Trio tries crowdsourcing to open a cafe in Fields Corner

Lenane Building in Fields Corner, Dorchester

The Lenane Building, planned home of new cafe.

Three Dorchester residents are turning to the community to try to raise the money needed to turn an empty space in the Linane Building, 1448 Dorchester Ave., into a cafe that will focus on both baked goods and the community.

Elisa and Vivian Girard, who live in Fields Corner, and Jack Wu, who lives in Ashmont, hope to raise $60,000 by May 5 on their Indiegogo site to open Homestead Bakery and Cafe:

Our independent and locally owned café will be a gathering space for people from all walks of life. We will offer tasty food and excellent coffee in a cozy, inviting setting. It will be a place where neighbors meet, community events are held, and ideas are exchanged.

They say they would pay their workers fair wages and create a job-training program for local teens.

The $60,000 would be in addition to the $100,000 loan they are negotiating with the Boston Impact Initiative, which focuses on loans in "communities who have been impacted by racial, social and economic inequality."

The three also held a fundraising party on Friday.

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Comments

Badly needed

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As someone who works in the Fields Corner area, a nice cafe is badly needed. Unless you feel like trekking to one of the 4 Dunk's within a 1 mile radius of Fields Corner, there is no place for decent baked goods or coffee. Now I can finally counter my coworkers who keep saying "I wish Fields Corner had a Starbucks."

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Starbucks

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Sorry, Starbucks can only write cute Race slogans on their cups, investing in the inner city is crazy talk....... #RaceTogether applies to only white enclaves. How many Starbucks in Mattapan, Dorchester & Roxbury???? Crickets...

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b-but GENTRIFICATION!

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b-but GENTRIFICATION!

What's next Food Basket replaced by Wholefoods?

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South Bay is the only

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South Bay is the only Starbucks. I don't mind going to Milton if I want Starbucks. I prefer to support the local coffee shops anyways; Mudhouse, PS Coffee, Flat Black and the Sweet Life is good too (but necessarily convenient).

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independent coffee shops

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Why has no one mentioned the Dot to Dot Cafe on Dot Ave. just past St Marks going towards Ashmont. This place is a community gathering spot, serves terrific and reasonably priced food and of course coffee. The owner has been active in civic community building for many years.

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Dot 2 Dot is a great place

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Dot 2 Dot is a great place with wonderful people and food. But I live in Fields Corner, and can't walk 2 miles out of my way to get coffee in the morning before heading to work on the train. There's room for both, and having somewhere like this right in Fields Corner lets me get the products I'm looking for AND spend my money in my own community.

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Go Vietnamese

Ca phe sua da and a banh mi from Chau's bakery or Ba Le and you're on your way.

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Ever try Dippin Donuts coffee

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Ever try Dippin Donuts coffee? Had breakfast from there once or twice, but not sure how the coffee is.

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I want to like Dippin Donuts

There are no other breakfast places between Dot2Dot and McKenna's, but unfortunately it's disgusting. Good location to be a great diner.

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Fantastic! When I had it, a

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Fantastic! When I had it, a friend had picked up breakfast. I didn't actually go in and now I won't! Thanks for the heads up. It would be a good location for a diner. I love McKennas but the line gets so crazy if you go after 9. Dot 2 Dot is good, but I think the prices are a bit steep for breakfast, I'd rather just go to the Ashmont Grill.

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How about Flatback Coffee?

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It's not exactly right down the street but there is Flatback Coffee in Peabody Square (aka Ashmont Station). It's a great local business. Try the Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. You won't be sorry.

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Two issues with Flatblack:

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Two issues with Flatblack:
1. Ashmont is a long way from Fields Corner, and a long way in the wrong direction if you're trying to grab coffee and a muffin on your way into work in the city.
2. Flatblack closes at 5. I live near Ashmont, and would spend a ton of money there if they were open in the evening.

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Flatback

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Flatback is great, but it's not within walking distance of Fields Corner. And the weekend hours are very limited. There's no coffee place where one can sit and read, do some work, or just hang out anywhere near Fields Corner. I'd like to be able to walk out of my home and perch somewhere within a five- or ten-minute walk.

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Sounds like a cool idea.

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I worked in the Fields Corner area one summer, roughly 35 years ago. It didn't have any good cafes or whatever then, and it could use at least one or two of them now. Although I'm not a resident of Fields Corner, I wish the people who plan to open a cafe/baked goods place that focuses on the Fields Corner community all the best of luck and hope it all works out for them and the community.

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There's already one.

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There's already a café-bakery going up at Dot and Park. "Chill on Park". Says "coffee ice cream pastry". Looks good.

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Bakery Project in Fields Corner

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This is badly needed indeed! And I'm glad this will be an independent bakery AND a local endeavor, not a Starbucks or some corporate clone.

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Great idea but a quick comment about the indiegogo campaign

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The reward levels are too high. Call me selfish but when I back a project I don't want a virtual hug for $25. I want a virtual hug for $10. I know it's not about winning prizes but, for me, there has to be a feeling of "Oh wow, these people really appreciate my donation." Something simple like a free latte or muffin would sweeten the $50 deal just enough that people might be more likely to jump in.

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Be honest

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Just say you want to make money and cut the feel-good "I want to help the poor and disadvantaged by selling them $5 coffees and $4.50 croissants" bullshit.

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That's OK, nobody's forcing you to donate anything

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Be content in your august grumpiness.

People who like the idea of a neighborhood coffeehouse and gathering place, run by people who actually live in the neighborhood, are free to give money (or not, for that matter).

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This is a wonderful idea. We

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This is a wonderful idea. We need more independent businesses like this in Dorchester. Best of luck!!

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It's the new world of venture capitalism

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Crowdfunding is VC for small businesses. I back a fair number of campaigns on Kickstarter and I do it because it's fun or I like the product and think it should exist. Not every campaign is for the common good nor does every campaign have a sad story behind it. Some of them are books about cats (always popular!), movies, wallets (strange but true - wallets are one of the most common products on Kickstarter) and almost everything in between.

GoFundMe is for sad tales of woe. Indiegogo strikes me as neither here nor there.

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Sometimes

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And sometimes it's "Fund us until we can get bought out by Microsoft/Google/Apple/Facebook."

In any case, one can invest in something that is not directly tied to money. In this case, people are betting (for that's really what VC firms do) on their neighborhood becoming a better place because of this. Or because they just like a damn fine cup of coffee. So think of it as an investment in social capital.

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why it works

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Lots of people (especially dotcom generation) can't tell the difference between for-profit and non-profit, or aren't even aware that there's a difference. Decidedly for-profit businesses walk all over such people when they can. You also get people starting for-profit businesses, who appear to think that it's a non-profit, except for the part about them definitely taking the money in the end.

Blame growing up with dotcom business models and apparently free content. Blame increasing sophistication of marketers and mass shilling. Blame kids who consume huge amounts of "content" but never started reading good newspapers. I'm not sure who to blame, but the reality is apparent.

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You missed a real big blame

Probably the biggest of all: banks

Banks stopped giving a shit about the real needs of small business people for start up capital a long time ago. When such start ups now require a lot of rent money up front, this makes it impossible to get something going.

The reason is that the big commercial banks bought out and closed a lot of the more local banks who used to care, then decided that the amount of money wasn't enough to bother with.

So, people turn to crowdfunding. I don't think it is as "naive" as you think it is, and the only real exploitation here is by very large corporations, not small time business people trying to make a start.

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I hope they make it

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I'm in Fields Corner too and we sure need it. Dot2Dot is not exactly close by, and after the last time I went and they weren't even ready to serve lunch at 12:30 (??) I haven't really rushed to go back.

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