Partner Feature: Red Bay Coffee

Red Bay.jpg

Beautiful Coffee to the People - Red Bay Coffee

Founded in 2014 by artist and food entrepreneur Keba Konte, Red Bay Coffee was the first partner to The Town Kitchen. We’ve been serving their delicious brew since 2015! Red Bay has been an essential partner in providing training and education to our youth interested in exploring a career in the coffee world. Their service to the Oakland community inspires us at The Town Kitchen to continue striving to expand our impact.

Red Bay Internal.jpg

Red Bay currently operates four locations:

East 10th St. in Oakland

Oakland Coffee Box - Broadway

Richmond Bart Station

SF Daily Driver

You can also find Red Bay Coffee at both of The Town Kitchen Cafe locations.

We look forward to continuing to deepen our partnership with Red Bay through partnerships both in our business and in the community.

Westward Bound! The Town Kitchen Expands to the Peninsula

The Town Kitchen Partners with the Sobrato Family Foundation for Non-Profits

We are so excited to announce the opening of our new facility in Redwood City! We’ll be operating a small cafe and fulfilling our Peninsula customers’ orders from the catering kitchen located onsite.

This additional production space will allow us to expand our impact to more families and communities on the Peninsula. We’ll also be incredibly close to some of our favorite customers and a lot closer to many more potential customers!

The Sobrato Family Foundation operates multiple facilities throughout the Bay Area that offer discounted office space and free conference and event space to non-profits.

If you’re interested in renting out the cafe for the day, please feel free to reach out to us directly or find us on peerspace. We’ll be spending the next month or so updating the space to better suit our needs, but look forward to seeing some more updates (with photos) very soon!

SFF_Logo_CMYK.png
 

Invest in The Town Kitchen

We’ve Launched a Crowdfunding Campaign on Republic!

What is Republic?

Republic is a new platform that allows both accredited and non-accredited investors to participate in fundraising for startups. Unlike some of the more familiar crowd funding platforms, Republic actually allows users to become part owners in the companies they contribute to. You can learn more about Republic on their how it works page!

Why are we running this campaign?

As anyone who’s familiar with our company and mission knows, we are committed to our community. We want to do as much as possible to continue growing our impact with as much support from our community as possible. Although the primary mission of the company will always remain intact via our PBC (Public Benefit Corporation) status, other financing tools have the potential to affect the short term direction of the company.

How can I help?

You can become an investor! The minimum investment amount is only $100 dollars. For higher levels of investment we have a few special perks, but please invest whatever you’re able. If you’re unable at this time to invest, please share our campaign on your social media channels. If you’re interested in sending an email out to your network, we have some great templates that you can use and tweak to your liking. Please reach out to hello@thetownkitchen.com if you would like those details.

What is the goal?

We hope to use the funds raised in this campaign to expand our impact throughout the Bay Area. There are many other communities in the region that are in need of youth focused programs and career development resources.

We look forward to interacting with our potential investors on the campaign page. Please feel free to register and ask questions of our leadership team on the discussion board.

MEET THE TOWN KITCHEN TEAM: NOELLE VALERA

Noelle.jpeg

Get to know Noelle, our Lead Order Specialist! She’s been working with The Town Kitchen for the past six months. She’s an aspiring esthetician who enjoys spending time with her friends and adventuring in the outdoors.

How you hear about The Town Kitchen? What led you here?

I was first interested in TTK when I heard about the mission of the company and what it represents. I thought it was unique and inspiring and I wanted to be a part of it. 

What were your expectations with working with The Town Kitchen?

My expectations was that this would be an easy, simple job that I could do while looking for work in the beauty industry. My reality is that this job has been so much more to me than "something to get by" and I find myself entirely invested in this company that I've grown to adore!

How has your life changed with this new career path?

My life has changed drastically. I thought this would just be a job to pay the bills while I searched for my next esthetic position. I went to school for beauty and hold a masters esthetics license. At first, I felt guilty for "cheating" on my career and for not pursuing beauty and instead taking up something that was to me, random. I realized that my happiness is not determined by what I think I'm supposed to be doing. Instead, my happiness is right here right now in the present. If working at TTK makes me happy then that’s beautiful, and I felt I should hold on to it. 

What are your personal and career goals and how will you get there? How is The Town Kitchen preparing you?

When I finally felt like I found my groove at TTK, I set out for two goals, both of which I achieved within 6 months. I was no longer just a woman, a minority, naive or too young to achieve what I felt possible. All these things I've been told I was or treated as such at previous jobs. At TTK I feel wanted, validated, and respected. At 23 years old and being 4'10", it's hard to assert yourself in this world. TTK makes me forget that some might say I'm too young, too small or whatever. I received my first promotion ever at TTK from being a member of the operations team to now, operations team lead. I hope to continue to implement my ideas, learn new techniques, and grow with this company as they've given me the freedom to do. I'm learning new skills I would have never had the chance to dive into before, and for that I'm grateful. I work with extraordinary individuals who see past the social norm. What more could I ask for? I won't go into detail about my 10 page list of personal and career goals, but know that they ebb and flow with the wave of the company. I am able to set, achieve, and reset goals as each month brings new challenges and adventures. 


Serving Youth in Oakland

We recently spent some time creating a new video to promote our mission here at The Town Kitchen. We’ve pulled a few excerpts from the interviews with our founder Jefferson Sevilla, as well as a few quotes from our youth staff. Jefferson spends some time discussing how his vision for the company has evolved over the years. Our youth staff have an opportunity to share how The Town Kitchen has impacted their lives.

Q: Why did you start The Town Kitchen?

Jefferson: “With the Town Kitchen it was important for me to establish a company where we are building something for the greater good and we are bringing and helping people along the way by also teaching them new things about the food industry, where their food comes from, teaching them food justice as well as to appreciate everything that's being put in front of them. Experiencing a lot of these environments have allowed me to pass down some information that I feel is vital and important for young people to learn.”

Q: What’s the most important thing you do at The Town Kitchen?
Jefferson: ”One of the most important things I also think important of what the Town Kitchen does is we provide a life skill or we provide training for a life skill. Food or cooking in general is something that brings all cultures and lives together and it's something that speaks unanimously and for the positive and I think what a lot of young people have a lack of experience or knowledge of is where their food comes from, how to prepare food from its raw state, just how cultures intertwine together based on the food of their countries.”

Q: What made you want to join The Town Kitchen?

Tristan: “I joined the Town Kitchen primarily based off of their message which was taking in reentry youth and foster youth and wanting to give back to the community, giving them opportunities from really no experience and just having the workspace to grow and accept whatever mistakes or hiccups you have along the way acknowledging that, I messed up or I could have done better in a way that's progressive and meant to improve myself but also acknowledge I have a opportunity to grow at this company without feeling like I'm under attack or just being berated if it was some other company because you don't really get that experience that's, "I'm looking out for you, making sure you're performing at your best", but also acknowledging when you mess up. How can we improve, how can we grow from this and make sure it doesn't happen again? You don't get that with a lot of companies because some companies are just in it to make money.”

Q: What’s it like being able to work at a company like this in your hometown?

Edna: Edna: “Being here in Oakland I think it really has distinguished what it really means to be from here. When I get asked this question many times I get a stereotype directed towards me simply because they know of what's going on in the news, politically, and just different things that go on here in terms of violence here in the city of Oakland. I think when I present to them what company that I am part of, just simply saying that I'm from the Town Kitchen, I start to say what this company's about and I think it really brings a different type of image to what we're trying to construct and the type of impact that we're doing to not only for now, but also in the long term.”

We continue to strive to introduce our youth to opportunities within the organization as well as without. With help from our partners we’re able to expand the networks of all TTK staff to help them grow in their personal and professional lives.

The Town Kitchen @ Chabot Space & Science Center

The Town Kitchen Cafe team stoked for our opening day!

The Town Kitchen Cafe team stoked for our opening day!

We’re open for business!

If you hadn’t heard the news yet, we’ve just embarked on a very exciting partnership with The Chabot Space & Science Center.

Located in the beautiful East Bay hills and surrounded by Redwood Regional Park, Chabot provides an awesome learning environment for kids and adults alike. The Town Kitchen will be providing and awesome food service experience at the cafe located inside the facility.

Our goal is to not only provide an awesome experience for Chabot’s guests coming to visit the Space and Science Center, but also to attract some new folks who maybe just want to swing through after a hike for a coffee or a quick bite to eat.

We’re providing a huge selection of snacks, beverages, and grab n’ go lunches. All cafe products sourced from our local vendor partners or produced in our HQ Kitchen @ 2325 E 12th St. Oakland, CA 94601.

If you’re interested in hanging out with us during First Friday, please mark your calendar. Plan not only to experience Chabot at night, but also food trucks & adult beverages.

Please check out Chabot’s other awesome events; they’re reasonably priced and fun for the whole family.

The Town Kitchen Menu - A New Look

TTK_09.jpg

You may have noticed our menu has a new look!

Traditionally we’ve serviced our awesome customers with pre-set buffet options as well as boxed lunches, appetizers, desserts, and breakfast. Recently we decided to make the shift to an a la carte menu, allowing customers a much broader range of choices to feed their hungry teams.

We’ve removed our box lunches from the menu, but they’re still available to order for larger conferences or events. Please reach out to us on our chat (located in the bottom right hand corner) or email us at hello@thetownkitchen.com.

Why did we make these changes?

We encounter a lot of customers who really want to choose specifically what and how much they want to serve to their eaters. Our former style of menu had the unfortunate downside of not having a ton of flexibility to add or remove items from specific buffets. Don’t like cornbread with your BBQ Pulled Pork? Sorry, it’s a part of the package. Now customers have the ability to substitute any number of sides for corn bread (mac n cheese please!).

The box lunch has been a real stand by for our young business, but it has a lot of issues that we struggling with as a team. First and foremost - packaging waste. Although our food is packaged in all recyclable and compostable containers, we felt that removing box from the equation was the most impactful decision we could make for the environment. If you’re interested in ordering sandwiches or salads, don’t worry, they’re still available and can be ordered family style. If you’re really keen on having individual meals, please reach out and we’ll discuss the ordering parameters.

Seasonality

Offering a bimonthly rotating menu will allow us to curtail our purchasing decisions to what is most readily available to us from our local vendors. Look out for more interesting and short-season vegetables in our salads, entrees, and sandwiches.

Please feel free to drop us a line anytime with your feedback or comments at hello@thetownkitchen.com

Seasonal Ingredients at The Town Kitchen

French Green Bean Salad.jpg

When we talk about food at The Town Kitchen, we tend to gravitate toward three topics - 1. Supporting women and minority entrepreneurs in the local food ecosystem 2. Providing healthy, chef designed, youth crafted meals to our clients 3. Utilizing the amazing variety of fruits and vegetables found locally here in California.

We are so fortunate to be in such close proximity to the Central Valley and Salinas, two of the largest produce growing regions in the country. Our current supply chain allows us to access seasonal ingredients via our distribution partners in the Bay Area, but as our company grows and evolves, we are committed to taking a step further up the supply chain to develop relationships with local farmers to purchase direct.

Not only would these relationships provide opportunity for our team to broaden their perspective on where food comes from and how it’s harvested, but it also would put more of our dollars directly into the growers’ pockets.

Our recent menu update (if you haven’t checked it out, here’s a link), not only has a significant increase in variety week to week, it also will allow us to plan our purchases for the quarter, rather than reacting week to week. We hope this can open the door to connecting with more local farmers to utilize more of their products at the peak of season. This translates into a better experience for the customer as well as a more impactful purchasing policy for The Town Kitchen.

If you know of any local farmers that would be interested in TTK, or if you just want to see your favorite produce item on our menu, please feel free to reach out to hello@thetownkitchen.com