Anyone who’s been to Grotto, the charming osteria at 100 Forsyth Street, knows it boasts one of the Lower East Side’s nicest gardens. But since the backyard is uncovered, the garden is only usable a few months out of the year. But thanks to a start-up called Lucky Ant, there might just be a solution to this problem.
Lucky Ant is a crowd-funding web site something like Kickstarter. Launched earlier this year by a young entrepreneur named Jonathan Moyal, Lucky Ant seeks to become a hyper-local Kickstarter for small businesses. The company plans to expand throughout Manhattan (and eventually nationwide), but right now the focus is on small enterprises in this neighborhood (Lucky Ant is headquartered on Chrystie Street).
Here’s how it works. Every week, Lucky Ant features one business hoping to fund a specific project. Contributors get the satisfaction of knowing they are helping a local company become more successful. There are also incentives. If you give $5 to Grotto, for example, you’ll get a glass of wine or Prosecco the next time you come in for dinner. If you donate $500, you’ll be treated to a dinner for 10 in the garden.
Grotto needs to raise $7500 to pay for a tarp (made from vintage sailboat sails). With only two days remaining, they have $3170 so far. If you’d like to have a look at the video Lucky Ant prepared for Grotto, click here.
In the weeks ahead, Jonathan has plans to feature more Lower East Side businesses. Among them: Dessert Truck Works on Clinton Street, which is planning a “re-branding.”