Since its arrival in Oak Park last year, The 206 food truck — specializing in waffles and coffee — has not had a hard time drawing a crowd.

Now the business operated by Oak Parker Valentino Ganacias is working to attract a different kind of crowd – one that can help fund the launch of a brick-and-mortar storefront at 818 S. Oak Park Ave.

Ganacias recently launched an online crowdsource fundraiser on Seedkicks.com and as of Monday morning, the venture had raised almost $10,000, about two-thirds of the $15,000 target.

The Seedkicks page also notes that if the fledgling business receives $25,000 in total donations, The 206 also will begin saving toward installation of a rooftop deck at the location.

“We brought The 206 food truck with us from Seattle to bring mobile food to Oak Park and participate in our new community,” the Seedkicks page states. “Our goal is to build a cafe where we can search for the perfect shot of espresso, eat gourmet waffles, and hang out in a beautiful space.”

Ganacias, 38, said in a telephone interview that he relocated from Seattle to Oak Park last year with plans to open the food truck and eventually to open a storefront.

He’s no newcomer to the business; Ganacias, who says the coffee business is “in my blood,” worked for years in coffee bars in Seattle and in 2009 became co-owner of his own shop, Empire Espresso.

“We did well and were successful,” he said, noting that he sold his portion of the business in 2014 to move to his wife’s hometown of Oak Park to raise their daughter.

Ganacias said he plans to continue operating The 206 food truck once the storefront is up and running “as long as it is a profitable business venture,” he said. Expect to see the truck at the Oak Park Farmers Market and block parties around town this summer, he said.

Ganacias aims to have the storefront open sometime in June.

He said the build-out of the storefront will require installation of a bar and aesthetic work to the interior.

The business will primarily offer coffee and waffles, like the food truck, he said.

“As far as being a full-blown restaurant with bacon and eggs and hash browns, that’s not in the cards for me yet,” he said. “This is an opportunity for me to centralize those two products.” 

The brick-and-mortar storefront is expected to open at 6 a.m. to catch the early morning crowd, Ganacias said. He said 60 to 65 percent of his business in Seattle occurred before 10 a.m.

Seedkicks online fundraisers are all-or-nothing propositions, meaning that if The 206 does not reach its $15,000 target, it receives none of the money.

The fundraising campaign ends on April 21.

Contact: tim@oakpark.com

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