand our foot print from 550 sq ft + basement to 2,160 sq ft + basement. 
    • In this newly expanded space, we would like to have 2 commercial kitchens (one for renting out and catering orders) and the other for daily restaurant use. 
    • Additionally, we will be able to monetize 2 neglected income streams: catering and rentals.
  • Who is on your team?
    • Lakou Café is currently owned and managed by Cassandre Davilmar, who is a resident of Weeksville. Cassandre is a first generation Haitian-American. She attended University of Miami (B.S. Accounting and Finance) and New York University School of Law (New York Bar admitted lawyer). Cassandre is also a former Investment banker at Moelis & Co. and former attorney at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP.
  • Thank you so much for your support! We really need our community to help us grow and thrive even through challenging times!

Updates

The Campaign FAQs

What does Lakou mean?

Lakou is Haitian Creole for "courtyard" or "backyard". Essentially, it is the place where the community gathers. It describes a self-sufficient community that doesn't depend on outside forces for its survival. At Lakou we aim to bring folks together so we can be stronger together.

 

 

Black Women-Owned Business Grant Program
08/03/2020
Monetary Contribution
$10,000
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