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Dovecote Cafe owner says response to crowdfunding campaign has been 'overwhelming'

Dovecote Cafe’s owners want to stay put in their Reservoir Hill digs, so they’re working to raise funds toward a down payment on their building.

The cafe launched an Indiegogo campaign Monday in a push to raise $30,000 for a down payment on their building at 2501 Madison Ave. Dovecote raised more than $10,000 in the first 24 hours of its campaign, and as of Friday, the fundraiser had amassed more than $20,000 from over 230 backers.

“It’s just been just so refreshing,” co-owner Aisha Pew said. “You hope that when you jump someone catches you, and it’s just been almost overwhelming to watch how quickly people showed up for us.”

Dovecote Cafe opened in January 2016, offering baked goods, breakfast, sandwiches and coffee in a community-centered atmosphere.

When Dovecote Cafe opened in January 2016, the owners hoped to approach their landlord after a couple of years and express their intention to buy the building, Pew said. But earlier this year, the landlord gave them the chance to buy it.

“We just knew that this was a huge opportunity for us,” Pew said. “We do a lot of work around intentional community building.”

Pew and co-owner Cole, who goes by a single name, decided to crowdfund their down payment and use the fundraiser to highlight how ownership provides more security to small businesses that anchor communities. They wanted to demonstrate their vulnerability by getting stakeholders to picture their neighborhood without Dovecote.

“We are very much a community anchor and the idea of us not being here I think really strikes a chord with people,” Pew said. “It was also kind of a way to tell a story.”

The owners hope to build out a patio on the side of the cafe to host events, and “bring what’s happened inside Dovecote out,” Pew said.

The building also includes five apartments.

In exchange for donations, Dovecote is offering perks such as mugs engraved with “#TheDovecoteWay” ($50), star-studded private dinners ($1,000) and parties with a three-course dinner for 50 people ($10,000).

The online campaign is open for a month.

“We love our space. We love our community. We need to be here,” Pew said.

The cafe is open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday; and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

smeehan@baltsun.com

twitter.com/sarahvmeehan

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