Hi-Fi Cafe owners launch GoFundMe campaign

HiFi Café owners Aaron Gibbs and Katie Baird have launched a crowdfunding campaign at GoFundMe. The café has been located at the Downtown Market for many years, but new ownership of that building means HiFi must find a new home. Here’s the full press release from Gibbs and Baird:

After a few weeks to digest the big changes happening at 45 S. French Broad Ave.[the Downtown Market], the owners of Hi-Fi Cafe have found their feet. Aaron Gibbs and Katie Baird are developing a multifaceted approach to finance both moving and improving their business.

Sunday they launched a campaign on the crowdfunding website GoFundMe (Help Hi-Fi Grow!) and set up options to turn donations into a micro-loans. Preset amounts paid in advance may be redeemed as a gift certificate for the same amount at the new location. “The great thing about paying ahead of time is that our regulars are going to spend that money with us anyway,” says Baird. “It’s also an option for creating the upfront capital we need without asking for a handout or working with a traditional bank loan,” adds Gibbs.

In addition, an online silent auction, featuring donations from local businesses, friends, and family, is in the works and will be launched this week. The couple plans to hold at least two events to benefit the relocation fund: a dinner to highlight the passion for stellar food that drives their cafe and an evening featuring local musicians they’ve connected with over their years in Asheville. Details will be released as the benefits are organized.

Hi-Fi’s owners see the necessary move as an opportunity to grow and refine their restaurant concept. “The original owners peicemealed this set-up, so it’s always been a hodge-podge of equipment that doesn’t always want to work and a kitchen that isn’t properly organized for efficient flow,” says Gibbs, who has been in commercial kitchens more than ten years.

“We’re looking at intentionally setting up a new space with a upgraded equipment so that everything just works and we can easily handle an increase in volume,” adds Baird.

The pair looks forward to introducing housemade sodas to the new and improved location and featuring coffee more prominently. The various fundraisers to benefit Hi-Fi will go directly to outfitting and creating a new space. Certain large expenses, such as the purchase and installation of a hood system, make up good percentage of the $30,000 goal. Hi-Fi’s owners detail the pieces of equipment needed at their GoFundMe page, and are excited about the community support to keep their cafe in operation. “We really want to stay in this neighborhood, and our people have been overwhelming with their creative and generous support. People want to see us remain a fixture in Asheville,” says Baird.

Hi-Fi Cafe will maintain normal business hours at their current location at least through the end of May. A specific move-out date is yet to be announced.

About Margaret Williams
Editor Margaret Williams first wrote for Xpress in 1994. An Alabama native, she has lived in Western North Carolina since 1987 and completed her Masters of Liberal Arts & Sciences from UNC-Asheville in 2016. Follow me @mvwilliams

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