Farm to People is an online farmer’s market and pop-up space with a mission to make great food conveniently available to everyone in NYC.* They source fresh-picked food from farmers and makers who treat not only their land and their products, but also their employees, with the utmost respect. Their overall goal is to build a fairer food system that is more transparent, sustainable, ethical, equitable, diverse, and secure.
With an ethos rooted in community, equity, and fair labor practices, a partnership between Hot Bread Kitchen and Farm to People was a no-brainer. Co-founder and CEO Michael Robinov commented, “I’ve personally been a fan of Hot Bread Kitchen’s mission since our own founding a decade ago. As Hot Bread Kitchen lives on as a resource and education center for women and gender expansive people looking for professional opportunities in NYC’s kitchens, we’re very happy to be an employer partner.”
“Ofelia has been an amazing addition to our team. We’re very happy to be an employer partner. Knowing that a candidate has gone through HBK’s programs helps us feel reassured in their professionalism and commitment to finding a good job in the local food economy.”Michael Robinov, Co-Founder and CEO of Farm to People
For Ofelia, the transition from Hot Bread Kitchen training to professional shifts at Farm to People was seamless. “Training with Hot Bread Kitchen was so helpful for me because it made jumping straight into my line of work easier. Training with the knife so I wouldn’t hurt my hands and knowing how to communicate effectively in the kitchen helped tremendously with my job.”
“Training with Hot Bread Kitchen was so helpful for me because it made jumping straight into my line of work easier. Training with the knife so I wouldn’t hurt my hands and knowing how to communicate effectively in the kitchen helped tremendously with my job.”Hot Bread Kitchen member Ofelia
Ofelia, a single mother, came to Hot Bread Kitchen so she could enter a field she loved after facing many immigration obstacles that forced her to put her dreams on the backburner. She spent years working various jobs–in hospitals, as a nanny, cleaning homes–to support her children; as her kids got older, Ofelia finally saw an opportunity to pursue her dream and financial independence.
Ofelia commented, “Living alone with my kids, being a single mother, I’ve had to learn how to find solutions and look for help in different ways. Hot Bread Kitchen offered me counseling, a babysitter, support if I was going through financial issues… It made me feel like a family member. The same day I graduated is the same day I was hired! I’m so grateful to have found an organization like this where I can have more opportunities to grow, to develop my skills, and to learn so many things.”
Reflecting on her role at Farm to People, Ofelia said, “My dream has always been to open a restaurant selling Mexican food. I hope to own my own business and be able to sell my food to people from all cultures. I am still working towards that goal, but my experiences with places like Hot Bread Kitchen and Farm to People will help me accomplish it.”
The culinary industry has so many options for different career paths, and for our members, Hot Bread Kitchen is the first step towards opening up those possibilities. Our employer partners are a key ingredient in providing career options and economic mobility to our members that align with their goals and aspirations.
* Fun Fact: Farm to People carries products from Hot Bread Kitchen employer partner Starrlight Pizza