Bunna Cafe is going permanent! Ethiopia in Bushwick, BK

Bunna Cafe has been an Ethiopian popup restaurant for 2 years, appearing in locations all over NYC. Now we've found a space for a permanent restaurant and bar!
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Sam Saverance
Food
Brooklyn, New York
United States
1 Team Member

Hundreds of events, dozens of locations, and thousands of followers, all lead us back home... 

In June 2011, Liyuw and I hosted a party for more than 100 people in Bushwick, Brooklyn to commemorate the launch of a new project called Bunna Cafe. We both had met a few months earlier, sharing a desire to promote Ethiopian cuisine, coffee, and culture in a way that was unique and creative, yet maintained authenticity. Short on funds but eager to get started, we decided to get going with events and dinners and figure out the details later. So we started building anywhere we could: tables, chairs, fencing, everything we needed to set up a mobile restaurant.

Fast forward two and half years. 

Popups, dinner parties, street fairs, fundraisers, music fests, flea markets, hundreds of events, dozens of locations, and thousands of followers, all have lead us back home, three blocks away from where we held our first impromptu party.

Bunna Cafe is going permanent -- in a beautiful, fully-equipped space at 1084 Flushing Avenue in Bushwick. We are laying a foundation to bring Ethiopian cuisine, coffee and culture to North Brooklyn and beyond in an authentic and creative setting that can incubate bigger projects that will create positive change for everyone -- from Addis to NYC. We feel that Ethiopia has much to give to the rest of the world- we aim to change the perception that it is a country in need. Cuisine is an excellent starting point to introduce all of what Ethiopia has to offer.


We are currently raising funds to complete necessary renovations to give the space the  ambiance it deserves. Your help at this critical phase in Bunna Cafe's growth will benefit us in ways unimaginable. Our customers have always been one of the best aspects of Bunna Cafe, and we have substantial rewards in place for those that want to be a closer part of our movement.

1084 Flushing Avenue

The space at 1084 Flushing Avenue is already equipped to be a restaurant and bar. We are looking to raise at least $15,000 to do the following:

  • Add a second restroom: While this is not required it is important for a busy restaurant to have more than one restroom for its patrons.
  • Purchase tables, chairs, and barstools: We need to purchase seating and tables. Luckily, we have people -- carpenters and furniture makers that are helping us get custom Ethiopian-style stools and tables into the space for very affordable rates.
  • Refurbish the walls, ceiling, bar top, and storefront: We have plans for an organic feel, with wood, thatch, and greenery.
  • Build a half-hut, half stage for the Ethiopian coffee ceremony and for small music gigs: The Coffee Ceremony is sacred to us, and we want to give it an appropriate pedestal. We are building a traditional Ethiopian hut frame around a semi-circle stage to house the ceremony and to host small musical performances

Additionally, we have a number of projects that need funding over the next year, including:

  • Transforming the backyard into a dining and event space
  • Creating a child nutrition program for schools in the NYC area using Ethiopian cuisine. Teach a kid to eat healthy when they are young and they will retain it for their entire lives. Do so using Ethiopian cuisine as the medium and they will become more engaged in the world beyond their immediate environment. We are very invested in bringing this healthy, hearty cuisine to schools and to youth through lunch programs, parent-child dinners, and class presentations
  • Building a line of packaged Ethiopian foods and products for retail sale
  • Developing relationships with Ethiopian coffee farmers to import single origin beans for Bunna Cafe
  • Creating a series of retreats aimed to explore the coffee farms and regions from where we source our beans. We plan to launch the first retreat in late 2014 and your contribution could secure a spot on the trip! See our rewards list below.


What are we selling


Ethiopian Vegan Cuisine

Ethiopia has a strong vegan tradition. The Ethiopian Orthodox church requires three months of fasting during the year, and during that time all adherents abstain from meat products. Over the centuries a cuisine has developed to get adherents through the fasting seasons. Bunna Cafe takes this vegan tradition and, thanks to the creativity of chef Kedija Srage, brings it to the forefront as a cuisine that can be enjoyed every day and by carnivores, omnivores, and vegans/vegetarians alike. Traditional dishes placed together on top of a bed of Injera (Ethiopian soudough flatbread) and accompanied by Shai (spiced black tea), Espris (layered pureed juice), or Bunna, our homemade Ethiopian coffee. That's a wholesome, healthy, invigorating meal. 


Bunna = Coffee

Ethiopia is widely considered the birthplace of coffee, and it's close connection with culture, family, and tradition is like nowhere else in the world. We make coffee from scratch as often as possible. Not only does it produce a robust, flavorful brew, but it saturates the room with the smell of roasting beans, calming the mind and building the appetite. Throughout Ethiopia, the Coffee Ceremony is performed in households as a social gathering, inviting friends, neighbors, and family together to discuss the day and enjoy eachother's company. We perform the coffee ceremony in events around the city, and will feature it regularly at our restaurant. We will also offer multiple varieties of Ethiopian coffee and coffee beverages for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Learn more about the Coffee Ceremony here.


Alcoholic Beverages

We will have a fully stocked bar with the best of Ethiopian booze, including tej -- Ethiopian honey wine, Ethiopian beers, and specialty Bunna Cafe cocktails. 


Entertainment

We have already hosted dozens of musicians at our events. Some are Ethiopian, many are not. We look to intertwine Ethiopian culture with other artistic influences. Sometimes that means we get New Zealand folk band Streets of Laredo at an Ethiopian popup restaurant, or Ethiopian classical pianist Girma Yifrashewa at a Bushwick dinner party. Whatever the combination, it has worked beautifully. Now that we have a space we will continue providing entertainment for our guests. We will also continue to do offsite, curated events and maintain our personality as a popup restaurant even when we're permanent.


REWARDS!

We have them -- small and large. Take a look at our tiers on the right. We have dinners and events for those that live in the area and items to send for those that don't. Here are a few of them:

"Everything is Eshi" t-shirt

Everything is Eshi = It's all good. Our slogan for Bunna Cafe. Wear it in style. Men's and women's tees available. Rewarded at contributions of $25 or more.


2 lbs. of Ethiopian Coffee

We will ship to you 4 half-pound bags of Ethiopian roasted coffee in different varieties -- Yirgacheffe, Sidamo, Harar, and Jimma. Or we can substitute one for a half pound of raw beans that you can roast yourself. We are growing our sourcing network for coffee beans. Currently we are getting Sidamo beans from Kellensoo region through the Bushwick Seed Company, and we have sourced Harar beans from Deder region. Over time we will be incorporating single origin from our own coffee farm connections. Rewarded at contributions of $60 or more.


Ethiopian Cooking Starter Pack

Have Bunna Cafe at home! A complete recipe book containing a select number of dishes made by Bunna Cafe, including a tutorial on how to make injera. On top of that, we will provide you with the hard-to-get ingredients: Berbere, shiro, teff flour, straight from the homeland, enough to make a few family meals. A great way to get started on your own Ethiopian cooking experience. Rewarded at contributions of $120 or more


Let's Party

We will have a donor's appreciation gala in the Spring, complete with dinner, drinks, coffee ceremony, and music. A $240 contribution will reserve your space as part of your reward. Contribute $2500 and we'll fly you and a friend to NYC for the event and lodge you for two nights.


Pack Your Bags

Contribute $6000 or more and you're going to Ethiopia. We are planning a Fall/Winter one week retreat at a coffee farm and you get to come with us. Learn how coffee is grown and experience firsthand the culture behind the bean. And explore this beautiful, sophisticated country that has given us so much to enjoy. All expenses paid.


Can't Contribute? No Problem!

We can still use your help spreading the word. Share this project on your social media sites. Tell your friends. A crowdfunding campaign's success is hinged on its exposure. Spending 15 minutes getting the word out is a generous contribution in itself.


THANK YOU

For us, this has become much more than a restaurant venture. During the past two years, Bunna Cafe has become a way of life. We have put all our creative energy into this project because we see it as something that is alive, something that has a personality and as , something that can grow and create positive change in our environment and in the world. We have grown from an unfunded idea to a fully equipped restaurant, a crew of thousands of supporters and some funding. We are thrilled with how far we have come, but we are also focused on taking continuing to grow and expand as a restaurant and as a part of our community. Your participation in our dream will help us get to the next level and makes our dedication worthwhile. You will always be part of our crew, and you will always be welcome at our space -- that's not just courtesy, that's a way of life.

Enamesegenalen.

Thank You.

Sam Saverance | Liyuw Ayalew

Find This Campaign On
$15,373USD
raised by 230 people in 2 months
102% funded
No time left
$15,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on February 14, 2014
Select a Perk
  • $5USD
    Amesegenalu!

    Thanks for the support! Have a thank you email and a virtual high-five.

    5 claimed
  • $10USD
    Friend of Bunna

    Get a coupon for a free non-alcoholic beverage at Bunna Café. ------------- + Get immortalized. Your name as a "Friend of Bunna" on a commemorative plaque we will hang in the new space.

    12 claimed
  • $25USD
    Good Friend of Bunna

    Get an "Everything is Eshi" t-shirt. OR a Dinner for 1 plus non-alcoholic beverage at Bunna Café. ------------- + Get immortalized. Your name as a "Good Friend of Bunna" on a commemorative plaque we will hang in the new space.

    72 claimed
  • $60USD
    Best Friend of Bunna

    Get an "Everything is Eshi" t-shirt; + 2lbs of roasted Ethiopian coffee in 4 varieties (1/2 lb each). OR an "Everything is Eshi" t-shirt; + Dinner plus non-alcoholic beverages for 2 at Bunna Café. ------------- + Get immortalized. Your name as a "Best Friend of Bunna" on a commemorative plaque we will hang in the new space.

    86 claimed
  • $120USD
    Supporter of Bunna

    Get an "Everything is Eshi" t-shirt; + 2lbs of roasted Ethiopian coffee in 4 varieties (1/2 lb each); + an authentic embroidered scarf hand made in Ethiopia. OR Dinner plus non-alcoholic beverages for 2 at Bunna Café; + Ethiopian cooking starter pack. ------------- + Get immortalized. Your name as a "Supporter of Bunna" on a commemorative plaque we will hang in the new space.

    26 claimed
  • $240USD
    Sponsor of Bunna

    Get a Bunna Cafe Gift Basket: ("Everything is Eshi" t-shirt; 2lbs of roasted Ethiopian coffee in 4 varieties (1/2 lb each); an authentic embroidered scarf hand made in Ethiopia; Ethiopian cooking starter pack) + 1 ticket to the Habesha Nights donor appreciation gala to be held this spring. ------------- + Get immortalized. Your name as a "Sponsor of Bunna" on a commemorative plaque we will hang in the new space.

    3 claimed
  • $500USD
    Benefactor of Bunna

    Get a Bunna Cafe Gift Basket (see above); + 2 tickets to the Habesha Nights donor appreciation gala to be held this spring. + Private 7-dish dinner, drinks, and dessert for 2 people. ------------- + Get immortalized. Your name as a "Benefactor of Bunna" on a commemorative plaque we will hang in the new space.

    3 claimed
  • $1,000USD
    Patron of Bunna

    Get a Bunna Cafe Gift Basket (see above) + 2 tickets to the Habesha Nights donor appreciation gala to be held this spring. + Private cooking class for 4-6 people with dinner, drinks, dessert, and coffee ceremony. ------------- + Get immortalized. Your name as a "Patron of Bunna" on a commemorative plaque we will hang in the new space.

    1 claimed
  • $2,500USD
    Damn, son

    Get a Bunna Cafe Gift Basket (see above). ------------- + Trip and two night stay in NYC for 2 to attend the Habesha Nights donor appreciation dinner gala (within 48 states only); OR + 4 tickets to the Habesha Nights donor appreciation dinner party; + Cooking class for 10-12 people with dinner and coffee ceremony. ------------- + Get immortalized. Your name as, I dunno, we'll figure out a nice title, on a commemorative plaque we will hang in the new space.

    0 claimed
  • $6,000USD
    Pack your suitcase

    YOU'RE GOING TO ETHIOPIA. Join us for an all-expense one-week paid retreat to Ethiopia in the fall or winter of 2014, including a tour of a coffee farm and sightseeing around the country. + 2 tickets to the Habesha Nights donor appreciation dinner party; + the wonderful Bunna Cafe Gift Basket (see above). ------------- + You're name in ENORMOUS font on our amazing plaque. (Contact us for more information.)

    0 claimed
  • $10,000USD
    Pack two suitcases

    YOU'RE BRINGING A FRIEND TO ETHIOPIA. Join us for an all-expense one-week paid retreat to Ethiopia FOR 2 in the fall or winter of 2014, including a tour of a coffee farm and sightseeing around the country. + 2 tickets to the Habesha Nights donor appreciation dinner party; + the wonderful Bunna Cafe Gift Basket (see above). ------------- + You're name in GINORMOUS font on our amazing plaque. (Contact us for more information.)

    0 claimed
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