Mei Mei Street Kitchen, a popular local food truck serving up Chinese-American street fare, has always placed an emphasis on sustainability. At Mei Mei, the meat is local, all-natural and humanely slaughtered; local, family-based farmers provide the produce; the menus are seasonal; and the waste is compostable.
So as Mei Mei prepares for the opening of their first brick-and-mortar restaurant this summer, it only makes sense that the team would focus their efforts on earning sustainable certification for the new location in Audubon Circle.
But going green is expensive, and despite the restaurant only being months away from opening, the Mei Mei team has turned to Kickstarter, asking their loyal community of food enthusiasts to help fund their dream of a sustainable brick and mortar location.
“Basically, the main reason we wanted to go with the Kickstarter is that we really see the food truck being as part of a community here in Boston,” explains owner Mei Li of the team’s decision to crowdfund. “It’s something that benefits the public … It’s a cause that people can believe in.”
The team is looking to raise $28,000 by the end of June, which will go towards energy-efficient lighting, infrastructure and kitchen equipment (the most costly), as well as low-flow plumbing, compost and recycling programs, reclaimed materials for floors, walls and counters, solar shades and insulation, and even a mini herb garden.
Given that most of the backers will be part of the food community, Li said that the team wanted to reward them with – what else – food? Supporters will get goodies like free pork buns, tickets to the restaurant’s opening, dumpling-making tutorials and macaroon baking lessons. Li also notes that they are designing a special line of t-shirts and other gear just for Kickstarter backers.
The team has about three weeks left on the Kickstarter campaign, but Li says the restaurant will move forward and open in July or August regardless of funding.
“We’re really excited to be able to do even with more with restaurant,” explains Li, wishfully musing that delays due to snowstorms and small, shared commissary space will be non-factors in a brick and mortar of their own.
For hungry Bostonians, this means an increase in production of your favorite Mei Mei dishes like the Double Awesome and the Fat Schantz, new dishes and ramped up catering capabilities.
The restaurant, located at 506Park Drive, will open with lunch and dinner services, and Li says they would like to serve late-night fare down the road. The food truck will continue to roll on the streets as well.
“We’re really psyched,” says Li. “We’ll hopefully remove some of the limitations we had as a truck.”
Check out Mei Mei’s Kickstarter video below. To donate to their cause, click here.
Images via Facebook