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Mello: Changing the Face of Members Only

Philadelphia has a thriving black and queer cannabis scene. Help create, a safe location for traveling and local patients to connect to it.

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pledged of$80,000 goal
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Campaign Ends on March 1, 2021

Project Description

 

A Pitch Presentation is linked below!

https://prezi.com/view/E8hLCASa0iAbaSPdf1wR/

 

Who Are We!

Hello I’m Fatima and I have been running Mello a small business selling smokable, sipable, and soakable herbal blends under Mello Infusions for the past 3 years and we finally found a space to create a permanent home for our brand. As well as an opportunity to really implement a centralized resource for the growing cannabis community we call Mello Cafe.

Check out our website for more details about our products here.

 

Why Mello

There are several legal consumption spaces and while the majority are lounges run by dispensaries they are attached to,  2 of them are Members Only Lounges like Privee in Alaska and Ned’s Lounge in Oakland. Without spaces like these Travelers coming to Philadelphia have no gateway to access to the cannabis community or it’s resources here in Philadelphia, Philadelphian Patients without the privileges of smoke friendly housing, and Philadelphian smokers in general don’t have spaces like this for cultural exchange, productivity, and community building. 

Everything we do is a bi product of cultural exchange, if social media was a car, cultural exchange is the engine that fuels it. Every interaction you have, has the opportunity to impact the way you live your life so it makes sense to make and control spaces where those opportunities can happen organically, productively, and safely. It’s not a new concept either.

Mello Cafe is a members only smoke lounge created for and catered towards people like me who are often underserved by social consumption spaces. We are women, people of color, and the lgbt community.  We smoke, we have patient cards, we have kids, full time jobs, and range from people interested in cannabis to people who have careers in cannabis. Most importantly we have some of the same questions.

Mello Cafe is my way of recreating that space for more than just me. A members-only space to share all that we have learned, build relationships with our community, and create more access to herbal healing for everyone. Through our curated workshops, weekly co-working hours, monthly socials, and pop-up parties, we provide a “safer space” for members to gather, grow, and GLOW! 

By centralizing the membership we are focusing on a member's experience giving us plenty of space to integrate different working parts in a shared space. This model helps guide us in creating a space that is comfortable, secure, and accessible. In order to implement this model we need to first establish a Board of a minimum of 7 members, get a space for legality and to ensure accessibility to patients and non patients, as well as build the necessary capital to design and create the space.

 

How does the Membership Process Work?

Our onboarding and background check requires all members to agree to our safe space community policy which is the only requirement outside of age our membership requires for joining. 

Right now Mello Membership can be accessed via website and referral from another member. When a prospective member fills out an interest form we are looking using a set criteria and a brief background check to ensure the safety of members with the information given. We are checking for Age, Patient Status, and we are looking at their social media presence to ensure they are an ideal canidate that won’t violate our safer space policy created to ensure our members recognize that racism, homophobia, sexism, and other forms of discrimination and intolorance are unacceptable. The members onboarding package includes:

  • A Handbook (accountability signature required)
  • A Consent form for Photography
  • The safer space policy (accountability signature required)
  • Your member id number
  • Link to members only page on MelloInfusions.com

 

After a brief introduction to our mission and breakdown of our membership tiers prospective members fill out a form and choose a tier, then wait to hear back from us for their in person interview. We accept members on a monthly basis until capacity. Prospects that miss the capacity but meet the requirements will be waitlisted and contacted once space becomes available for new members.

Membership Tiers

What are we our Perks

Lounge and Co Working Space 

The selling point for the membership right now and the top perk is access to the Lounge and Co Working Space. This is the solution for Philadelphians and Travelers who are looking for an alternative to the traditional coworking space or business suites offered by hotels in the city. While being able to smoke and work comfortably is great, having the opportunity to access that space hassle free after traditional business hours is better. There is nothing traditional about the population we serve or their schedules. 

Private Event Rental 

For Brands and Small Businesses the top perk is the discounted Venue they can host in because at that level Members get 4 free hours a month. Mello Black membership is designed specifically for these larger scale services to cater the needs of Careers and Events that don’t need a large venue but need a space they can consistently use for their members or services. This includes Catering Companies, Gym Instructors with Classes they want to offer with a smoking element without restriction, and Creatives who need space to showcase their work in an environment that makes the population they serve more comfortable like one that is smoking friendly. Individuals at the Green through Purple Tier have the capability to Rent the space as well. 

Travelers Welcome (Soon) 

Lodging this is something we want to incorporate but not right away in our new space, we are in beta right now and we have tested this concept in our current space, we were able to host a 4.7 rated AirBnB called The Hemp Loft named after its Hemp themed decor and hemp infused toiletries. Just being booked solid through weekends has given me an additional stream of revenue of 13k annually. That's the rate if operated to be booked at least 10 nights a month limited to weekends. The Hemp Loft added additional access points to the membership and perks for the members like discounts on lodging and the consistent opportunity to connect with travelers who are in the community, culture, or business of cannabis. 

 

The alternative is a small shop, tobacco retail style where members can get things like glassware, cbd flower, and vaporizers on site. This is perfect as a start because it requires a lower overhead to start and it still ties in to our overall environment. This offers our brand members additional space for vending and access to more education about the products from a source they can trust, in an environment where they can try.

Late Night Cafe

The real selling point for the new space and for the community it belongs to will be a cafe that is open after most places close. With security, this would be the safest place to go and grab a tea or coffee after hours without alcohol having to be a part of the experience. It's also a pathway to social equity. By prioritizing renters whose event provides a resource to the members of the surrounding community as well as members.

 

Below is our strategy for implementation for the next year. This is an opportunity for us to show you how we will use the money to create the space and what are needs are. We also have a prezi linked below that you can share! It’s got all the information above and the timeline. Thank you for anything you can contribute to this mission.

 

https://prezi.com/view/E8hLCASa0iAbaSPdf1wR/

 

Our Timeline and Funding Needs

What we have

  • Investors ready with Capitol once we find a location
  • LLC and Commercial Licensing remaining permits are space based
  • 2 years of data showing our strength as a concept 
  • A list of 58 brands willing to support once the location is secured



How Leadership is Structured

A Board of 7 Members

The Board will be split 4:3 between invested members and community representatives. The board will serve for a year and meet every quarter to discuss, budget, goals, strategies, current issues, and elections. This is not a final head count, we just legally only need 7 to obtain private club status in PA, we created the plan with a goal of at least 7 but we feel the more seats at the table the better.

Investment Members
The 4 invested board members can be voted on or off if a community member calls for it to keep the balance in power circular. To become an invested member you need to apply formally with a written application explaining your interest and goals in the club. You will also be asked to come in at 20% to be on the board. 

What your investment buys you 

  •  Buys you a percentage of Voting power for goals and implementation amongst the other investor members 
  • How much of a percentage you get back from Mello Cafe sales every 6 months

 
Community Members
The 3 community representatives are voted or nominated by members. The members ranging from Yellow to Black will have an opportunity every year to vote for a new or the same rep. They will need to volunteer at least 6 hours to Mello Every year.

What your representation gets you 

  • All of the perks of membership free every 6 months
  • Voting power for goals and ideas presented to the board 
  • The capability to create subcommtes based on projects and needs for the space
  • A way to ensure Mello’s Board is a reflection of Mello’s current members

    What we need from the Board 

 

  • Meet every quarter
  • Volunteer time during the building stages and beginning stages to making the space
  • Consistently represent Mello Cafe proudly
  • Sign the Safer Space Policy 




  • Our Budget Goal


    We need this much before March 79,975

    6 months rent 48,000

    Licenses

    Tobacco Retailer's License 300

    Certificates

    Women Owned Business 375
    Minority Owned Business

    Permits

    Tenting Permit (for pop ups)
    Special Assembly Permit

    Dumpster License and Recycling Plan



    The Space needs for Grand Opening
    These are all researched estimates, the only cost not explored is construction

    Phone/Internet
    Insurance
    Security 2500
    POS System 200
    Utilities 200
    Salaries for Employees only need 3 security, barista, and tobacco shop. 40k
    Lounge Furniture 3k
    Cafe or Barista Bar 10k
    Blenders 500
    Refrigerated Beverage Dispensers 800
    Commercial Coffee Maker 500
    Hot tea urns
    Cups, plates, utensils
    Takeout cups

    Grow Boxes 3600
    Merchandise 1200
    Vendors
    Product (Bowls, Pipes, Etc) 10,000
    Custom mobile dab bar 900
    Bedroom decor and hotel amenities 1500-3000 maybe
    Signage 3000-6000

    Implementation timeline 
  1. Secure the board of 7 for 2021 
  2. Make down payment on lease
  3. Begin blueprint building 
  4. Inspections and Licensing 
  5. Construction and Community Outreach
  6. Inventory Building 
  7. Market to members Fix Seo, build online presence
  8. Hire staff 
  9. Soft Opening 
  10. Grand Opening 
  11. First monthly payment 

First Level needs (We Are HERE)
Donations Welcome

Time Investors
We need:

to make phone calls to members to find out if they would be willing to support us during this growth project  ✓

We need a petition of brands who will support us once we have a space ✓

Increase interest in membership always ✓

Get people to the donation button or sign up form

Capital Investors

We need the downpayment for the space ✓
Paid marketing (Money for a/v) ✓

We need to invest in a campaign for the goal
audio/video marketing
Business plan complete
One sheet for board, members, investors

Members 


We need current members to re enroll with new paperwork for our records we need each member to have the following on file 

Consent for Promo

Liability Statement for Guests and Referrals

Signature for Handbook 

Medicinal Patient or not 

Consent to Smoking Environment 

Safer Space Agreement 



Second Level Needs

Capital Investors
Secure city planner for inspections

Need cafe area inspected and approved 

Need tobacco retail area approved 



Build out blueprint with engineer
Ordering furniture and fixtures for space

Actual building

Time Investors

Write letter to Dept of Health about Indoor smoking to inform city

Will need volunteers to provide additional labor without too much overhead cost

Prepping utilities
Electricity run



Third Level Needs

Time Investors

Community outreach let them know we are coming encourage a forum for questions

Capital Investors
Inventory build and sponsor shout outs and recruitments

SEO building and fixing Google Maps, Reviews, SIte Direction, etc we may need to bring on a team

Job Posting for staff

FIrst 3 months (Final Investments and Turnaround time)

We need to cover rent as membership builds with a growth rate of 20% and an average so far at current levels of 7 members a month we would only potentially need to do so for 3 months

That would be covered by the board and donations as well as my contribution

Bring in influencers, set up promo events for photography and marketing.

Launch online enrollment

Do final inspections before soft open (this would be open enrollments first day, this would allow for the gen pop to see the space at least once a month as required by the State of PA.

Grand Opening

First month of sales at 100 members
Bring in this potential revenue from Membership, Lodging, Cafe, Rentals, Events

Memberships 4k-15k
Membership space rental 4.5k monthly
Lodging (Just the weekends to start) 2.5k monthly

or Tobacco Retail at first 20k
Cafe 2k monthly

24-30k first month



First year with a growth rate of 7 members a month and decline rate of 3 with a goal of 148 members at the end of the year profits could be
288k-360k

Updates

The Campaign FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions:

These are just some of the questions we think you may have but please, if you have more email us and we can schedule a chat to discuss more, send emails to melloinfusions@gmail.com

 

  • How can I donate more?

    We also have a cashapp! You can donate to the level of your choosing at $melloinfusions if you are not interested in a perk but would still like to support the project.

We also accept check donations to the location:

1730 N 5th st 204 Philadelphia PA 19122

Please make them out to Fatima Mcdonald 

 

 

  • What If I am interested in being an investor board member

 Thank you for your genarocity, we will be accepting applications submitted to this email:

melloinfusions@gmail.com

Use the Following Template

Who am I?

Where am I currently located?

Why I am interested in being on the board

I would like to contribute the following if Accepted: 

 

 

  • What If I am interested in being a community board member

     Thank you for your genarocity, we will be accepting applications submitted to this email:

melloinfusions@gmail.com

Use the Following Template

Who am I?

Where am I currently located?

Why I am interested in being on the board

Why I think I would best represent the Mello Community

Monetary Contribution

Just Because I Care

0 Supporters
Select this reward
30.00 USD
Many Thanks from Us & Free Lavender

Thank you for your early support, your contribution at this level is appreciated. To show our appreciation we will be sending you some of our dried lavender perfect for your herbal recipes. 

20 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
60.00 USD
2 Free Months of Membership

We couldn't have done this without your donation, you believing in this project before we settle in to this new location is not only amazing but appreciated. So much so when we open you will be among the first contacted so that we can offer you Mello Yellow level membership for the first two months free.

30 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
100.00 USD
Custom Herbal Blend

Thank you so so so much as a token of our gratitude we would like to offer you something now and later! For now here is a 4g custom blend on us, choose from one of our popular blends, or customize it! 

When we open we feel your support deserves the vip treatment so we would like to extend a two month membership at the Mello Purple level to you when we open. 

 

Check out the website for more information about the blends we have and what each is good for here

25 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
300.00 USD
6 months of membership

OMG, we would have never imagined someone giving "3 beans" to our project. The community thanks you and so do we. Let us contact you for the royal treatment when we open to get a full 6 months, of Mello Purple Membership on us. Thank you so much!

60 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward

Rewards

Monetary Contribution

Just Because I Care

0 Supporters
Select this reward
30.00 USD
Many Thanks from Us & Free Lavender

Thank you for your early support, your contribution at this level is appreciated. To show our appreciation we will be sending you some of our dried lavender perfect for your herbal recipes. 

20 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
60.00 USD
2 Free Months of Membership

We couldn't have done this without your donation, you believing in this project before we settle in to this new location is not only amazing but appreciated. So much so when we open you will be among the first contacted so that we can offer you Mello Yellow level membership for the first two months free.

30 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
100.00 USD
Custom Herbal Blend

Thank you so so so much as a token of our gratitude we would like to offer you something now and later! For now here is a 4g custom blend on us, choose from one of our popular blends, or customize it! 

When we open we feel your support deserves the vip treatment so we would like to extend a two month membership at the Mello Purple level to you when we open. 

 

Check out the website for more information about the blends we have and what each is good for here

25 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
300.00 USD
6 months of membership

OMG, we would have never imagined someone giving "3 beans" to our project. The community thanks you and so do we. Let us contact you for the royal treatment when we open to get a full 6 months, of Mello Purple Membership on us. Thank you so much!

60 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward