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Iris Market Cafe

Woman Owned Neighborhood Green Grocer, Cafe, Garden Shop & Community Hub in South Orange, New Jersey

$16,150
pledged of$25,000 goal
76
30Days Left
Fund it
Campaign Ends on August 1, 2022

Project Description

Jaime Garden

 

About

My name is Jaime Rugh.  I’m an artist, florist, gardener, cook, community volunteer and mom living in the Seton Village area of South Orange, NJ.    The pandemic gave me insight into what I truly want to do now that my kids are older and how I can align my passions, skills and strengths to my core values.  There's a redevelopment project happening within walking distance of my home and it’s where I want to open a neighborhood green grocer, cafe and community hub.    It feels like the call to action I’ve been waiting for - a way to address an idea I’ve been thinking about for over thirty-five years.

I made this campaign because I need to secure initial funding for business planning,  acquiring space, the build out, kitchen equipment and hiring within my community.

Cherry Crostata

The Concept

I think of the shop in two parts working in tandem- as a Kitchen & a Market.

The Kitchen produces salads, sandwiches, soups and sides.  We’re baking and we’re brewing coffee.  There’s a simple food/beverage menu but it's also rooted in the slow food movement with a seasonal menu to reflect that.  

The Market sells locally grown produce along with a curated selection of pantry staples, housewares, zines & artist books, vintage cooking tools, gardening related items and more. The vibe I’m going for is indie & eclectic-  I’m drawing from counterculture and the things that inspire me-  art, music, literature …. It’s a market that engages the local community but through menu and ingredients- it also considers the vast array of food from the world at large. 

Salad

Backstory      

Growing up, my parents owned a shop selling bulk food items like coffee, spices, nuts, dried fruit, candy, gourmet foods and gifts.  The experience of helping out on weekends or holidays, ringing up and bagging orders, talking to customers, and simply observing my parents run a successful business- is interwoven to my identity and was a foundational influence on why I care about independent street level business, supporting local farms and access to good food. 

Garden

In college, I studied Craft & Fiber Arts and went on to work in NYC art galleries & as an artist studio assistant. Then, at 23 years old, I moved to Los Angeles.  Always feeling a connection to flowers and missing the energy and unpredictability of shop life, I decided to pursue work as a florist.   I loved the physical aspect of working in that field, the creativity, the pressure to move a perishable product, the conversations with customers about why they wanted to send flowers- what the card should read . .  .  the vitality and sopping wet floors of the early morning flower market.  The floral work was a catalyst to other creative endeavors like working as a buyer and shop decorator as well as utilizing my more pragmatic business side in management roles.

Why My Vision? 

My shop ideas have always been curated around some aspect of food and cooking.  I care about farmworker conditions, how we grow what we eat, the process of how we cook, and how we share it, compost it, systematically why some people don't have access to it and culturally, how it defines us.  Accessibility, shop experience and customer service are as important to me as the taste and quality of the food I want to offer.   

People always point out that I notice small details.  Maybe my version of being an artist is tied to everything being illuminated.  I don’t have an answer for “What is your art medium?”  Some days it’s flowers.  Sometimes I work with glass or textiles.   It’s also the way I cook or that fleeting moment when sunlight hits the wood board as I cut vegetables.  It’s warmth, it’s finding a strangers market list or remembering how someone likes their coffee.

Shop Windows

The Neighborhood & Impact

I see this neighborhood as a place where the city, suburbs and university life meet.  There are so many families here- many coming from NYC / Brooklyn and it’s home to Seton Hall.   I got insight into the values of my community when I ran a local chapter of a CSA.  There's a need for an independent dawn till dusk food market. I want a place for fostering personal relationships with neighbors-  a way to support small farmers, address mental health, climate, racial inequity, food accessibility and insecurity.

 

What I need 

Plain and simple, what I need most right now is money.  My goal is to Crowdfund 25-30K.  My target funding prior to opening my business is $125k via a combination of Crowdfunding on IFundWomen, Grants. Personal Savings and Loans. I am trying to avoid going into debt to get this lifelong dream going.

Whether or not I reach my goal, IFundWomen allows me to keep all donations towards my shop. We can also raise more than the goal. At this stage, I am focused on business planning, applying for grants, logo/branding, and getting an online store up and running.  By Spring 2023, I will be focused on acquiring space, the build out, kitchen equipment, permits/ licensing, insurance, product, marketing and hiring within my community.

Flowers/ Veg

What is the shop called?

Still figuring that out! The shop is registered in New Jersey as "Food for All Community & Market LLC". However, we will be doing business under a different (yet to be determined) name- possibly Jaime's Shop, Jaime's Market Cafe or something else entirely. For fundraising purposes- Jaime’s Market.

When will the shop open ?

The goal is 2023. I am using this time to address all aspects of my business plan and gain all funding needed. I have a couple of potential spaces in mind which are being built and are 1-2 years from completion.  I am creating an online shop for a Fall 2022 launch and exploring Farmers Market & Pop Up opportunities. 


Other Ways You Can Help

Sharing my campaign with anyone you think might be interested is a huge help! 

Flowers/ Veg

Video Music & Sound Production

Gabriel Marr

Inspiration & Thanks

Charlie & Max !!!!!

Olivia Lewis-Chang 

So many people, restaurants, shops, farmers markets, artists projects and books have informed & inspired me over the years- Bread and Puppet Theater, Leila’s Shop, Italo Deli, Laila Gohar, Small Food Bakery, Bread & Salt, Cookbook LA, Kitty's Hudson, Otark Productions, Rococo Chocolates, the book In Flagrante Collecto by Marilynn Gelfman Karp, Chase's Daily, Canal House, Young's Farm, Inkosi Cafe, Brave Floral, The #SisterlyLove Project, Paper Bag Archive, Juliette Bellocq & Handbuilt Studio, Natalie Farrell, Sally Unsworth, Gabriel Marr, Gina Namkung, Kobi Josefsberg, Danni Michaeli, Edible Gardens LA, Jackie & Son, The Dolphin Studio, Brant Shapiro, Sarah Espeute Textiles . . . .

Thanks to my family & the WCEC in New Jersey and IFundWomen.

Vase
More about me . .  .

I am a process driven artist with interests in: Glass Flame-Working, Copper Enameling, Batik, Artist Books, Mail Art, Gift Economy, Flowers, Plants and Nature, Paper-making, Textiles, Folk Art, Anonymous Art, Found Objects + Metals, Cut + Paste Graphic Design, Matters of Social Justice and Activist Art + Projects.

I have been featured in Martha Stewart Living Magazine and some of my projects featured online at Paper Magazine, GQ and People Magazine. 

Thank you for supporting me!

 

Updates

The Campaign FAQs

What is the shop called? Iris!

When will the shop open ? The goal is 2023. I am using this time to work to address all aspects of my business plan and gain all funding needed. I have a couple of potential spaces in mind which are being built and are 1-2 years from completion. I am open to something else should an amazing space come available sooner. Given the timeline, I am also creating an online shop and exploring pop up shop ideas to open prior to the brick and mortar space.

What if you don’t make your goal? IFundWomen allows me to keep all contributions towards my business development even if I do not reach my goal.

What will be your role in the business? I intend to be the sole “Owner” and “Creative Director" and have my hands in all day to day operations down to dishwashing. I plan to build a strong team of bakers, farmers, cooks, baristas, gardeners and community members.

I can’t donate money; is there another way to help? I appreciate you sharing my campaign, sending love or support and just hearing from you. Feel free to email me at jaimerugh@gmail.com.

Are you seeking investors? I am not seeking investors.


 

Anonymous Friends
06/12/2022
Monetary Contribution
$2,150
Anonymous
05/11/2022
Monetary Contribution
$50
Nine West
05/11/2022
Monetary Contribution
$1,875
04/21/2022
Monetary Contribution
$40
Anonymous
04/20/2022
Monetary Contribution
$100
Natalie Farrell
04/20/2022
Monetary Contribution
$200
Elledrucker@gmail.com
04/18/2022
Monetary Contribution
$15
Anonymous
04/17/2022
Monetary Contribution
$150
Mush Room
04/16/2022
Monetary Contribution
$1,500
Julia Sophia Maloof Verderosa
04/13/2022
Monetary Contribution
$50
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About the Entrepreneur

South orange, NJ
Created 1 Campaign
Business Services
Health + Science
Lifestyle
Social Good

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Just Because I Care

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25.00 USD
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Just Because I Care

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50.00 USD
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Just Because I Care

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75.00 USD
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Just Because I Care

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100.00 USD
Monetary Contribution

Just Because I Care

5 Supporters
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150.00 USD
Monetary Contribution

Just Because I Care

3 Supporters
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200.00 USD
Monetary Contribution

Just Because I Care

2 Supporters
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300.00 USD
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Just Because I Care

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