Alma Launches $40,000 Crowdfunding Campaign

Legal troubles and high operation costs put the restaurant at risk of shuttering this summer if its fund-raising goals aren’t met

#SaveAlmaRestaurant has been a rallying cry among L.A. foodies on Twitter ever since Alma launched a crowdfunding campaign on IndieGogo two days ago. The downtown restaurant from Ari Taymor and Ashleigh Parsons is asking for $40,000 to fund general operation costs along with a garden, ongoing community outreach programs, and (perhaps most pressing) a legal defense against a former partner who is suing Taymor and Parsons for fraud and unjust enrichment.

Alma’s financial troubles may come as a surprise to some due to the incredible critical success that the restaurant has enjoyed since opening in 2012. In addition to being named one of Los Angeles magazine’s Top Ten Restaurants of 2012, it was also recognized as Bon Appetite’s Best New Restaurant in America in 2013. More recently, Taymor was named Best New Chef by Food & Wine in 2014 and earned a nomination for this year’s James Beard Rising Star Award.

Still, critical success doesn’t always amount to financial stability (see: Brilliantshine, Alumette, The Parish, etc.), and Alma’s statement on the crowdfunding site confirms that they are at risk of shuttering this summer if they do not raise enough funds. However, with 43 days left to reach its goal, over half has already been pledged, so it’s looking good.

If you’d like to help Alma out and learn more about the campaign, check out the Save Alma Restaurant IndieGogo page. Donation perks include an invite to a party, tote bags, posters, and–for the donors pledging $25,000 or more–dinner for two for the rest of your life at Alma.