The many devotees of the simple, finely-executed, Southern-inspired breakfast/brunch/lunch fare at Williamsburg’s Egg (where most of the produce is sourced from Goatfell Farm, the restaurant’s own upstate farm) were pumped when news broke last year that owner George Weld was working on opening Parish Hall – a new restaurant, also in Williamsburg, next to Mast Brothers Chocolate. At Parish Hall, Egg’s kitchen crew will get to flex their dinner muscles for the first time, and will get to use a whole bunch more of that Goatfell Farm produce, which Weld hopes will allow him to expand growing operations at the farm.
Weld spoke about about the project at the Slow Money conference last November:
He says: “Our new restaurant, Parish Hall, is opening this year. We have a lot of reasons to grow. Egg is tiny. More room means more opportunities for our cooks and our servers, more capacity to develop the community and education programs we do, and better facilities to work with the amazing food we get. We’re building a restaurant that has sustainability at its foundation, a restaurant that takes great, well-sourced food and loving service as a starting point, not an achievement.
“Growing will allow us to prove that our model works on a larger scale. It will make us more efficient and flexible. It will make us more profitable, which will let us do more of the important work we’re privileged to do: to develop our employees, to grow produce, to nurture community, and to educate students.”
In order to bring the vision to fruition, there is a little matter of funding that needs to be addressed. The Egg/Parish Hall team needs to raise $50,000 to outfit the kitchen, deal with the red tape, and complete work on the new space, and they’re adopting an innovative new approach to get there – they’re pre-selling $50,000 worth of meals to the farm-to-table loving public. Those who pre-purchase Parish Hall’s bounty in $200 or $500 increments will get a 10% discount on their eventual meal.
The innovative approach comes via a new Slow Money program called Credibles. Credibles allows all kinds of fledgling good food businesses to raise startup money the same way as Parish Hall – by pre-selling food and meals, usually at a discount, to supporters who are willing to willing to invest upfront for an edible ROI.