Labyrinth Reaches Kickstarter Goal, Providing Food At NCC

From left, Andrew Komula and Jeremy Dahlgren preparing food at Labyrinth Press Company's new food service cart at the National Comedy Center. Along with the outside grill, the Labyrinth is also providing food inside the gift shop at the tourist attraction. P-J photo by Dennis Phillips

Reaching your own personal goal is rewarding.

However, when the community works to help you reach a goal, that might be even more gratifying.

This is the case for the owners — Frank Besse and Jeff and Alexandria James — of the Labyrinth Press Company who exceed their goal of a Kickstarter campaign to generate funds to provide food at the National Comedy Center.

The Kickstarter campaign had the goal of raising $10,000. At the end of the campaign, 173 people donated $11,149.

“It’s really incredible how many people contributed. That was our big takeaway.” Besse said. “We were excited about the dollar amount, but we were even more excited that more than 170 people donated, that is a lot of people, and that makes us feel really good about what we do and it makes us feel really good about our community.”

Besse said the campaign was more fun because the Labyrinth owners provided rewards for higher donations. Some of the rewards include a pizza party that includes six pizzas for up to 12 guest in the Green Room at Brazil if you pledge more than $100; a one night stay, with dinner and breakfast, in a two-room apartment located above the Labyrinth and Brazil along historic Thurston Terrace for $150; unlimited coffee for a year for $300; and several other prizes for any pledge of $4 or more.

“The big takeaway was the pizza party. We are doing 20-some pizza parties,” Besse said. “People wanted to be supportive and have a good time. That was our whole point. We wanted to have fun and people wanted to have fun too.”

The Kickstarter campaign funds will go toward purchasing the equipment needed to provide food at the NCC. Besse said they will be buying merchandiser coolers for the grab-and-go area as well as cooking equipment for the patio food cart operation.

The food concession contract at the NCC will be for the owners of the Labyrinth to stock an area in the gift shop with ready-made foods like sandwiches, burritos and salads, Besse said. He said they will also be operating a food cart that will be located, most of the time, on the back patio of the center that will be open seasonally. He added that during special events they will be able to move the food cart to different locations around the comedy center. Currently, the cart is located across West Second Street near Shawbucks.

Besse said the food available in the gift shop will be similar combinations to what people can already purchase at the Labyrinth and Brazil Craft Beer and Wine Lounge. He said for the food cart they will be trying new dishes with traditional foods like hot dogs and hamburgers. He added there will be meat and vegetarian hotdogs and hamburgers. Some of the suppliers of food include Green Heron Growers of Sherman, Tilaro’s Bakery of Jamestown and Windy City Dogs of Chicago.

“Both places are open to the public. People cruising through or working downtown can get something tasty to eat at the grab-and-go and at the grill, which are open to the public,” he said. “We are really excited to do this. We have a great thing going and we want to share it with both locals and tourists.”

Besse said the gift shop inside the corridor of the Jamestown Gateway Train Station will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week and can be accessed without an admission ticket to the National Comedy Center. The cart will be open, weather permitting, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“If the weather is nice, we will be open,” Besse said about the grill.