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Grow Our Lakou

Help us keep Lakou in our Brooklyn community!

pledged of$10,000 goal
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Project Description

  • What is the mission of your company or project?
    • Lakou's mission is to create an oasis that nourishes our community physically, mentally and spiritually through healthy food, engaging and educational conversations and artistic expression. We honor this mission by bringing together long-term community residents, freelancers, on-the-go working professionals, and neighborhood transplants through tasty food/drink, wellness, art, and culture.
  • Describe the problem you are solving.
    • Weeksville residents desire to live a healthy and socially connected lifestyle. However, few sit down eateries with wi-fi, programming, and a warm and welcoming atmosphere exist in Weeksville. Residents only other option is to leave Weeksville and visit eateries in Bed-Stuy, Franklin Ave or Manhattan. This unfortunately costs residents unnecessary time and money, and it hinders residents from building relationships with fellow neighbors.
  • What is the market size/opportunity?
    • Total Addressable Market for walk-in/dine-in cafe sales is ~7,500
    • To date we've penetrated less than 1/4 of that market to date
    • This number increases once we add our delivery platform and catering opportunities
  • What is your company/product about and how does it solve the problem? 
    • Lakou Café opened its doors May 9, 2018 and operates 7 days a week from 7am to 7pm.
    • We provide a space in the community for residents to have business meetings, meet with friends, have some alone time or simply escape New York City’s chaos.
    • Our offering includes café foods with a Caribbean twist, including Haitian coffee and treats, vegan curry chickpea crepes, Kreyol chicken sandwich, saltfish avocado toast and spicy Haitian peanut butter smoothies to name a few.
    • Lakou Café also provides opportunities to learn and get to meet new people through workshops, mixers, art shows, brunches and more.
  • Why are you seeking funding and how will you spend the funding?
    • Since the NYC Mayor’s EO, which temporarily banned sit-down service at restaurants, Lakou Café sales have declined by about 80%.
    • From March 17th to April 3rd, Lakou Café provided delivery and take-out, but cash was quickly running out.
    • Since April 3rd, Lakou Café has closed its doors to focus primarily on relief efforts.
    • Through donations and community partnerships, Lakou has been able to provide over 1000 meals to Brooklyn’s most vulnerable populations.
    • Additionally, Lakou Café has recently been invited to partner with World Central Kitchen.
    • We are seeking funding to build our operations up by hiring more staff and more equipment, such as refrigeration, in order to cater large food requests. 
  • Who is on your team?
    • Lakou Café is currently owned and managed by Cassandre Davilmar, who is a resident of Weeksville. Cassandre is a first generation Haitian-American. She attended University of Miami (B.S. Accounting and Finance) and New York University School of Law (New York Bar admitted lawyer). Cassandre is also a former Investment banker at Moelis & Co. and former attorney at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP.
  • Thank you so much for your support! We really need our community to help us grow and thrive even through challenging times!


The Campaign FAQs

What does Lakou mean?

Lakou is Haitian Creole for "courtyard" or "backyard". Essentially, it is the place where the community gathers. It describes a self-sufficient community that doesn't depend on outside forces for its survival. At Lakou we aim to bring folks together so we can be stronger together.



Black Women-Owned Business Grant Program
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