~ Kimbap ~

This is a business owner who has reached out to Slow Money NC. 

Business Owner:  Kim Hunter
Business Name:   Kimbap Restaurant
Location:   111 Seaboard Avenue Suite 118, Raleigh, NC

How did you hear about Slow Money NC?: I am a previous Slow Money NC borrower.

Tell us your story. What is your business idea? Tell us your plan.
Kimbap Restaurant has been open for 4 1/2 years now. We are a 31-seat restaurant near downtown Raleigh, with a farm to table, Korean-inspired menu, using ingredients primarily from sustainable farms in the Triangle-area.

We are committed to supporting local farms. Some of the farms & local food businesses we work with include: In Good Heart Farm, South Durham Farmers Market, Eastern Carolina Organics, Triangle Urban Farm, Fox Farm & Forage, Salty Catch Seafood, Raleigh City Farm.  A the chef & owner, I am continuously looking at how Kimbap can remain innovative and relevant to the community, and support local farms & food businesses in the best way possible.

I feel we have done a good job, but we can do better. With the influx of new independently owned Asian restaurants in and around downtown Raleigh (increased competition), I have decided to “change the game” and re-set the restaurant at dinner. I plan to offer a more attentive, slower-paced, relaxed and slightly more luxurious dinner experience for guests (while still casual and comfortable). I want to slow down the experience so that we can offer more creative, thoughtful dishes that truly highlight the farmers. We plan to improve our wine list, and offer a tasting menu.

We have successfully made it to almost 5 years and developed a loyal following. The challenge has been, operating in such a small space (1000 sq ft, 31 seats) and trying to be a bit of everything to everyone. I would say that we have struggled with our identity – are we quick service comfort food, are we casual fine dining at night, are we volume focused, take-out focused? In particular with our small space, I have learned that we can’t expect to be all of these things, and we will best serve the community by focusing on our passions and strengths.

Also, I had a knee injury 18 months ago that resulted in 2 major surgeries and took me out of the kitchen for quite a while.  I have healed from the surgeries and my vision for the restaurant is clearer than it has ever been, and I plan to slow down the pace of dinner at night so that guests can luxuriate in the unique dining experience we will offer.

I will need working capital to cover expenses related to this transition. We plan to make minor aesthetic changes (lighting), purchase new dishes, glassware, menus and small wares.  Thank you for your interest!

Please briefly describe your commitment to sustainable food systems in North Carolina.: Mentioned above

What will your sales be? What do you anticipate your profits/your margins will look like? How will you make the money to pay this loan back?: Our annual sales have ranged from 400-650K. We project the first year in this new model will yield 500K sales and 18% profit margin

Have you borrowed money before? How much did you borrow? From where? How long was the term? Is there a balance still due on that loan?: Yes, 5K from Carol Hewitt, 36 month term, paid off spring 2017.

Do you have people who would vouch for your credit worthiness? Who are they?: Carol Hewitt and other vendors

Tell us about your business background. Have you been in business before?: Almost 5 years in business

What is your timeline for this project?  Within 1 month. We are actively working on this transition now.