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Hiring Partner Spotlight: USHG


Throughout Hot Bread Kitchen’s 10 years, 100% of women who complete our culinary training are offered full time jobs providing economic security and opportunities for advancement. These opportunities would not be possible without the support of our hiring partners, including high-road employers like Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG). 

USHG operates over 20 of New York City’s most beloved restaurants, from the iconic Union Square Cafe to their full service catering company, Union Square Events. Aside from their numerous accolades, including 28 James Beard Awards, USHG is recognized across the industry for setting the standard for hospitality. USHG’s genuine care for their people and their communities demonstrates the ethos that hospitality extends beyond restaurant walls. Hot Bread Kitchen graduates’ success is supported by USHG’s commitment to people, to “training for excellence,” and to providing their employees with the tools they need to thrive.

USHG has supported Hot Bread Kitchen for many years, first through buying breads for Union Square Events and their restaurants (find our M’smen at Untitled and Gramercy Tavern!) and then by becoming an exemplary hiring partner. To date, they have hired over 10 graduates across their restaurants. Our graduates apply their Hot Bread Kitchen culinary training and professional skills to their work as prep, bakery and pastry cooks. USHG sees the enormous potential in the women we train, and their dedicated managers ensure that every new hire is supported in her role and poised for success.

Maialino bread bar, photo by Ellen Silverman

Leanda is a graduate who joined Maialino, the acclaimed Italian trattoria in Gramercy Park, in August of 2018. Leanda says learning how to use a sheeter to laminate dough during the culinary training program gave her an advantage when she began work with the pastry production team. One of her favorite responsibilities is making croissants. Jessica Weiss, former Executive Pastry Chef of Maialino (currently General Manager of Marta, Vini e Fritti, and Caffe Marchio) shares, “I’m very proud of Leanda. She brings a strong work ethic and a desire to learn to her job and has really grown in her first few months with us. She now has a special pastry on the brunch menu!”

Jessica Weiss, General Manager of Marta, Vini e Fritti, and Caffe Marchio

Samina, another 2018 graduate is also on the pastry team. This is Samina’s first job in the United States, and she says she is proud to learn something new every day. Whether making homemade marshmallows or seasonal fruit-filled crostatas, she is happy to have this opportunity to work and provide for her family. On Saturdays, Samina takes a break from pastry and joins the brunch service team, prepping dishes for the over 200 guests that dine at Maialino during the brunch hours. She notes that Hot Bread Kitchen prepared her not only with the cooking skills but also the professional knowledge to navigate a restaurant kitchen and how to be an effective co-worker.

Samina during culinary training with Hot Bread Kitchen instructor, Naseem.

Karen Bornarth, Head of Workforce Development at Hot Bread Kitchen, says, “Without partners like USHG, we wouldn’t have a training program. We’re honored to be working with an organization as respected as USHG is, and so pleased that we can place our graduates into their high-quality jobs.”

This year, we are on track to graduate double the number of women than last year. Our partnership with USHG provides so many of the women we train with an invaluable path for personal and professional growth as they build their culinary careers.