HAPPY BIRTHDAY MA! — 1/19/17

First all, I’d like to start this one out with a happy birthday shoutout to my mom. Like most moms, she’s the best ever and has been extremely supportive throughout the entirety of Revival Chili and I’m sure will continue to be :) So let’s jump right in! The food truck roundup a couple weeks ago was a lot of fun but like most events currently, we didn’t quite sell as much as I would’ve hoped. Luckily, we had a smallish catering drop-off right before the event which put us just over break even on revenue for the day. Overall, I’m still happy we went to the event, they had about 3,100 people come through and I got to connect with a lot of other food trucks while there. One guy in particular (who had a 100 person line for about 5 hours of the event) was extremely supportive of our mission and I was super excited to connect with him.

Other than the food truck roundup, we’ve had two events in the past couple weeks. One was our normal winter farmer’s market in Bloomfield. It was an alright day. I was the only one working so didn’t have to pay employee expenses and did roughly $200 in revenue, I can’t complain. The other event we did was actually vending during lunch outside offices — super exciting. I got a call on Wednesday, January 11th from a women I had connected with a few months ago. I knew I wanted to vend at this office complex when the truck was ready but didn’t think I’d be able to before that. However, she called me, I told her the truck wasn’t ready but I’d still love the opportunity to vend out of our tent and SHE SAID OKAY!!! We were really excited for this event and made a shitton of chili but, like most events, didn’t quite sell as much as we wanted. However, we did break even again and the good news about that is I now have two freezers full of chili that are ready to be used. So that covers it on the event front. We have one more lined up in January and we will be the only hot food vendor there so I’m pretty excited about that one too. It’s a break dancing battle so it has to be fun regardless.

As for the trailer, and I’m sure you can guess the update on this, nothing has changed… My partner has told me that there is potential for a 40k(ish) grant to be coming in fairly soon. However, the caveat with this grant is that we’d have to go with an actual food truck and not a trailer. Which would be fine but then I’d have a pickup truck lying around that wouldn’t be extremely useful. I can’t complain though, 40k of free money would be pretty sweet so, obviously, hoping it works out. However, I’m not holding my breathe on the grant and have started lining up meetings for other sources of potential funding. I had one of those meeting yesterday with a small business lender firm. It went fairly well and I’m 90% sure they would approve a loan for me if I asked because of our social mission. I would much rather prefer to not take out a loan though. I had another meeting yesterday with the Small Business Development Center. All the services they provide are free (AWESOME!) and they agreed to help straighten up my business plan as well as do research about grants for social enterprises.

We got a lot of good things in the works. I’ve accepted that I might have to find the entire funding amount elsewhere. It’s just going to take way longer than I would’ve liked. This also means I’m pushing my 3 employees to find other jobs. And that’s looking hopeful as well, one already has a job, another has an interview today, and the last one has a really good network for finding work in kitchens. They will hopefully want to come back when the truck is up and running but we will obviously see about that…

That pretty much sums it up for right now. I should find out about the 40k grant next week so I’ll definitely write then to let you know. And if that falls through I’m gonna have to start moving fast on finding other sources of funding. Wish us luck and except an update next week :)

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