community

The Town Kitchen Menu - A New Look

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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

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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

Creating a Positive Company Culture

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What are we doing to create a positive culture?

When we outlined our strategic initiatives for 2019, our CEO committed to the following goals to continue pushing our company to be a leader in our space.

  1. Submit and Implement B Corp Standards

    in addition to our status as a Public Benefit Corporation we felt strongly that the B-Corp certification aligns with our mission as a company. Adopting the B-Corp standards will strengthen our foundational commitment to taking care of our employees, our community, and our environment in every business decision we make.

  2. Quarterly Team Building Events

    If you’ve ever worked at a start-up, you’re probably familiar with how easy it is to get lost in the everyday crush of to-dos. In such a logistics and service driven business like catering, it’s even harder to get above water. We’ve committed to taking time for our team to experience quality time together, without having to worry about getting the next order out the door on time.

  3. Monthly All-Hands Meetings

    Transparency is a core pillar of how we run our company. We want our entire team to know if we’re exceeding or falling short of our goals. We offer this time monthly for employees in any department or any tenure to ask questions about strategic business goals.

  4. Gusto Pulse Checks

    Gusto has been an incredibly useful tool for us at The Town Kitchen. Not only does it allow our team to manage their benefits in an easy to use platform, it also has tools for management to keep tabs on the “mental health'“ of the business. We use the weekly pulse check surveys provided through gusto to get a sense of how our team is feeling about their place in our growing company.

  5. Employee Stock Option Program

    What better way to show our commitment to our employees than to offer them a path to part ownership. All of our employees are offered the option to become owner-operators of our business after a 90 day probationary period.

We’re always looking for ways to improve our employee experience and will continue to evolve our program to meet the evolving needs and demands of our business. Please feel free to reach out to us (hello@thetownkitchen.com) if you think their are things we can improve!

The Lao Family Community Care Center - Our New Home!

 

A new beginning for The Town Kitchen. We’re continuing to build our community up, now with a great partnership in The Lao Family Community Care Center.

We are so happy to be joining the Lao Family Community Care Center in their mission to provide support to our neighborhood. Our kitchen is BRAND NEW! Come by the Care Center at 2325 E 12th St. in Oakland to have a look around the art gallery, or pop in for a bite to eat in our new cafe, coming soon!

Our team will finally all be under one roof, with the leadership/support team occupying a set of beautiful offices adjacent to the Lao Family team on the second floor.

We encourage you and your community to drop by the center for a game of basketball, access to computers, college counseling, or just to enjoy the beautiful new space in our community.

The door is open to anyone and everyone, so please stop by!

Looking forward to seeing you around the neighborhood!

- The Town Kitchen

Video: Moving Day!

Building Community, One Lunch at a Time

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Building Community, One Lunch at a Time

by Trevor Fleshman

Opportunity, Exposure, Access

At The Town Kitchen, we exist to grow and inspire our community. Corporate catering is simply the vehicle through which we achieve our goals. Providing healthy meals to our clients not only provides a platform for hiring and training individuals in our kitchen, but also to incorporate other food entrepreneurs’ products in our offerings. Similar to our internal hiring practices, we focus on a particular underrepresented group - women & minority business owners. Being in the Bay Area, we have an extensive list of innovative and exciting partners to work with. We hope to highlight some of these folks in upcoming blog posts, but for now, let’s cover what impact they have on us at The Town Kitchen and the broader community.

Brand Pillars

As an organization we focus on three core principles - provide quality, empower individuals, and strengthen communities. Supporting our network of partnerships actually hits on every single principle. The partners we choose to work with are all deeply committed to the craft and quality of their products. Additionally, the majority of them are focused on improving our community either through providing meaningful training and experience to their staff or providing employment to underserved populations.

A Better, Stronger Organization

Many companies talk about finding synergies within their organization; in true TTK fashion, we’re finding them in our community. Providing an exciting array of ever changing food offerings for our clients, can only be accomplished with a variety of culinary inputs. By finding best in class partnerships, we not only increase the overall enjoyment of our service for our customers, but we also allow ourselves to focus more keenly on training and mentorship.

Thank You to Our Current Partners

I can’t go on writing without taking an opportunity to call out a few of our awesome partners. Please click their links below to learn more.

Natty Cakes, Plate Craft Catering, Sweetdragon Baking Company, Mariposa, Red Bay Coffee, Numi Tea, Firebrand Artisan Breads, Starter Bakery.

These folks have been with us through thick and thin and we hope to continue growing our business and our partnership.

Future Partnerships

We are continuing our outreach and finding tons of support for our mission in the local food community. We hope to continue to provide a forum for new entrepreneurs to showcase their products. In 2019, we’re hoping to take our partnerships to the next level by bringing some new and old partners into our kitchen. In this way, we can achieve our mission to provide our youth staff with new experiences in addition to supporting the local food ecosystem.

Thank you again to all of our partners, past, present, and future!

The Town Kitchen’s New Year’s Resolutions

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A new year means a “new you” for many people. As a Public Benefit Corporation, we are unable to take on popular resolutions like hitting the gym, going on diet, or taking up a “dry January.” Thankfully, we have many opportunities to make our world a better place in the New Year. Here are a few that we’d like to share with our community:

  1. Grow Our Community

    We want to inspire change at the local level as well in our broader regional community. With a new Community Cabin project going in around the corner from our kitchen, our team resolves to continue to provide support through providing human connection, food, and jobs for those in our neighborhood. In 2019, we hope to expand our impact to other areas affected by inequality in the Bay Area. Specifically we are actively seeking partnerships in the South Bay and hope to bring job opportunities to folks in communities like East Palo Alto.

  2. Support Other Mission Driven Organizations

    Our partners choose us because they know we are committed to creating impact in our community. It’s literally written into the bylaws of our company. Just as we look to our partners to fuel our impact, like-minded organizations in the food space look to companies like ours to partner with them. Our commitment to partner with minority and women owned business will take a leading role in our menu creation and publishing process. Mission matters to us and to our partners and we will continue to make this a priority when choosing how and where we source our ingredients. The tenets of Conscious Capitalism will continue to guide our decisions.

  3. Elevate Our Customer Experience

    To continue to grow our organization and our impact, we’ll need to continue to adapt and respond to our customer’s needs. In 2019, we aim to not only expand our service, but also objectively increase to the quality. This starts with our web experience and ends with a memorable onsite experience. Demonic focus on prompt delivery, careful and unique table setups, as well as piping hot food will all be areas in which The Town Kitchen will be investing major organizational resources.

We look forward to continuing to provide unique and impactful experiences for our partners in 2019. Please help us achieve these resolutions by considering us for your next catered event or subscription meal service.