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Update Sept. 24: Here’s the latest from Jodi and Amber:

Firstly, thank you for the moral, physical, and financial support. We are amazed by all of you! Secondly, we met with the Board of Directors of Our VOICE today. We have confirmed that they are in full support of Battlecakes, and that the 5% of revenue daily donation will go to Our VOICE every day in perpetuity! We want #battlecakes to be a home for Our VOICE in the community, and a place for fundraisers, art shows, community meetings, and more. Thirdly, we have made an offer to purchase! We’ve offered to purchase their equipment only. We know that there is another offer on the table (or possibly a contract signed) from a downtown coffeeshop wanting to expand. We’re not sure if it’ll be a competing offer or a back up offer, but we wanted you to know that we’re putting our best effort forward. We will be waiting to hear about the status of our offer. We’re on pins and needles and we’ll let you know as soon as we hear!
xoxo Amber and Jodi

 

Update: Jodi Rhoden and Amber Arthur have launched a crowd-funding campaign to raise money for their cafe idea, one that is a direct response to the Waking Life scandal. More details below. Here’s the indiegogo for Battlecakes:

More info:
-Battlecakes is an LLC owned by Amber Arthur and Jodi Rhoden.
-We pledge to include in our operating agreement that the business will give 5% of daily gross revenues to local non-profits working to prevent sexual violence every day.
-We pledge to be a home in the Asheville community for organizing against sexism and sexual violence, hosting community events and sharing information.
-any additional funds we raise in this campaign beyond the $18,000 startup funds will be donated directly to local non-profits working to empower women and prevent and address sexual violence.

Original post Sept. 23: Jodi Rhoden and Amber Arthur, two successful and well-known female entrepreneurs in Asheville, have proposed a new local business in the wake of the Waking Life scandal. Rhoden is the owner of Short Street Cakes. Most recently, Rhoden has been working with Birds Eye Business Planning and Consulting, which is aimed at helping small businesses with a host of consulting and support.

Arthur is the owner of Battlecat coffee shop on Haywood Road in West Asheville.

The idea is to create an enterprise that would donate the money it makes to a different community nonprofit every month, with a focus on empowering women, according to a post on Rhoden’s Facebook page.

The future of the Waking Life business is unclear. The owners, Jared Rutledge and Jacob Owens, have stated publicly earlier this week that they planned to close for a few days while they consider their future. The Asheville Citizen-Times reported today that the business has lost its lease on a second downtown location it planned to open later this year.

Here’s the post from Rhoden’s page on FB:

Hello Asheville Community.

In the wake of the recent debacle surrounding Waking Life, Amber Arthur of Battlecat and I have been brainstorming about how we can transform the hateful negativity of Jared and Jacob’s business into a source of support, love, and healing for women in our community.

We have an idea to together buy the equipment and the lease of the business (we are not interested in handouts from those guys, thank you very much) and create a cafe and sweet shop (Battlecakes, anyone?) where a percentage of every day’s revenues (ALL sales, not just profits) will go to a different community non-profit each month, with a focus on empowering women.

Eventually we would like implement more direct social entrepreneurship programs within the business. We have a business plan, we have investors, and we have the experience and infrastructure of Short Street Cakes, Battlecat, and Penny Cup behind us, but most importantly, if you will support us, we have you. We will only move forward with this idea if you, our community, supports it. What do you say, Asheville? Should two West Asheville women entrepreneurs pirate this sinking ship and steer it towards calmer waters? You let us know. ‪#‎battlecakes‬

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38 Comments

  1. I wonder what will become of the money raised in the Battlecakes crowd funding campaign?

  2. At first, I thought this was an Onion article!! Battle cakes??? GTFO.

  3. I’m surprised these crowd funding appeals haven’t really taken off.

    They are so clever. Investing can be such a headache–checking valuations/cashing dividend checks etc. But here you just pay up online once and never have to think about it again.

  4. A crowd funding (begging) campaign. What a surprise.

    • Ordinarily, I would agree, but there is a certain justice in this case. These women (those who were “played”, those who left their jobs to avoid working for misogynists, and women in general) have been victimized by these two men’s antics and they (the guys) deserve to have their business picked apart like a dead animal. Also, I have little use for ineffectual protests (placards, chants, etc.) but when protesters put their money where their mouth is by crowd-funding, there is a much more useful and practical result.

  5. This seems like an inappropriate opportunistic way to use the suffering and media attention to personal ends.

  6. I do so adore your lack of creativity and panache!

  7. Yes – here come the vultures. I love how they like to point out how great they are and how much good they will do. Look how great I am. Just shut up and do your job. If you are so great you don’t need point it out. I will not visit battlecake, pretentious people. Ughhhh.

  8. Why not focus on a biz that donates to organizations that promote equality?

  9. Jody and I have both had a dream that when we felt like we could afford it, we would love to use our skills and time for something greater. We’ve discussed long before this situation about this idea. We want something great and radical to happen in this space. If either of us took 5% of every days revenues all year out if our current business, we would nearly deplete our entire salary. We need to keep our current wages and use this new venture as a platform for our fight for human rights. I understand your concern but we’re coming from a place of love, excitement and strength. Even if it’s not us, id love to see something super cool and radical happen here.}

  10. You women sound more like vultures than pirates.

  11. Yes please! Jody does things the right way.

  12. A wonderful idea, and I know you two will do it well!!!

  13. luther blissett says:

    Wasn’t Jodi looking to sell Short Street Cakes at the start of the year?

    Anyway, this feels a little uncomfortable. Let’s assume with good reason that Waking Life in its current form under its current ownership is done and dusted, kaput, finished. That leaves a coffee-making establishment with a certain amount of capital investment, though not any remaining goodwill. Ideally, other people will take on the location. Those people need to be decent people who don’t treat a chunk of their community like dirt and who pay their staff decent wages. That’s ample.

  14. This is a fine idea. I suggest the focus be expanded to include empowerment and education for men and boys.

  15. This is a fine idea. I suggest expanding the focus to include positively empowering and educating men and boys.

    • Just because two guys running a coffee shop turned out to be sleaze bags doesn’t make ALL men creeps, nor ALL women morally superior.

      Save your pretentious preaching for NOW meetings and just serve the damn coffee.

  16. The coffee sharks smell blood in the water.

  17. Why don’t they just do that with their own businesses?

  18. cathy peterson says:

    I say yes! Hell yes.

  19. I’m game

  20. If you build it, I will come every time I drive by!

  21. Anyone can write a business plan. It takes action and committment to make it successful. Riding this wave of negativity may provide an initial boost, especially from the press. However, I do not think it is sustainable. Someone should open a Brewery there, those seem to work.

  22. Beth Phipps ASEHVILLE RAVEN AND CRONE says:

    DO IT! Us three ladies are behind you 100%!

  23. Well, folks, we have just jumped the shark.

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