Got a big idea? We want to help you open the business of your dreams!
The first year is usually the most difficult for small businesses with many startups struggling with capital, overhead expenses, permitting processes and the details of actually managing a business.
To make it easier, in 2013 the Downtown Sacramento Foundation launched the Calling All Dreamers competition to support an entrepreneur to bring their dream of opening a downtown storefront to reality. Winners of the annual competition – including Nash & Proper, Neo Escape Rooms and The Allspicery – have quickly become signature small businesses downtown, inspiring new classes of dreamers to pursue their big idea year after year.
Meet the 2021 Calling All Dreamers semi-finalists
A retail store and hub for everything anime-related. Anime Flexx will provide everything from accessories, clothing, notebooks, keychains, and home décor for anime fans’ favorite shows. Follow on Instagram to learn more.
Bubble Cone is an existing food truck business with house-made savory and dessert waffles. Bubble Cone combines the tastiness and quality of good food with today’s social media-driven food craze giving you an Instagram-able photo that looks just as good as it tastes! Visit their website and follow on Instagram to learn more.
A charcuterie and cheese company where you can stop in and have your platters made to order, or grab a pre-plated platter to go. Gone Grazey allows you to order platters for any occasion, you can choose the types of cheese and charcuterie and Gone Grazey will design it beautifully for you. Visit their website and follow on Instagram and Facebook to learn more.
Gusto Gaucho produces hand-crafted empanadas and pastries. They invite customers to relish the Argentine flavor in each bite – from the rich, layered crust of their pastries, to the tangy chimichurri sauce that accompanies the empanadas – within the cozy, relaxing environment of their café. Visit their website to learn more.
Aiming to bring the magic of a morning in Mexico City to Sacramento through food and flora, Plantura is a contemporary Cali-Mexican bakery and plant café concept where Mexican staples like conchas, galletas, and churros are elevated with the best farm-to-fork ingredients. Visit their website and follow on Instagram to learn more.
|River City Wine
This retail center will serve to raise awareness for Sacramento’s unique position in the heart of America’s wine country where residents and visitors to the Capital City have unparalleled access to close proximity to the more than 1,000 wineries of Amador, El Dorado, Placer, Napa, Sonoma, Calaveras, Sacramento, and Yolo counties. Visit their website and follow on Instagram and Facebook to learn more.
|Sloppy 2nds BBQ
More than just a place for delicious California-style barbeque, Sloppy 2nds BBQ is looking to expand their Elk Grove business downtown. Sloppy 2nds BBQ is a place to gather and grab a bite to eat while creating beautiful memories of quality food, amazing atmosphere, and the company of great people. Visit their website and follow on Instagram and Facebook to learn more.
This Galt-based restaurant is looking to expand, continuing serving their elevated street food made with the best farm-to-fork ingredients, and adding a full bar with Sacramento’s best mixologists creating great cocktails to add to the experience. Follow on Instagram and Facebook to learn more.
|Sweet Tooth Factory
Sweet Tooth Factory will be the dessert lover’s paradise featuring an ice cream scoop shop and “dessertie” offering whimsical modern twists to the desserts they grew up loving as a kid. Whether it is the spot where two lovers meet, grandparents taking the kids out, or a local foodie craving something sweet after a Sacramento King’s game – they aim to be the capital city’s dessert capital. Visit their website and follow on Instagram to learn more.
|The Jazzy Bird
The Jazzy Bird is a Peruvian restaurant concept specializing in rotisserie chicken and authentic Peruvian cuisine, with plans for live music. They aim to make guests feel as though their dining experience is a mini vacation from daily life. Visit their website and follow on Instagram and Facebook to learn more.
|The Urban Shaman
This retail expansion of Safe Space Bodywork, will be a shop dedicated to providing a relaxing environment paired with self-care goods that give you confidence. Urban Shaman will be home to organic and fair-trade goods from both local Sacramento businesses and businesses around the world. Visit their website and follow on Facebook to learn more.
- APPLY – Prepare your application, business plan and 60-second video. Applications close August 16.
- DEVELOP – If selected as a semi-finalist, you will be paired with a business mentor from SCORE to build your concept and refine your winning pitch.
- WIN – If chosen to continue on as a finalist, you will further refine your business concept, while the public votes for their favorite. Following a final pitch, one winner will be selected.
Starting a successful business is hard. But it doesn’t have to be.
Every seasoned business owner will tell you that starting, maintaining and growing a successful business takes a ton of work and a ton of time. But this is your chance to fast-track your path to success by applying to Calling All Dreamers. When you’re paired with a business coach to help you navigate the ins and outs of starting a business, and when you’re provided with all the essentials you need, you cut years off your journey and kick-start your results. Even though starting a business may still be a lot of work, Calling All Dreamer empowers you to be as successful as possible.
This year, we’re DOUBLING the cash prize, which is now $20,000. The remainder of the prize package, valued at over $120,000, includes everything from financial planning and legal services to graphic design and marketing. This business service prize package gives you all the tools you need to start your business. Learn more here.
Be a part of the dream
The valuable prize package is made possible due to the generous support of sponsors who continue to be champions for the economic growth of the downtown core. Partnership opportunities are still available for local businesses able to donate much-needed accounting and marketing/website administrative support. Businesses interested in helping to make a difference by donating services should contact Tania Perez Muskopf, Business Development Manager, at [email protected] or 916-442-8575.
Congratulations to our 2019 Calling All Dreamers winner, Nash & Proper!
Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!
Nash & Proper Win 2019 Calling All Dreamers Competition
Sacramento-born chef and co-owner Cecil L. Rhodes II is evolving the popular Nash & Proper food trucks into Sacramento’s first brick and mortar restaurant focused on hot chicken, a fiery fried variety inspired by Nashville’s famous flavor. Putting his own spin on the iconic dish, expect a similar cult following for Sacramento hot chicken. Check out their social media: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
Produced by the Downtown Sacramento Foundation, Calling All Dreamers is a retail business plan competition that encourages entrepreneurs to compete for the chance to open a downtown storefront and earn a coveted business start-up package valued at over $100,000 to turn their dream into reality.
The first year is the most difficult for small businesses. Many startups struggle with capital, overhead expenses, permitting processes and the details of actually managing a business. This competition is a game-changer. It provides the winner with the essential resources and tools needed to successfully open a business in downtown Sacramento, including:
- Up to $20,000 in matching funds
- A business service prize package that includes financial planning, store design, marketing, graphic design, legal services, accounting, permit process assistance, and more.