Jane Wells, WordPress’s user experience and community lead, is launching the Jitterbug Bakery on Tybee Island, Georgia. Jitterbug will serve as a bakery and “mostly-vegetarian” wifi cafe, as well as host to WordPress meetups and classes led by Wells and her future employees. In order to cover equipment and construction costs, and to speed up the launching of certain Jitterbug programs, Wells has launched a Kickstarter project to raise $15,000.
Based on the description given on Kickstarter and BuyJaneABakery.com, the blog tracking the startup’s progress, the Jitterbug will be equal parts bakery, coffeehouse, community hub and WordPress knowledge-base.
So the first dream here is clear: Jane Wells wants to start a WordPress bakery, and we can help her do that. But the second dream? Why, WordPress Core Contributor-powered code review of your code, of course.
Support from the WordPress community
Supporting Jitterbug on Kickstarter brings the types of rewards you’ve likely come to expect from these projects: a “thank you” on Twitter for $1, Jitterbug sticker for $10, a baked goods care package at $50. In the last week, however, a number of WordPress consultants and Core Contributors have stepped up to make their own contributions to the pot.
Following Pete Mall’s example (seen above), and after additional encouragement, Wells opened up the idea on her blog to see if others would be interested in doing the same. Since then a number have stepped forward to offer up their time, including:
- Andrew Nacin for code review,
- Aaron Campbell for general consulting or coding help,
- George Mamadashvili for theme review or general support,
- Lisa Sabin-Wilson for training, site reviews, or just picking her brain,
- Ptah Dunbar for general consulting,
- Justin Sainton,
- Tom Ransom for plugin consults or even quick development,
- Daniel Dvorkin, who is available in Spanish if required,
- Helen Hou-Sandi for admin UI and related code review, and
- Brandon Dove for Shopp consultation and general troubleshooting.
I haven’t totaled up the combined hourly rates being offered here in exchange for supporting Jitterbug, but my mental napkin math says it’s a bunch. And the odds are that list of offers will increase in number by the time you read this.
Anyone interested in throwing their hat into the will-work-in-exchange-for-Jitterbug-monetary-support pool, head to Jane’s blog post.
The Jitterbug Bakery, pictured on the Kickstarter page and Jitterbug website. For additional building photos, see this page.
A staff proficient with WordPress, host to meetups and classes
In her pre-web life, Wells explains on the Kickstarter project page, she “was a cook/baker and managed healthy cafes and kitchens in tourist lodges”. Her team also includes Pat Chylinski, her mother, who brings 27 years in banking and 10 in the restaurant industry to the (cafe) table. Chylinski will be the general manager.
Everyone that works at the Jitterbug will also be proficient with WordPress, so patrons will be able to ask for help with their website. Wells also plans to incorporate WordPress meetups and training into the regular schedule, and hopes that the funding will also allow them to offer free classes to kids this year before school lets out.
Wells said that she has been planning for the Jitterbug for a couple of months, but is taking action now because the perfect building is now available. A local restaurant owner on Tybee Island has decided to retire and put their building up for sale. This motivated Wells to move forward: she wrote a business plan, found someone to lease the building to her, and took $10,000 out of her savings to get the business started.
The Kickstarter campaign has another 13 days to go, and the amount pledged at the time of this writing was $4,387 from 72 backers (plus $1,475 from pre-Kickstarter PayPal contributions). The pledged money will only go toward the Jitterbug if the $15,000 goal is met.
Whether the Jitterbug Kickstarter campaign is successful or not, the cafe’s debut will be April 14 with a booth at the Tybee Island Wine Festival, followed by a soft opening the next day.
In the video below, posted recently BuyJaneABakery.com, they test out a hand-powered espresso machine.
The Jitterbug could end up using these when they launch.
WordPress projects on Kickstarter
Kickstarter has seen some amazing projects through its doors the last couple of months. The first million dollar project for instance, was the Elevation Dock just last month. Game company Double Fine crossed the million dollar threshold to fund a point-and-click adventure game in less than 24 hours, and are sitting at $2.3 million with 12 days to go.
There haven’t been any projects from the WordPress community with quite that amount of support on Kickstarter, but there has been activity. Scott Kingsley Clark’s Pods plugin saw $4,177 raised (with a goal of just $1,500) to support his work on Pods 2.0.
Support from the WordPress community is certainly out there, it seems, if it’s sought after. WordPress developers often seek donations in various forms to help offset the cost of developing and updating free plugins. Kickstarter offers one alternative that, at least in certain cases, be a more creative and effective alternative to the oft-used PayPal donation button.
Have you ever backed a project on Kickstarter, WordPress or otherwise? Will you be stepping up, along with the other members of the WordPress community who have done so, to help Wells launch the Jitterbug bakery?