Conscientious Manhattan diners eager to support local farmers and local charities will have the opportunity to do both with the opening of Local, a non-profit restaurant that plans to serve locally grown produce and donate all of its profits to charity.
The restaurant, owned by Dave Dreiling, founder of GTM Sportswear, is scheduled to open May 19 and will replace Dreiling’s existing restaurant Ingredient, located at 3011 Anderson Ave., near Ray’s Apple Market and Max Fitness.
Each month, the profits from Local will go to a specifically chosen local charity picked by an advisory board headed by Dennis Mullin, CEO of Steel and Pipe Supply Company, Inc. Non-profit agencies can apply to be the monthly recipient.
Dreiling said applicants will be faced with two important questions: What are you going to do with the money and how are you going to promote Local?
Dreiling estimated that profits from each month could range between $5,000 and $10,000 and said that their first chosen charity is Flint Hills Breadbasket, whose stated mission is to minimize hunger and poverty through the distribution of available food and to nurture projects that will help alleviate hunger and poverty.
Under his model, 10 charities will receive donations over the course of a year, while two months in the fall and spring will be left open so that area schools, youth organizations and churches can sign up to receive a percentage of sales for one evening.
Information about the charity will be printed on the backs of paper menus, Dreiling said, and a spot for the charity will be located inside the restaurant.
He said it’s an opportunity to show how businesses can step up social responsibility and help community members understand how vital local clubs and charities are to the community.
By effectively profiling area non-profit organizations each month, Dreiling hopes to raise awareness amongst the younger, more transient community in Manhattan that isn’t associated with the local clubs.
“I think it’s the right thing to do,” Dreiling said. “Manhattan’s been very good to me.”
In the future, Dreiling said he would like to work with other organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club of Manhattan and Sunflower CASA Project, Inc.
Non-profit organizations hoping to receive funding will have to submit a written proposal that includes an overview of their organization and the community served, a description of the project, including how it will help meet community needs, a brief project timeline, a total project budget and the amount of funds requested and a description of how they will promote their organization and Local.
Organizations will also need to prove their IRS tax-exempt 501c3 status.
Religious, fraternal or school organizations will only be considered for funding for a day during one of the two open months during which a specific charity is not designated.
Dreiling said the restaurant’s open-book accounting system will allow for complete transparency with the treasurer of each non-profit organization.
The restaurant itself will offer fruits and vegetables from a two-acre farm owned by Dreiling, that is located along Wildcat Creek approximately a half mile from the restaurant, as well as Kansas-fed beef and ingredients from area food vendors and farmers, Dreiling said.
He said vegetables such as tomatoes and cucumbers, as well as perennials such as raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and strawberries will be grown on the two-acre farm, where everything will be picked fresh daily.
He said the menu will be similar to that of Ingredient and will include salads, sandwiches and pizzas, but that it will be more streamlined and less intimidating to non-foodies.
Although other restaurants, notably Panera, have experimented with non-profit models, Local will differ in that diners will still pay full-price for their meal, as opposed to the pay-what-you-want model first established at Panera in the Clayton area of St. Louis, Mo.
Dreiling said Ingredient will close on the Sunday prior to Local’s opening, so that the restaurant can be remodeled. The new design will highlight scenes from Manhattan and the surrounding area, including city streets, tallgrass prairies and the Flint Hills.