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!

We're Growing!

Celebrating the holidays with The Town Kitchen team @ Almanac Brewing in Alameda.

Celebrating the holidays with The Town Kitchen team @ Almanac Brewing in Alameda.

The Town Kitchen is looking for some stellar candidates to join us on our mission to provide exposure, access and opportunity to the Bay Area’s underserved youth.

Check out our careers page for more information on open roles.

About The Town Kitchen

The Town Kitchen believes empowering metropolitan youth is chiefly important for strengthening these communities and uses mentored, living wage employment in the corporate catering industry as the tool for broadcasting our mission to the world. Our youth staff, aged 16 to 24, utilize nutritious and seasonal ingredients to prepare our chef curated meals and deliver breakfast, lunch or happy hour catering across the Bay Area. 

5 Impactful Ideas from the Thought Leadership Panel

Thank you!

We had an amazing evening in Palo Alto working with some thoughtful and innovative partners. Our team of panelists (see below), had a lot to offer to our guests on how they can take their businesses and personal lives and retarget their actions for social good. Here are some of they key takeaways from the night.

  1. Be a Doer

    The power of the individual is often drastically underestimated. Our panelists discussed the ability of an individual to raise the sourcing practices of their local grocers or the nutritional standards of a restaurant change. Planting the seeds with service providers is the first step to them making a change.

  2. Change Comes Bit by Bit

    Panelists almost all spoke in terms of goals for the decade rather than goals for the quarter. It’s important to remember broad social change happens slowly. With that being said, every decision we make as individuals and organizations shapes, positively or negatively, the future of our planet.

  3. Spread the Word

    The panelists may be evangelists for their respective missions, but they aren’t asking that of the everyday consumer. Simply asking the right questions of the companies your choose to purchase from can do enough to shift their mindsets. Where do you source your meat from? Have you considered choosing to partner with local organizations for your beverages? Do you have any programs within your organization supporting a local non-profit?

  4. Deepen Your Partnerships

    Working closely with the partners you value not only supports their bottom line, but also reinforces the value of mission-driven organizations to your employees and your customers. It’s not just consumers who can vote with their dollars.

  5. Think Local, Act Global

    Make changes in your individual or organizational behavior to act in ways that take the both the local and global community into account. Most of us can distinguish the “right” choice from the “easy” choice; the panelists all urge us to take a stand for what’s right.

Client Profile: Angela Hwang, co-founder of usemy.xyz

Supporting Mission Driven Organizations

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Abdalla Emam and Angela Hwang founded usemy.xyz in order to build a community that supports local lending of underused objects. Having just launched in January of 2019, she and her business partners are very focused on supporting mission driven organizations like The Town Kitchen

Read on to learn a little bit more about Angela and her experience with usemy.xyz and The Town Kitchen.

Q: Tell us a little bit about usemy.xyz?


A: usemy.xyz is a marketplace for people who have extra items or tools that they don’t use frequently. Laptops, tools, bikes, really anything that could be sitting in your garage or on your shelf unused. Our users can list items for rent by the day or the hour or list underused items they own to rent. It’s a way for people with extra things to earn a little extra money, and for those who want those things to gain access to them at a reasonable rate.


Q: What are your plans as a company for 2019?


A: We just launched our mobile app in January, so the goal for 2019 is to grow our community!


Q: What is your favorite part of working with The Town Kitchen?


A: I thought the service was really fantastic. From the moment that we engaged The Town Kitchen every step of the way was very professional. Even choosing the food that were going to have; the options were really fantastic. Just the whole process was really seamless and easy. The delivery was right on time and the set up was really good. To be honest my business partners as well I are really particular about the presentation and the layout of things, and you really delivered on that. I’m a firm believe that the food has to be good but so does the presentation and you delivered on both fronts. We had really great feedback and i’m not even exaggerating, a lot of people were asking us “so where did you get the food?” We ended up giving them our own little elevator pitch about you!

Q: Do you have any other initiatives as a company to support the community?


A: I think that we aspire to be a mission driven organization at usemy.xyz. We’re very new, with the app just recently launching, so there are a lot of longer term goals, but one of the long term goals is to help people reduce consumption but at the same time, help people unload their underused things. Providing access to tools and items for people that wouldn’t have to means to purchase them without usemy.xyz is the core mission. Once we get more and more users and build a stronger community, we believe this mission can be fulfilled. The question we continue to ask ourselves is: “How can we help our users and our community?”

Driving Business & Social Good

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A Speaker Panel on Social Impact Businesses

 

Please Join Us March 6th from 6-8 PM at:

ServiceRocket HQ

77441 Middlefield Rd #200

Palo Alto, CA 94306

How can we use social enterprise to improve our communities and the world?

In a world dominated by corporate interests, we find ourselves in the middle of a rising tide of support for reinvesting spending into local and ethical business models. People not only want to know how their products are made, but the who, what, and where of them as well. Consumers are increasingly discerning about where and how to spend there money. Putting the mission of the organization on equal footing with the profit margin signals to all stakeholders that leadership is fully committed. In our upcoming speaker panel series, we seek to understand how companies are operating in the ever evolving landscape of social enterprise.

What are some current examples of businesses doing more than just business as usual?

We wanted to take a moment to highlight some of our for-profit partners showing the world that Capitalism doesn’t belong in your list of dirty words. Operating with the wants and needs of all stakeholders, customers, and suppliers can only lead to longer term trust and growth in these businesses.

ServiceRocket

Helping people do more with software. Providing a platform for organizations to implement and train teams. Member of Conscious Capitalism. Holding their organization accountable for meeting the four principles: Higher Purpose, Conscious Leadership, Stakeholder Orientation, Conscious Culture.

Impossible Foods

Launched in 2016, the Impossible Burger has provided the first realistic substitute for ground beef. The company’s larger mission is to eliminate industrial animal agriculture by substituting nutritious, plant-based alternatives to traditional animal proteins.

EAT REAL

As a non-profit, the goal of REAL Certified® is to affect change in the food and foodservice industries by providing market-based incentives to increase the profitability of more healthful and sustainable food and beverage. 

ASPCA

As a consumer, you have the power to change how food companies treat farm animals. The ASPCA (non-profit) encourages this global reaching decision by promoting animal welfare standards through its “Shop With Your Heart” program.

SPEAKERS

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.