All Ilene Rosen and Sara Dima want for Christmas is a Donut Robot.
But the Brooklyn-based entrepreneurs aren't asking Santa Claus for it. Instead, they're going to Kickstarter in hopes friends, family and wellwishers will kick in the dough that will help them buy a donut machine for their new restaurant, 606 R&D, which is set to open mid-January in the Prospect Heights section of Brooklyn.
Although Rosen and Dima are planning a varied menu, they want to offer donuts to customers, at least in the morning hours.
And not just any donuts, according to Dima.
"Our business partners love these particular donuts made by Dreesen's in East Hampton," Dima told The Huffington Post. "Ilene, who is also the chef, has been eating them for 15, 20 years."
But to make the donuts the best they can be requires a donut robot, a fine-tuned contraption that, as NewYork.Grubstreet.com puts it, "bestows a perfect ringlet of raw batter into a warm, soothing Euphrates of vegetable oil; midway through its fryer journey, each doughnut is drop-kicked by a paddle, browned on the other side, and conveyor-belted toward cinnamon-sugar greatness."
Getting one of these pastry-making bad boys isn't cheap, though. Dima figures it will cost $10,000 to buy the Donut Robot Mark 1 -- the actual brand name, by the way -- as well as the ingredients and the proper donut training.
"You need special hook-ups for the Robot as well," Dima said.
Since the donuts were a part of the plan from the beginning, the obvious question is why didn't Rosen and Dima just include the Donut Robot in the original budget, instead of going straight to Kickstarter?
Well, they did. Sort of.
"We knew we wanted to use Kickstarter from the beginning," Dima said. "Financing for small businesses that haven't started is practically non-existent, so it's becoming an intregal piece of the financing.
"Plus, it's good for marketing. It's a fun way to let people know what you're doing, because restaurants often have windows covered when they're being built."
The campaign kicked off Dec. 4 and runs through Jan. 6. So far, the chances they will raise the donut dough look good. In just the first five days, Rosen and Dima were a third of the way there.
Will the restaurant do well once it opens? That looks good, too, because it just so happens the 606 R&D is going to be near the No. 1 donut demographic.
"Turns out there's a police precinct nearby," Dima said. "Although that wasn't part of our marketing research."