It's been a while, and one hell of a journey, and we didn't give up, and now we're actually opening. Quite a story.
Long story short, we fell into the worker-cooperative movement and became active in that. That's what the cafe is organized as now. We won a 1,000 grant from ReSET: Beyond Business as Usual for our philanthropic business vision. We hired a team of lawyers and consultants to make sure we did everything right. We found the perfect location in an out of business nightclub. We put together a 200 page feasibility study and business plan. We got turned down for financing by every lender. We went to the landlord asking about the next step since we couldn't pay the next month's rent. He said, "Don't worry about it. I don't want anyone but you to take my location, so we'll play rent by ear." Now we're opening with coffee, tea, chocolate and pastries, holding off on smoothies, espresso drinks and soups/sandwiches. We've got live entertainment lined up for the next 3 months. We've secured pool table, foosball table, air hockey table, pacman arcade, pinball, and jukebox - all free - all coin operated. The vendor takes half the income. We're opening with next to 0 expenses barring rent/utilities. I'm taking a 200/month salary, and so is our fourth partner. Our other two benefit from current employment and are working volunteer hours till we're stable.
What matters most is, we actually did it. You remember when I first got here - tried every shortcut in the book. Quick easy money. Shady loan brokers. None of that worked. Took three years of saving and hard work. We'll see how we fare.
Making limitless possibilities much more limited.