Dharma Southern Kitchen, the plant-based restaurant that arose from a vegan hot dog cart, launched as a mobile food trailer and then opened as a brick and mortar anchor of the South Street Market, has big plans for expansion, and it's looking for investors in a serious, grownup and governmentally regulated way.
Dharma has established a page on StartEngine, a website that provides a platform and resources for companies seeking investors through a process known as equity crowdfunding. But Shaun Noonan, Dharma’s founder and CEO, is quick to point out that this isn’t the type of fundraising site that most people are familiar with.
“This is not like crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe where people are being charitable and maybe get a free t-shirt,” he told me. “This is an actual equity or stock sale in the company. This is an SEC-regulated platform that allows everyone – internationally, nationally or locally – to become a stockholder in Dharma Southern Kitchen.”
That doesn’t mean that Dharma Southern Kitchen is going public – there won’t be an initial public offering (IPO) and it won’t show up on a stock exchange board. But investors can purchase real shares in the company and potentially make money on the investment.
Though Noonan won’t make any promises. Mostly because it's forbidden by the Security and Exchange Commission.