“I read the Omnivore’s Dilemma where Michael Pollan wrote about how McDonald’s was trying to get people to eat more vegetables with one hand,” said Hall, the former owner of Marathon International, “and I had a dream one night about serving vegan meals in cones. I woke up and was like ‘I got it!’” This led Hall to experiment with layered vegan meals that mimic world cuisine like sushi, lasagna, and Thai food.
One of RawDaddy’s most popular cone meals is the Ruben, made from nut-based cheese, marinated woody mushrooms, Farmhouse Culture Sauerkraut, drizzled with home-made mustard sauce and topped with a caper berry. He also tantalizes with sweet dessert cones such as the Chocolate Cookie Dream Cone and the Pilgrim’s Cream cone.
Iso Rabins, a San Francisco-based restauranteur who recently donated via Kickstarter and tweeted that RawDaddy is “one of our favorite underground market vendors,” currently holds the record on Kickstarter for most money raised for a brick and mortar food concept. He calls Forage Kitchen the “first co-working space for food… and a home for artisan food makers.” He raised $156,000 and said it was not easy.
Though RawDaddy’s Kickstarter campaign is off to a soft start, Hall is undeterred. Technology-based products have famously raised millions on Kickstarter, as they can offer an innovative product at a wholesale price, delivered before it goes on sale to the general market. While this sounds promising, RawDaddy’s campaign faces obstacles that other campaigns don’t. Kickstarter prohibits coupons and discounts as rewards for pledges, making it difficult for a local perishable food concept to craft rewards where a backer feels they are getting more than they are giving. “Creatively, Kickstarter is a great fit for our hip and healthy concept. This is bigger than a restaurant, this is a food movement,” said Hall. “We are being as generous as possible within the Kickstarter guidelines. Our customers are a devoted group and I’m sure they and the community at large will come through.”
RawDaddy Inc. was founded in 2007 by James Hall. RawDaddy’s serves vegan meals in gluten-free flax seed cones at farmers’ market locations around the San Francisco Bay Area. He also does event catering.