Dear Fusspot Friends,
It is with only a little regret that we inform you we will no longer be popping up at KitchenCru every month. What started out as a labor of love turned into a potential career and major life shift, but after much consideration, we’ve decided to put Fusspot on hiatus indefinitely.
We love frying for you. It has been an absolute joy, and we are so grateful for your support over the last couple years. As Fusspot has grown, people have urged us to open a brick and mortar restaurant. We seriously considered it. We looked at numerous spaces, met with contractors, planned an expanded menu, looked into purveyors and sourcing…And did the math. It just doesn’t add up.
Month after month, we see amazing restaurants run by professionals with much more experience than we have go in and out of business. Quite frankly, it was never our dream to open a restaurant. We started doing this for fun, and it just snowballed. But the more we run the numbers, the more we realize we aren’t willing to invest the 80+ hours per week and hundreds of thousands of dollars needed to build and operate a successful restaurant. We have nothing but respect and admiration for those of you chef/owner-operators out there who make it work, day after day, in the face of rising costs and shrinking profit margins. We salute you.
In addition, recent conversations about cultural appropriation have made us stop and think. Fusspot was born out of a lack of easily available Korean-style fried chicken in Portland. In the three years that Howard spent perfecting his recipe and the nearly two years we’ve spent serving you, the KFC landscape of Portland has changed. There are multiple Korean-owned restaurants that offer it now. We believe our fried chicken is just that: uniquely ours, built on years of experimentation and hard work.
However, we have seen how charges of cultural appropriation in food have caused serious (and sometimes business ending) public relations problems for some aspiring restaurateurs. We also recognize that cultural appropriation does real damage to POC and are uncomfortable with the idea that we could be unwittingly contributing to it. It’s an extremely complicated issue, and we don’t pretend to have all the answers. In the end, it’s just one more reason to bid farewell with gratitude and grace.
So what does this mean? We have suspended our monthly service at KitchenCru and will no longer be hosting a regular pop up. We may offer special dinners or one-off events as our schedules allow, but for now the only way to get our fried chicken is to book a private event. We do have a catering license and are willing to work with you on small-scale dinners or parties.
Thank you again, to everyone who has been a part of this amazing experience.