There’s something wholesome about local businesses coming together to support one another and throughout the pandemic that has happened a lot. From the Small Museum Block Party to local artists partnering with restaurants to give free food to those in need, it’s heartening to see the Denver community combine efforts. In another act of inspiration, Zak Ferry — Executive Director of The Lion Project and CEO of Lion Media Group — created a way for The Lion Project to continue to give back and support local restaurants at the same time through The Denver Box.
In a nutshell, The Lion Project is a media-based nonprofit that helps accelerate the growth of other nonprofit organizations through video projects. The organization was designed to help spread the word about nonprofits that don’t have the marketing budget or resources to do so. Most of the projects are funded by in-kind donations received from local businesses — many of which are restaurants — at its annual gala. Needless to say, the gala didn’t happen and many of the donors didn’t have extra cash to donate last year. This got Ferry thinking, “What can we do to support our friends and further our mission for nonprofits?”
Ferry was originally planning on hosting a virtual gala where attendees could get together in smaller groups of 10 and stream the event, then one of his board members suggested making the groups even smaller — say, four people. The idea sparked a chain of conversations and meetings that ultimately led to The Denver Box — a curated meal for four that would allow people to support local restaurants and The Lion Project’s charities through the purchase of each box.
Every month, the Ferry and his team work with a new restaurant that builds the meals for the box. Orders must be placed by Wednesday for box pickup or delivery on Friday or Saturday. Each box feeds four people — including cocktails — and costs $100. Fifty percent of the proceeds from each box goes to further the work of The Lion Project’s local nonprofit partners. Every box will have a QR code linked to a video telling the story of the nonprofit that your Denver Box is supporting that month. This year, The Lion Project’s nonprofit focus is on foster care and child services and this quarter all Denver Box purchases will support Foster Source — a local nonprofit designed to help foster parents in Colorado care for children that are healing from trauma. Foster Source’s free classes teach foster parents new skills to meet children where they are through a trauma-informed approach.
This year, The Denver Box has partnered with Bonanno Concepts in January, Osaka Ramen in February and will partner with FNG in March. “Right now, we are looking for restaurants we can scale with. We are looking for a restaurant that can support 200–400 box sales per month,” said Ferry.
Each restaurant creates its own menu for that month’s box — it could be something that’s currently on the menu in the restaurant or something completely new. Inside the box, there will be instructions on how to assemble the cocktails and how to best heat up the food. “It’s a new way for restaurants to get in front of potential patrons,” said Ferry, “I envision this becoming a Colorado thing where once a month people gather around a Denver Box to support a really great cause.”
The next time you’re looking for something new and fun to do, order a Denver Box to support a local nonprofit and an independently owned restaurant. You’ll end up feeling the love in your belly and your heart.
To preorder your Denver Box, click here.