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Kickstarter Campaign Trail: Vote With Your Dollars for Local Businesses

'Wich, Please is fully funded, while Al's Pals and UnWINEd are seeking support.

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Malcolm Bedell

From Away food blogger Malcolm Bedell surpassed his $25,000 funding goal for 'Wich, Please, which the Penobscot Bay Pilot called "a sassy, comfort food truck" planned for his hometown of Rockland. The campaign raised $29,457, just shy of a stretch goal which would have made it the sixth most funded food truck campaign on Kickstarter. Bedell unveiled a new logo for the truck yesterday, "trying to evoke a bit of a seventies sitcom feel, ala 'Three's Company.'"

Bedell also competed in the sandwich category of the World Food Championships during the campaign, his second visit to the annual event. Submitting a lobster roll and a croque madame for the first and second rounds respectively, he came in 11th out of 43 - half a point away from advancing to round three, according to an official. Bedell is shooting for an April 2015 opening, which would give him plenty of time to hone his skills for next year's competition.

Al Arsenault, who recently got his business license for Al's Pals, is trying to raise $5,000 on IndieGoGo for pickle production and equipment. That covers a broad range from basics like knives and cutting boards to more advanced tools like a label printer and "a tablet for mobile card transactions." Arsenault hasn't listed any backer rewards yet, but promises in an update that he will do so. He has 57 days left of the flexible funding campaign, and has raised a cool $10.

Portland Food Map broke news last month of a new wine bar coming to Portland: "UnWINEd is under development at 569 Congress Street. They plan to serve 'local and imported fine wines, artisan craft beers, appetizers and petite plates.'" No word on the size of a "petite plate" relative to the tapas or small plates that are currently in vogue.

The business-to-be is over halfway through a Kickstarter campaign to raise $20,000, which would help owner Jared Rice overcome "some plumbing issues which have almost doubled my opening cost." Current funding level? Zero percent.

unwined logo crop

Is it possible backers aren't enticed by the promise of a $15 bumper sticker or a $35 t-shirt with a logo that looks hastily photoshopped? The $75 reward, though, is intriguing: "Get prefer[red] seating no matter how busy we are you will be seated when you arrive, in the area you want." The "calm, relaxing environment" might get a little tense when customers are told to move it or lose it for Kickstarter VIPs.

A fully unsuccessful funding campaign could derail stated plans to open by December, let alone a bold goal to "open another UnWINEd within two years of our Portland location and soon after begin franchising our concept."