YCSF seeks grassroots backers
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By Karen Welch — Senior Content Producer
Yellow City Street Food wants to morph from being a downtown to-go stand to YCSF Craft, a dine-in restaurant relocated just west of the city's core.
But to do that, capital must be gathered, said Rin Buchanan, who shared some insight into the reasons behind the restaurant's Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. Buchanan started the business with her chef-husband, Scott, in 2013, pumping out big flavor from the small shack at Southwest 10th and Madison.
"Crowdfunding was actually our last resort," Rin said. "We're big on trying to earn the money ourselves. When we started our little shack we were bit on making the money and earning it. not getting a bank loan."
To make the move to leased space at 2916 Wolflin Ave., the couple took on investor partners Colin Cummings and Grant James and got some assistance from their future landlord. They also approached banks but found that avenue rocky without owning a restaurant property to post as collateral.
Crowdfunding became one other way they might be able to accelerate the plan.
“We have customers ask, ‘When are you getting a bigger place?’” Rin said. “They get exhausted waiting in those long lines (at the stand). As our popularity as grown, the wait times get larger and larger. We want to eliminate those wait times and give them the full (dining) experience."
The new YCSF Craft would be a fast-casual restaurant, meaning customers would order at the counter, to keep the street-food feel, Rin said. It would serve Yellow City’s eclectic menu of gourmet street food with craft beer and wine.
“We’re excited about the beverage program,” Rin said. “Scott likes to do wine pairings or beer pairings with his food.”
If customers aren't into crowdfunding, "I just want people to knwo it's fine," she said. "We'll still be up and going strong as soon as we can. This was just one way to reach out and meet our goal a little quicker."
By this morning, YCSF was nearing 35 percent of its $25,000 goal. Rin said the campaign offers an array of perks ranging from a $30 growler beer jug with discounted refills to a $190 membership package that includes a $25 gift card, t-shirt and discounted purchases for a year, to a catered event in the restaurant for as many as 50 people for a $2,000 investment.