We are really excited to share this short video about Hot Bread Kitchen created by photographer and videographer William Geddes. Geddes goes behind the scenes of our professional baking training program to talk with our Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Jessamyn W. Rodriguez and Chief Bread Officer Ben Hershberger about why Hot Bread Kitchen is more than a bakery.
On March 8th, people around the world celebrate the advancement and achievements of women. At Hot Bread Kitchen, every day is international women’s day, but this year we decided to make a video to commemorate.
Last weekend, a draft of President Barack Obama’s immigration reform bill was leaked. Since then, many members of Congress and citizens have had outspoken reactions to the proposed legislation. As CEO of Hot Bread Kitchen, an organization that serves immigrant communities, I admire President Obama’s persistence in advocating for the rights of immigrants, particularly his idea of earned citizenship. Immigrants, and especially, immigrant women are the most vulnerable workers in the labor force. You can read more about how this proposed reform effects the population we serve and the work of Hot Bread Kitchen in my recent op-ed on Huffington Post.
If you agree with my position and the work we do, please consider donatingto the JobRaising Challenge, an online fundraising competition that supports innovative employment solutions hosted by The Huffington Post, The Skoll Foundation and The McKinsey Group. Organizations who raise the most money through JobRaising before March 1st will receive additional donations of up to $150,000 from The Skoll Foundation. By making a contribution via the JobRaising Challenge you would not only be giving us a generous donation, but you would also help to increase our chances of winning significant funding. And if you really want to support us, please forward to your network!
Jessamyn W. Rodriguez
Founder and CEO
Hot Bread Kitchen
In preparation for Valentine’s Day, we are offering a special-edition of our Global Bread Box to send to your loaf-ed ones. This decadent box will include the following delicious multi-ethnic breads for the perfect Valentine’s Day meal:
- Appetizer: Nan-E-Qandi (4 pieces): slightly sweet and creamy Persian round topped with sesame seeds, goes great with a triple crème cheese like St. André or creamy ricotta.
- Main Course: Moroccan M’smen (4 pieces): flaky and buttery flatbread perfect for scooping up sauces or elegant open-faced sandwiches.
- Dessert: Chocolate Cherry Bread (3 rolls): This rich bread is filled with bittersweet chocolate and slightly tart cherries making it an excellent dessert after your romantic meal. Serve with ice cream or crème fraîche.
- Breakfast: My Mom’s Nutty Granola(10 ounces): For a healthy breakfast the morning after Valentine’s Day our granola is chock-full of toasted oats, raisins, nuts, and lightly sweetened with a touch of honey.
Price: $70.00 USD
*Free Shipping within the continental U.S.
I am delighted to introduce Hot Bread Kitchen’s new branding, designed by Abbott Miller of the renowned international design firm Pentagram. We believe that our new branding communicates the essence of our mission and the quality of our unique line of breads.
As part of the rebranding, we have added new text to our logo to describe what we do: the phrase “Authentic Multi-Ethnic Breads” was chosen to underscore the international breads we produce and the backgrounds of those who make them, while “handmade” was selected for the bottom text to reinforce the artisanal nature of our products. At the bottom of this new logo is our original motto: “Preserving Tradition/Rising Expectations,” highlighting our commitment to the cultures from which our breads derive and conveying through the pun on rising bread to convey our goal of changing cultural perception of immigrant communities.
Adding to the unique visual richness of the branding is the patterned background that Pentagram has created. From afar it looks like a woven or batik pattern; however, if you look closely, you’ll notice that each row depicts a different ingredient used in the production of bread, such as corn, almonds, honey, milk, and wheat. Expanding upon Hot Bread Kitchen’s view of bread as a global staple that can communicate certain cultural aspects, Abbott has created a veritable iconographic language that conveys bread’s universal nature independent of the written word. You will also notice that our packages now feature, when applicable, the name of the bread in its native language, which we hope will further reinforce a respect for other cultures and our shared connection to and love for bread.
Pentagram has chosen a color palette that is atypical for an artisanal bread company: eggplant, bright blue, and an accent palette of bold, saturated colors. While I’m sure many of you liked our former branding, Pentagram noted that this palette was not differentiating us in the market as effectively as it could. Moving away from our previous organic palette of kraft and cranberry, they went in an entirely new direction and gave the brown palette of our artisanal breads a whole lot of pop! Read more about our newbranding and see additional photos on Fast Company.
At Hot Bread Kitchen, we sell bread to train immigrant and minority women so that they can get better jobs in food manufacturing and to br-educate NewYorkers about the contribution of immigrant communities. Pentagram’s generous donation of design services will make it possible for us to expand our services and change the lives of more women and their families.
Like a perfectly made challah, our new branding braids together our products, employees, and mission, and we hope you enjoy looking at and reflecting upon it as much as consuming our breads. We extend our deepest thanks to Abbott and the Pentagram team for all their hard work.
Jessamyn W. Rodriguez
CEO & Founder
Hot Bread Kitchen
HBK Incubates, our kitchen incubator program, received a generous donation of countertop appliances from KitchenAid. KitchenAid provided 7-qt commercial stand mixers, food processors, hand blenders and a microwave that will have shared use among members in our incubator program. From melting, mixing, chopping, grinding and blending – the variety of these appliances help the production of our bakers, caterers, snack and dessert makers.
Thank you KitchenAid for supporting the growth of start-up food businesses in NYC!
See how some of our entrepreneurs (including Pipsnacks, NY Cake Pops, My Sweet, Little Horse Baking Company and My Little Bites of Heaven) are using the KitchenAid appliances for their production:
As the end of the year approaches, Hot Bread Kitchen reflects on our rapid growth during 2010. In the past year, we have: tripled the amount of production and English fluency training offered from the previous year, moved into our new state-of-the-art commercial baking facility in La Marqueta and launched HBK Incubates. Our success would have not been possible without the continued commitment of donors like:
- New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn
- City Councilwomen Melissa Mark Viverito
- NYC Economic Development Corporation
- Harlem Community Development Corporation
- Freygish Foundation
- New York Women’s Foundation
- The Durst Foundation
- Liz Claiborne Foundation
- Vilcek Foundation
- Jane and Tad Shepard Family Foundation
- Valentine Perry Snyder Fund
- Edward and Ellen Roche Relief Foundation
- Arbor Brothers
- HBK’s Kitchen Cabinet
- GA Partners Foundation
- Advantage Testing
- M&T Charitable Foundation
- Rockefellar Foundation
- Our Board of Directors and many other generous individuals
Hot Bread Kitchen wishes to express our sincere gratitude to everyone who has donated, volunteered, advised, purchased our breads and supported us in 2010—thank you. We couldn’t do it without you.
by Jessamyn Waldman
In summer 2009, I was approached by Echoing Green with the opportunity to work with a professional coach. I am generally skeptical of such relationships, but in a moment of frustration typical in the start-up phase, I met with Cindy Levine of The Cindy Levine Group and am grateful that I did.
Cindy Levine would be too humble to tell you, but she is a brilliant business women with the EQ of Mother Teresa and an impeccable clarity of vision. Cindy is a career changer. She recently switched from banking, where she was most recently the Chief Operating Officer of the US Private Bank at JPMorgan Chase, to leadership coaching so that she could dedicate her wisdom and energy to supporting the next generation of socially responsible leaders. She was interested in working with Hot Bread Kitchen because she loved our mission of creating better lives for foreign born women and understands the importance of good bread.
Through a series of one-on-one meetings and weekly calls, Cindy coached me on a host of issues as Hot Bread Kitchen went through a phase of fast and furious growth. Some of the guidance was within the realm of traditional coaching. When I expressed anxiety about the multitude of decisions that I had to make, Cindy helped me recognize that my feelings were normal and manageable as I was at the helm of an innovative organization that was moving into uncharted territory. Seems like a simple insight now, but when you face 20,000 uncharted decisions per day, it was an important insight.
But leadership coaching is just the tip of the iceberg. Cindy provides serious business perspective which I was always grateful to receive. She has valuable insight and offered timely advice about the dynamics of scale, investment strategy, and management. Unlike many people that have achieved success in the corporate realm, Cindy has an excellent grasp on and sensitivity to small scale business management.
Cindy often emphasized that Hot Bread Kitchen has a host of external and internal resources and encouraged me to tap into them to overcome challenges. I am grateful for the work that I did with Cindy and that we have been able to add The Cindy Levine Group to our arsenal of organizational resources. To learn more about Cindy’s services check out the Cindy Levine Group website or contact Cindy at email@example.com.