Saturday, January 31, 2015

Sophie's is back in Columbus!

Do you recall my post about Sophie's Pierogi?

If not, please take a moment to read it. Go ahead. I'll wait.

Okay. Now you've refreshed yourself on the magic that happens in Sophie's food truck.  Sophie's is Steve & Angie Redzinak's dream. Their dream had a hiccup. Fortunately for those of us that have pined for Sophie's Pierogi, I am so happy to know that they are on their way back! Woohoo!!! Pierogi lovers rejoice!

Steve has an Indiegogo campaign to help them get Sophie's relaunched.

I'll let Steve tell you:

"It's a whirlwind story, really, that starts a very, very, VERY long time ago at the kitchen counter of my Grandmother, the original Sophie, back in Jersey.    Some of my first and best memories are of her making pierogi dough,  home made soups and desserts to fatten me up.  Made from scratch wasn't a special label for her food, it was simply how things were done.  
My time there always stuck with me so as I joined the navy and worked in "the mess" something clicked inside and I knew what I wanted to do with my life.  Everyone that knows me is aware that I'm very proud of my Polish, Italian and Puerto Rican roots and as I set off into my career, I sought to expand on those family traditions by working in the finest and most diverse restaurant kitchens I could find.  This led me on quite a journey through a big chunk of this great country in fine dining and corporate environments, even spending quite some time as a private kosher chef.
Sophies originally sprang from a desire to build something great for my family, and nothing spoke to that more than those memories of my grandmother rolling pierogi at the kitchen counter in Jersey.  
The love of my life, Angie, and I with some help from our kids,  launched Sophie's Gourmet Pierogi in 2012 to fantastic criticism and huge accolades.  We grabbed the award for National Rookie Food Truck right out of the gate, were featured on the Food Truck Friday feature on Fox 28/ABC 4 and had one of the top 5 dishes to try our freshman run at The Columbus Food Truck Festival.  We had a brisk season, but as we pulled into a very slow, cold and snowy winter we looked at our life and responsibilities and a job in a corporate setting became a temporary necessity.  It was heartbreaking for us and from what we hear, for a lot of you as well.
BUT…  we're back on the road having brought Sophie's back as a cart and the demand is pushing us to grow! 

What We Need & What You Get

  • Our big push here is to help us fully outfit our new production kitchen.  We've found a lovely space that meets our needs and gives us room to grow, but there are some improvements we need to make to get the space up to code and production, storage and refrigeration equipment we need to keep up with our growing demand.  
  • The location we've chosen also gives us much better proximity to RELAUNCH SOPHIE'S AS A FOOD TRUCK!  You heard it right.  A full sized truck will give us a much greater capacity for special events, weddings, festivals and even our every day operations giving us a chance to provide delicious dumplings in any setting.
  • I've spent a lot of time thinking up fun and innovative ways to say thank you to all of you who choose to support us in this growth.  Sure we'll have bottle openers and t-shirts, but how about free pierogi for a year!  Check out our perks cause, yeah, it's in there.
  • So, of course, there's a chance we fall short of our fundraising goals.  The production facility is a go regardless of the outcome of this campaign and the balance of the funds that we do collect will be used to increase our mobile output with a refrigerated cargo van so that we can put up the big numbers at events and festivals around central Ohio. 

The Impact

  • Currently, pierogi production takes place 45 minutes outside of Columbus which drains resources and time we need to grow.  A successful campaign makes supplying our wholesale customers much easier, which in turn makes providing your pierogi fix a snap.
  • Sophie's is about family.  We're providing a taste of our delicious family history in this unique product.  It's not that you can't go get a bag of those other pierogi from the freezer case, but we all know that it's not grandma approved.  This hand made product is free of additives and stabilizers.  It's real good food from real people and we want to make it as widely available as possible.
  • It's a real and distinct honor to introduce you to something so personal and important to me.  There's nothing else I'd rather do and I want every Sophie's experience to make my Grandma Sophie proud.

Risk's and Challenges

  • Stepping away from the business and coming back at a different scale has given us a lot of knowledge and confidence in our business model.  Nothing in business, especially food, is a "slam dunk", but we hear and see the impact we make on our customers daily.  While we aren't the only pierogi game in town, we made an early mark on the market and have a product that is easily integrated into other restaurant concepts that blends seamlessly into the food culture of Columbus.
  • We're 100% committed to our return to Sophie's having tucked so many valuable lessons under our belt.

Other Ways You Can Help

  • We know that we're coming out of the holidays and not everyone has the resources to financially support us, but you can still help us.  Tell your friends, get the word out!  Tell people how excited you are to see Sophie's back on the road in a big way!  
  • Remind them to use the Indiegogo share tools!"
Please consider helping Sophie's Gourmet Pierogi Food Truck


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