BIZNOTE: The Swinery crowdfunding to catch up

Thanks for the tips. Several readers have messaged us this evening with word that The Swinery in South Admiral has launched a crowdfunding campaign. Co-proprietor Kim Leveille explains:

My husband and I own the Swinery in West Seattle, and we need your help. We’ve suffered tremendously during the last 2 years with the bridge closure, Covid-19 and to add insult to injury, this summer during the heat wave, we endured the loss of our freezer, 2 coolers and all of our hard work, which has devastated our bottom line.

We now have only 1 part-time employee, and we are killing ourselves trying to meet demand. This money would cover our repair costs and to help pay the salary of one more part-time employee. We are heading into the holiday season and need help.

The Swinery has been in West Seattle since 2009 and is a staple in the community which we call home. Please consider helping us out so we can move forward, prosper and remain your local Mom & Pop shop.

(Image from Google Maps/Street View)

27 Replies to "BIZNOTE: The Swinery crowdfunding to catch up"

  • Al October 7, 2021 (7:27 pm)

    This place is an absolute treasure.

  • Jtk October 7, 2021 (7:39 pm)

    You should apply for a PPP loan.  Any monies received from this loan as long as it goes for business expenses and payroll, i believe does not need to be paid back.  Ask your accountant about it.  

    • Nora October 7, 2021 (9:17 pm)

      The PPP loan program ended several months ago. However there are several other programs they may qualify for. An accountant would be able to help them determine which are available and best for them.

    • KT October 8, 2021 (5:32 am)

      According to the Federal data base, they received a small PPP loan already ($22K).Glad to see people are stepping up to support them.  They are halfway to their very modest funding goal.

  • Kbota October 7, 2021 (8:49 pm)

    They deserve all the help they can get. Come on West Seattle!  Help Save our Swinery!

  • J October 7, 2021 (9:42 pm)

    Donated. This place is a rare gem, the kind of spot that gives a city actual character. If I had the means I’d just give them all of it. 

  • Del October 8, 2021 (4:36 am)

    Are there other ways we can help out as well?

    • pamela October 8, 2021 (9:27 am)

      Order your Thanksgiving Turkey!   The kindness of the community has been overwhelming.  Thank you all, Pam/Mom

  • WSRez October 8, 2021 (8:38 am)

    We “donated” to them when they took the over the business in 2018 and refused to honor our gift certificate worth somewhere north of $100. We’ll never shop there again but imagine how we could have raved about the place to our friends, family and so on. 

    • Barton October 9, 2021 (10:49 pm)

      Wow, you got a chance to publicly air your own side of a grievance (were even the one that paid for the gift certificate?) and kick someone when they were down.  Awesome.

  • Love the Swinery October 8, 2021 (9:33 am)

    Please donate. Great food and great people. Perfect local small business. And order you Thanksgiving turkey early.

  • Jeepney October 8, 2021 (9:40 am)

    Someone donated $1000, that is awesome 

  • Peter Lemonjello October 8, 2021 (10:54 am)

    I don’t support this business model. If a business cannot keep itself afloat by its own means/wits then should it still exist? I’ve posited this question many times ranging from the TARP bailouts to other businesses sourcing funding through donations like this.I don’t give money away to businesses and I object to the request that I should save them. It’s a for profit business. I save them, through my largesse, they keep the proceeds of said business, but perhaps I get a sandwich.  If the Swinery fails that’s a bummer but it’s not my fault. This is precisely what insurance, revolving credit, and bridge loans are for.  

    • Love the Swinery October 8, 2021 (12:19 pm)

      I can’t disagree with the logic. But, I will recommend you give them a try. They have fresh meat, delicious sausage and grilled food that is to die for. Vote with your feet and you will keep going back.

    • Cp October 8, 2021 (12:50 pm)

      Totally agree. 

    • Rick October 8, 2021 (12:54 pm)

      Yeah, it’s that up and down crap. I’ve had a business in West Seattle since 1978 and have survived without any “help”.  It’s the new norm.  Guess I’ll just close and ask for money.

      • who are you? October 8, 2021 (2:24 pm)

        Lots of people seem to like the Swinery and want them to survive.  And so they are donating money.

        Nobody even knows who you are, much less cares if your business collapses.

        Just some perspective.

    • HS October 8, 2021 (1:16 pm)

      I’m going to agree to disagree with you Peter. This has been an unprecedented business environment. And smaller businesses often run a lean profit margin and traditionally struggle to obtain traditional financing. I understand that over 140, street facing, small businesses permanently closed downtown during the pandemic. Speaking of downtown, Amazon provided direct grants to small businesses surrounding their headquarters so that the area continued to be lively, and their workers had built-in amenities to return to. Personally, I like to think of West Seattle as a community that fosters small business. A ton of people have been working from home or had/have lost their jobs these past few years. Historical shopping and spending behaviors have very likely been altered. Another comment mention a $22k PPP… well, in our area that’s 3-4 months rent on a retail space. It doesn’t offset a severe drop of revenue for such a long period due to a health pandemic and certainly doesn’t cover other real expenses. I don’t know, Amazon stock went up during the pandemic and small retail store fronts suffered. I say we keep gently shuffling our way through this insanity and do our best to support our community. I for one would prefer to not be surrounded by pop-up biz box retail.

    • Mike October 8, 2021 (2:19 pm)

      Yep, and it is completely your choice not to send money if you don’t want to. No one is saying it is your fault if they have to close.

      Personally, I am more than happy to send a little extra money to help keep my favorite local butcher in business.

      To each their own.

    • Paul October 8, 2021 (3:09 pm)

      Insurance does not cover this type of loss.  As a small business owner, I have been in the same place more than 1 time and its not easy.  Banks do not lend to small business owners if they are having financial issues, don’t have collateral, or other issues.  I support personal choice to either donate, or not.  What non-business owners fail to understand that its more than difficult to operate a small business these days.  And also remember small businesses support families more than large corporations do.  We employ many of Americas workforce.  

  • B October 8, 2021 (11:59 am)

    I never even knew this place existed! On my way over there this evening stat!

    • rpo October 8, 2021 (12:25 pm)

      You need to get the crispy pork sandwich that they sell during the day (I think the sandwiches are not available in the evening). It is honestly the best sandwich I have ever had.

      • B October 8, 2021 (5:31 pm)

        Will try next time, thanks for the tip! I ended up getting the burger (excellent), fries and their banh mi (for a late night snack!). Had a very nice conversation with Kim too!

  • Christopher Boffoli October 8, 2021 (1:52 pm)

    @ Peter Lemonjello: I think I agree with you philosophically about business. Some of those sentiments did cross my mind last night before I decided to support the Go Fund Me for The Swinery. Your thoughts certainly seem to hew to the more classic kind of Capitalism. But I think there’s value in weighing whether the notion of business “success” is really that binary. In the 17 years I’ve lived in Seattle I’ve seen a lot of things change. All of that change could be described as progress, though I can’t say that it feels like 100% of it has been good for the character of our city and the quality of life. So many local, independent, quirky, colorful businesses have folded and been wiped away. And in their place springs just another cellular store, real estate office or chain restaurant. In my grandparents’ generation, when you traveled across the country, you might have vastly different retail and culinary experiences, whether you were in Baltimore or Albuquerque. Now the consolidation and homogenization of our culture means that the only difference between a cup of coffee on either coast might be the name of the city printed on the side of a Starbucks collector mug (Made in China). Sure, the quality of many things has improved, as has access to formerly unaffordable experiences. But by the same token, many unique and valuable things are lost along the way in our modern geography of nowhere. In the case of the Swinery, it might be a profitable business simply hit by an unexpected perfect storm of events, eg. the drop in business due to the bridge closure, COVID, and the their coolers and refrigeration failing during an historic heat wave. And parenthetically, I recall from reporting on this business for many years, that some of their refrigeration equipment – sourced by previous owners – was never very good from the start. The Swinery is close to my house and I’m acquainted with the owners who I know are very sincere, talented and hard working folks. While on a weekly basis I admittedly probably more often source meats from local markets, it is nice to have a choice to simply walk to this shop or to be able to get products that are a bit more niche and higher quality. If I wanted to order rabbit, or a chunk of foie gras, or magret de canard, I’d much sooner seek it at the Swinery than I would at a chain store. I don’t hold it against them that they’re not as profitable as a big conglomerate, even though I understand how advocates of a more Ayn Rand style of Capitalism view financial success as the greatest metric. I feel strongly that there are so many more benefits for a community in those less tangible things, versus simply how much money is in the till at the end of the night. So that is ultimately what I was thinking when I decided to support them. Just some food for thought. I hope they succeed.

    • Mike October 8, 2021 (3:11 pm)

      Thanks Christopher. I started and stopped writing another post with similar sentiments a few times this afternoon. And you touched on nearly every point I wanted to make. Well said.

      I, too, really hope they (and other small, local, and loved businesses) succeed. And if it takes “non-traditional” methods like asking the community to help when times are incredibly tough, then so be it. 

    • Mike G October 8, 2021 (7:46 pm)

      You nailed it Christopher 

  • Cat Rambo October 8, 2021 (3:08 pm)

    Donated, plus tweeted and mailed a couple of friends. This is a great local business and I know the pandemic hit a lot of places hard so I’m glad to help.

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