Hot Bread Kitchen creates breadwinners.

Our signature culinary training program provides job skills training to women who face profound barriers to employment. After four weeks of intensive instruction in kitchen fundamentals and personal + professional readiness, our trainees are poised to excel in roles across the culinary industry. All women who complete our rigorous training are matched with one of our valued hiring partners.

Hot Bread Kitchen’s culinary incubator offers aspiring entrepreneurs licensed and affordable commercial kitchen space, business development support, market access, and a thriving culinary community to grow their food ventures. 90% of the small business working out of our incubator are women and/or minority-owned. Our incubator members bring heritage food traditions from across the globe, from West African ginger juice to Indian street snacks to vegan Caribbean empanadas.

Learn more about our impact and who we serve in our 10 year impact study.

Hot Bread Kitchen envisions a food system that equitably compensates talent and sustains a diverse workforce while celebrating culinary tradition and innovation.


The flash of inspiration for Hot Bread Kitchen came from a slip of the tongue.

In 2000, founder Jessamyn Rodriguez interviewed for a job at a microfinance organization called Women’s World Banking. When she explained the opportunity to a friend, he misheard the organization’s name as Women’s World Baking. Forget banking — the missing letter conjured up a vision of an international women’s baking collective that stuck.

Fast forward seven years: Jessamyn, after a decade of social justice and public policy work, is now a baker. She launched Hot Bread Kitchen’s Culinary Training program out of her home kitchen in Brooklyn.

Since then, our programs, kitchens and staff have grown. In 2010, Hot Bread Kitchen moved into La Marqueta, an indoor market in East Harlem built by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia in 1936. In its heyday, La Marqueta was visited by thousands of shoppers a day, many of them recent immigrants, that sought products from their homelands. Sadly, in the 1970s and 80s, the number of shoppers decreased and many vendors shut their gates.

In 2010, to revitalize the entrepreneurial history of La Marqueta, the New York City Council and the Economic Development Corporation envisioned bringing a culinary incubator into the market as an anchor tenant—Hot Bread Kitchen was selected to run it.

In early 2011, we launched HBK Incubates out of La Marqueta, to support the growth of start-up businesses, bring food entrepreneurship back to the historic public market and aid in the creation of good jobs and good food in the community.

In 2017, Shaolee Sen joined the organization as Executive Director, bringing a passion for supporting women and small business, and a decade of nonprofit experience.

Hot Bread Kitchen Fall 2014 PL Graduates

Our Team

  • Shaolee Sen
    Chief Executive Officer

  • Kobla Asamoah
    Head of Small Business

  • Karen Bornarth
    Head of Workforce

  • Cedric Jarrett
    Finance Director

  • Monica Brennan
    Facilities Director

  • Debbie Kellogg
    Development Director
    Institutional & Major Donors

  • Caroline Mak
    Program Director, HBK Incubates

  • Sujata Bharani
    Financial Coach

  • Naseem Kapdi
    Training Manager & Lead Instructor

  • Jenny Kutner
    Chief of Staff

  • Katie Peabody
    Employment Partnerships Manager

  • Michelle Rojas
    Workforce Retention Manager

  • Margo Sivin
    Brand Manager

  • Santa Suna
    Sales & Marketing Associate

  • Ray Chow
    Program Manager, HBK Incubates

  • Kelsey Minten
    Social Impact Programs Coordinator

  • Liliana Vislocky
    Accounting Coordinator

Our Board of Directors

Geoffrey Allen
Managing Director, Global Head of Liquid Markets Fixed Income Financing: Barclays Capital Inc

Antonia Bowring, Secretary and Treasurer
Principal: AB Strategies

Dana Cowin
Founder & CEO, DBC Creative

Ivy Grant
Chief of Staff, US eCommerce Customer Care

Amir Kirkwood
Chief Lending and Investment Officer, Opportunity Finance Network

Ben Leventhal
Co-Founder:, Resy

Mary McCaffrey
Managing Director: Golden Seeds

Chaeri Kim Tornay
Director, Office of the General Counsel: PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Ingrid Rasmussen
Vice President of Finance and Operations:
Heron Foundation

Stacey Rauch
Director Emeritus: McKinsey & Company, Inc.

Matthew Reich
Nonprofit Advisor; Former VP: City Harvest

Gail Simmons
Special Project Manager: Food & Wine Magazine; Judge: Top Chef;

Emily Susskind
Independent Consultant

Diana Taylor, Chairperson
Vice Chair: Solera Capital

Christina Tosi
Chef and Owner: Milk Bar

Jaffer Zaidi
Managing Director, Global Business Development, Google

Careers at HBK

Love food, people and a fast-paced environment? Check here for open positions and send your resume and cover letter with the position title in the subject line to


Office Manager

Brand (Marketing & Communications)
Bakery Brand Manager

Brand (Development)
Development Associate