Carabello Expansion Project Update

I am pleased to be able to say that we are just about a month away from swinging hammers and making the rendering above become a reality here in Newport! 

I would love to fill this email with colorful photos of what we have been doing, but meetings with bankers, contractors, community development corporations and architects don't exactly produce compelling imagery.  So, my words will have to paint the picture.  

At this moment, I am convinced that somewhere, sitting in a windowless office, an underwriter is taking apart our Small Business Administration 504 Loan piece by piece.   In my imagination he is chewing on the end of his glasses, neck tie slightly unhinged with his shirt sleeves rolled up.  His unkempt black hair is barely visible over the large stacks of applications that fill his desk as he hammers out numbers on a calculator {maniacal laugh, maniacal laugh}, looking for every opportunity to send me to underwriting purgatory with a list of questions that will take me days to answer {groan}. 

Yes, my imagination is vivid at times, and yes, we have learned a LOT about how slowly projects this size and larger move along, especially when those projects involve both government and private sector entities.  That said, we have made steady progress, the kind the Tortoise made that fateful day he beat out the Hare.

Here is a bullet list of the progress we've made:

  • We have completed the architectural plans with Work Architecture + Design
  • We have selected Solica Construction as our construction partner after a 3 month process of meeting with contractors and receiving bids for the job.  They view our project as "soul work" and have decided to give up $40,000 in equity to make the cost of the project fit into our budget. 
  • The State of KY Historic Preservation Office has awarded our project a $30,000 tax credit
  • Our tax credit application and statement of significance is on the desk of a Department of Parks & Recreation employee, awaiting a Federal tax credit allocation (hopefully of 20%).
  • We have applied for a Facade Grant with the City of Newport.  Decision on the amount of that grant is expected in the next month.
  • We completed a 3 year projection with the NKU Small Business Extension Office
  • We have applied for a Duke Energy Urban Revitalization Grant with the Catalytic Fund of Northern KY.  
  • We secured an equipment loan through US Bank and have ordered a new 12 kilo roaster (2.5 times the size of our present roaster) from US Roaster Corp as well as some of the key brewing equipment for our slow bar. 
  • We began the process of applying for a 504 SBA loan with US Bank on June 23. 
  • The Hamilton County Development Corporation decided to partner with us and fund 40% of our SBA loan.  
  • We have had several creative meetings with Solica and Work A+D to begin interior conceptualization for the new roastery and slow bar. 
  • We decided to name the slow bar "Analog | A Coffee Experience Bar" and have begun to conceptualize what it means to offer an "analog" coffee experience in a digital age. 

Like I said, pictures of what is above might just about put you to sleep, but you can see that we have been anything but stagnant since you helped us raise $40,000 for this project back in December. 

If everything continues on the trajectory we are on, we can expect to begin swinging hammers and doing demo on September 20, 2015.  Solica estimates the project to be 10 weeks, which means we open the new space in early December - YIKES!  

We'll see what happens!  If we have learned anything, we have learned that there is no shortage of things that can slow the process down!  So, if you are given to pray, please pray for this project and its successful and timely completion.  We are confident that our God will complete what He has begun. 

As always, your support and the fact that you drink our coffee and advocate for our mission is paramount to us.  There are 1300+ of you on this list, and we could not be doing what we are doing without YOU.  

Thank you for continuing to believe in us.  Thank you for continually telling our story and bringing others into it.  Thank you for all the ways you encourage and bless us every time we see you!  We love all of you and cannot wait to welcome you to this new space!