January 25, 2012 · Success Stories

Exclusive Interview with Molly from Mission Bowling Club: Games for Non-Profits



San Francisco's Mission District is soon to have a new kid in town!  An old electrical supply warehouse will transform to provide the local enighborhood with a 6 lane bowling alley, rotating gallery wall, full bar, including a restaurant to be run by hip city chef Anthony Mynt from Mission Chinese.  Sommer Peterson, a former senior visual merchandising manager for the likes of Espirt, Old Navy and Williams-Sonoma and Molly Bradshaw, a veteran of the non-profit world, were enamoured with boutique bowling destinations from across the US including San Diego, Seattle, Austin and Brooklyn. 

All combined a talented mix of good food or drink and music in an intimate location, focused to create a strong community. Enter Mission Bowling Club – an establishment set to partner with local non profits including 7 Teepees, Mission Graduates and Larkin Street Youth Services.  Strong in the belief that all restaurants should 'adopt, align and connect' with this type of business model, the bowling alley is set to open February 2012 and is currently raising to incorporate a bike park, vertical garden, patio and outdoor garden oasis. 

Here we talk to Molly from Mission Bowling Club to learn more about their campaign:

Q1. How did the concept for MBC come about and how long has this project been in the making? 

Sommer and I have been working together on this for about 2 years.  Sommer's family are avid bowlers, especially her grandfather.  She has a ton of great memories of bowling and thought San Francisco would be a perfect place for this type of recreational and social experience. Sommer originally came up with the idea of a comfortable, fun, well lit bowling/cocktail/food destination in San Francisco about 3 to 4 years ago.  She has been looking for a spot to develop ever since. 

Ball Returns

Q2. Why was crowdfunding a vital part in focusing to reach your aims for the business? 

We feel Indiegogo is a good way to engage our friends and family – and community/neighborhood members that want to contribute to the revitalization of this part of the neighborhood.   Our family, friends and neighbors asked how they can help and Anthony (our chef) used crowdfunding in the past, so it seemed like a good resource. 

We also thought crowdfunding would be a wonderful tool to engage our community to support the beautification of an outdoor space on a street in their neighborhood. The building where MBC is located was blighted and empty for over 3 years and the people that support this project will feel proud and invested and will receive special perks from for their contribution. The bicycle parking, greening and sidewalk improvements will benefit many members of the community.

Q3. How have you leveraged your existing community in the fundraising process and what promotional steps did you take both online and offline to do this?

We have posted our IndieGoGo effort on our business and personal Facebook pages, we have retweeted any Tweets from you guys (thank you very much), we have shared blog mentions, news reports and posted photos about our efforts through updates. 

From the Pin Setters

Q4. You have some very impressive partners, how have they been able to draw awareness to your efforts?

We are grateful to have such a positive, creative and exciting team to work with and they have used their own networks to promote our IndieGoGo efforts.  

Q5. Once MBC opens, how will it contribute to the San Francisco community?

Mezzanine with floor

MBC will be a resource in many ways to the community that it serves; we highlight three:

1. We have partnered with neighborhood non-profit organizations whose mission and focus is to serve youth in a variety of capacities.  We will provide opportunities for youth and staff from these organizations to use MBC's facilities.     

2. We have budgeted to donate a portion of sales for certain entrees and/or desserts sold at MBC.  The charities to receive this donation will also be youth serving nonprofit organizations in our neighborhood.  A similar and successful model is currently being used at Mission Chinese Food and Commonwealth.       

3. We will be a venue with rotating art shows that will feature neighborhood artists.  We have seen that providing a venue for neighborhood artists is a positive way to build community and support local talent. 

Mission Bowing Club is currently raising on IndieGoGo

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