There has been a lot of assumption on what went down last Thursday at 8734 W 400 N Michigan City, Indiana, and I’m writing this to clear up that fog of hearsay. Below are the facts and nothing more:
A meeting was had with the Building Department. We explained that we knew certain things were not up to code and that we would have to fold at that point if we did not get a go ahead to be able to do dinners on a donation only basis. In return, they gave us a list of MUST-DOS, such as; building appropriate steps, mounting handlebars at each entryway, making sure a sink was installed and working properly, etc… and we completed those tasks and opened as told we were able to do so.
When the Health Department caught wind of this, it was nothing more than a “she doesnt have the right to give the go ahead to food operations, and we dont have the right to give the go ahead to building operations.” So they came and did not inspect, but just served cease and desists. Apparently pop ups are completely illegal in Indiana and our orders stated we couldnt even give a way the food for free.
WHAT THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT FOUND OUT UPON ARRIVAL.
That most of what they assumed by reading other peoples posts about us were untrue. They came with Animal Control because they thought we were killing the animals that we were selling to people, when in fact, they were going to a proper slaughterhouse, and that the only animals we killed, we consumed. They also found out that we did in fact have a legal business license, agricultural licensing, and certificates to sell goods at markets and in our own retail space.
THE BOTTOM LINE.
Upon having a few people come out to look into investment opportunities, we realized that the place is, in fact, impossible to make compliant with both the standards of the Federal ADA and the local building and health departments, due to load bearing entrances, and masonry that dates back to 1851.
***In addition, a lot of people are asking where the 250k went. We purchased the property outright with cash. The purchase and the cleaning of the property to make it even safe to sleep there totaled 130k outright. The rest came a year later through a lien on the property for construction and equipment.
For me? Unfortunately, nothing. I know that I will be leaving the Midwest to pursue quieter endeavors, and to focus on starting a family. I will occasionally do collaborative dinners like I used to with CRUX, but much further spaced, as I’ll be taking on a full time commitment elsewhere.
For the farm? I’m not sure. I would love to see it flourish and stay true to our vision, but sadly, a restaurant can never be installed, and an investment would be needed, at this point, to get us through the brutal Winter we all know is coming.
For the staff? We are planning a pop up in early August to try and raise funds in order to relocate two members of our staff, and we will keep you notified on the location of that dinner once we confirm something.
We are very appreciative of all the support we’ve had over the past couple years, and are all seeing this as an opportunity for reflection, growth, and new beginnings. Again, thank you.