At midnight last night, Hot Bread Kitchen’s Women Bake Bread Kickstarter completed with $70,995 – 130% over our $54,000 goal! Thanks to the 431 supporters who backed our project and countless others who helped spread the word.
We are overwhelmed with excitement for the two women who will be launching their culinary careers in our bakery training program. And with the additional funds raised by our stretch goal, they and their fellow trainees will be well-equipped with the raw materials in the kitchen. All because of wonderful supporters like you!
The Hot Bread Kitchen team
Pan de muerto, literally “bread of the dead,” is a traditional Mexican sweet bread baked in late October and early November to celebrate Día De Los Muertos. Much like Halloween, the holiday is a joyous celebration of life, as well as an opportunity to remember and honor the deceased. To celebrate, families set up altars in their homes, adorned with flowers and food that are left as offerings to lost loved ones in their homes.
Excerpt from Eater’s 72 Ways Food Can Change the World, published September 2014:
Too often, food lovers focus on the environmental impact of their meals-they consider carbon footprint, not the aching feet that worked 12 hours in a field to pick a local strawberry or the minimum wage worker that diced that precious berry.
But the food manufacturing industry is among the largest employers in the United States. More than seventeen million people make their living growing, preparing, or serving food. Too often those people don’t earn a living wage or aren’t afforded benefits necessary to live a dignified life.
In order to create sustaining livelihoods, we need to invest in the workforce that feeds us: providing a living wage can only translate to better food and happier, healthier neighbors in the long term. For employers, this means putting dollars back into the pockets of their employees; for consumers, this means adjusting to the true price of quality food.
Knowing where the ingredients of our food come from is critical, but I want to challenge consumers to ask who handled those ingredients and recognize the critical role that food workers play in creating quality products. – Jessamyn Rodriguez
On May 8th, our staff joined the New York Womens’ Foundation at their annual breakfast to celebrate the hard work being done across New York City to empower women and girls. We are excited to announce that among this year’s honorees was Hot Bread Kitchen’s founder & CEO, Jessamyn W. Rodriguez. Read the rest of this entry »
Yesterday’s explosion shook our community in East Harlem both literally and figuratively. Our bakery and incubator were no exception.
At 9:31am, an explosion destroyed two apartment buildings less than 500 feet from our bakery. We felt the blast shake our facility underneath the Metro North tracks and feared that there had been a trail derailment. Our staff and the staff of La Marqueta were the first on the scene; they arrived before the fire department to assist rubble-covered victims escape further harm.
Throughout the day our staff worked to support rescue efforts: giving out particle masks, helping disseminate information, and anything else that the community needed. In the bakery, the staff prepared for utility shutdowns and delivery contingencies. By 3:00pm, with everyone accounted for, we closed the bakery.
You don’t hire staff because of their courage or deep humanity–it already takes a special team to do what we do–but I learned yesterday that we have some incredibly heroic individuals on staff and am proud of how they responded.
Today our heart goes out to the East Harlem community. Many of us live in the neighborhood and all of us are friends with those who do. Hot Bread Kitchen will continue to support our neighbors and first responders that will be working here in the weeks and months ahead.
At 6:00am this morning we started baking again; fresh breads were delivered at 10:15am. The bread doesn’t wait, and, in light of disaster, sometimes continuing as normal is the only choice.
Our admin offices are closed today, Thursday, March 13, as is Hot Bread Almacen. While we return to normal after yesterday’s events, please reach out to staff by email and stay apprised of new developments by following us on Facebook or Twitter. We anticipate reopening tomorrow, Friday, March 14th.
Thank you to our friends, supports, and customers for the outpouring of support.
With a heavy heart,
The Chew‘s Carla Hall recently stopped by our bakery to learn about Hot Bread Kitchen’s unique social mission and try her hand at making some of our multi-ethnic breads. Our bakers had a great time showing her to braid challahs and press fresh corn tortillas.
Curious about how you can get involved? You can support Hot Bread Kitchen’s work by donating to our programs, and of course, eating our delicious breads. Purchase our Global Bread Box online or find us at retailers and Greenmarkets across New York City.
Available now through March 19th, Hot Bread Kitchen’s is baking up savory and sweet versions of Irish Soda Bread. This biscuit-y treat makes a perfect breakfast spread with your favorite Irish butter or a hearty dinner alongside a warm stew.
This season, try our sweet (chockfull of currants) and savory (made with a generous dash of caraway seeds) available in two sizes at New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut Whole Foods or your local NYC Greenmarket.
NPR’s “The Salt” took a peek inside our East Harlem bakery recently and spoke with bakers from our program. Says Nancy, “My grandmother would be so happy and proud that I’m carrying on her recipe and the Mexican tradition.” Read the full article here.
Just last week Hot Bread Kitchen wrapped up our first ever Women Bake Bread Scholarship Campaign–our first effort to raise money through individual donors. In two months, we were able to raise over $47,000 that will help Hot Bread Kitchen leverage the talents of immigrant women to create the next generation of female leaders in the baking industry. On behalf of our staff, Board, and most importantly, our bakers, thank you to everyone who helped us make the dreams of the women we serve a reality. Each dollar raised will make it possible for new baking trainees to develop skills in commercial production, ESL, and management through Hot Bread Kitchen’s intensive training.
With the support of individuals like you, Hot Bread Kitchen has transformed from a small start-up into the thriving organization and full-service bakery that it is today. Given the overwhelming enthusiasm demonstrated during this campaign, there is no doubt that we are well on our way achieving our goal of training 80 women per year in New York City.
Together we are reshaping the food industry, building new futures for the diverse group of women in our programs, and br-educating New York City one loaf at a time. Again, our sincerest thanks for making the work we do possible.