Dan Drake, the artist-slash-cook behind Courtesy Diner's nationally famous custom pancakes, officially launched his Kickstarter campaign over the weekend to raise money for his own pancake food truck.
The campaign comes a few weeks ahead of schedule: A burglar broke into Drake's home and stole the $1,500 he had saved from Christmas gifts and tips to bring his culinary dream to life.
Drake, better known as "Dr. Dan the Pancake Man," started designing custom pancakes while working at Courtesy Diner for five years. One of the pancakes made it to Reddit, launching Drake into the kind of fame only Internet virality can provide. Even The Today Show wanted a demonstration.
Drake says his job at Courtesy Diner was always a means to an end, a way to pay for his life while he created art in his off hours. Drake plays in a couple bands and just released his first comic book.
But in the end, it's his day job that led to his big break.
"It's so deeply ironic," Drake tells Daily RFT. "I've been working at Courtesy Diner to pay for my art supplies and trying my best to get out of there by playing music and doing art, and it's the fact that I am there that's getting me out of there. My day job is my escape from my day job."