Fields Corner could soon be home to a bakery and cafe that combines local amenities with activism. A trio of locals including Vivian Girard, Elisa Girard, and Jack Wu are pitching their plans for the home.stead bakery and cafe to investors online. They have already raised more than $20,000 from 70 people in the last three weeks. The trio hopes to raise $60,000 by early May to leverage their start-up, which they plan to open in October 2015.
The trio hopes to open up their independent cafe on the ground level of the historic Lenane building at the intersection of Adams St. and Dorchester Ave. The establishment they envision would have a full-range of specialty coffees and teas, along with homemade foods for breakfast and lunch. The cafe would also feature the pastries of Elisa Girard, whose bees produce fresh honey for baking.
“I’m going to be baking from scratch and I also have a large supply of berries that I grow myself within walking distance of café,” explains Girard.
The motivation for the cafe came straight Fields Corner residents, who say they’ve been frustrated in their search for high quality caffeine — and a cozy hang-out— close to home.
“Currently there’s not a central place where people can just feel free to hang out for long periods of time,” explains Elisa Girard. “I’ve lived in the area for seven years. My husband [Vivian] has lived here for twelve years and we’ve always kind of felt that lack [of options].”
In March, the team held a fundraising kickoff party in the space to solicit help and ideas.
“We had 40 people come out and everybody was so excited right from the beginning,” Elisa Girard said of the March 20 event. “As soon as we sent out the email everyone [said], ‘Yes, I’ve always wanted this right in Fields Corner.’ They were so supportive.”
The cafe is also working with local vendors like Counter Culture of Somerville, which would provide quality coffee and espresso.
Wu, an Ashmont resident who attended Babson College, said the cafe will rely on feedback from an advisory board to “really improve what we do in the context of the community.”
“We’ll have annual gatherings with community activists and supporters,” Wu said.
The home.stead also plans to host events like craft classes, readings, live music, and storytelling.
“We want our cafe to be the living room of Dorchester,” said Wu.
Fair wages and job creation are also part of the concept behind the new cafe. They hope to offer starting wages between $11 and $15. The home.stead wants employees to feel “invested, valued, and want to stay for a long time,” explained Elisa Girard. They will also give priority jobs to local residents.
According to Wu, the home.stead intends to partner with Youth Hub, a non-profit organization based in Harvard Square that focuses on adolescent job readiness.
“The home.stead could really be the first partner[…] to really help implement the entire program that [Youth Hub] has designed” he said.
For more information on the home.stead cafe and to view the fundraising kickoff montage visit dorchesterhomestead.com.