Hot Bread Kitchen Provides Robin Hood with Delicious Opportunity to Provide Job Growth & Creation
Here at Robin Hood, data and measurable outcomes are important to our grant making team. To assist in the program evaluation process, we developed a system of metrics that helps us spend money smartly and cut poverty as deeply as possible. While we do rely heavily on proven success and outcomes, we do not shy away from supporting programs simply because they don’t have a track record. In fact, we were seed funders for some of the most successful poverty fighting programs in New York. (e.g. KIPP, Relay School of Education, and Harlem Children’s Zone).
This week, we’re proud to tell you about one of our newest grantees -- Hot Bread Kitchen – they’re a revenue-generating operation with a social mission.
Name: Hot Bread Kitchen
Portfolio: Jobs and Economic Security
Borough/Areas Served: Manhattan
Date of First Grant: January 2012
Grant Amount: $125,000 that will result in $1,000,000 in benefits in the form of newly created jobs and higher wages
How they fight poverty
Hot Bread Kitchen operates two programs, Project Launch and HBK Incubates.
Hot Bread Kitchen’s job program trains immigrant and minority women for careers in food manufacturing by providing them with on-the-job training in artisanal baking techniques as well as instruction in English and math. Trainees—who hail from more than a dozen countries including Mexico, Morocco and Bangladesh--produce more than 20 varieties of breads, many of which are based on recipes from their home countries. Hot Bread Kitchen’s products are sold at 45 different locations, including high-end retailers and restaurants like Whole Foods and Boulud Sud as well as many of New York City’s greenmarkets. As sales grow, the organization will create more training opportunities as well as new jobs in facilities maintenance, delivery and sales, and Hot Bread Kitchen is committed to filling these positions with unemployed individuals from central and east Harlem, where they operate.
Hot Bread Kitchen also uses its commercial kitchen as an incubator for local start-up food businesses. The 4,000 square foot facility provides commercial kitchen space and equipment rental, as well as business development assistance. The goal of this program is to help up to 40 businesses per year scale-up sustainably, making the transition from home-based enterprises.
Since their launch, Hot Bread Kitchen has trained 25 women and helped to grow 29 small businesses. Robin Hood’s grant will fund a business-development team to generate new sales. As a result of the projected 2012 sales increase, Hot Bread Kitchen will fill 26 internal jobs that pay an average of $10/hour. In addition, graduates of the program have gone on to find work as bakers in other businesses. In total, our current grant will result in approximately $1,000,000 in new jobs and higher wages.
By 2013, Hot Bread Kitchen plans to train 80 women annually for managerial positions both in-house and in restaurants, bakeries and food manufacturers throughout the metropolitan area. They will also help grow 40 businesses a year through the incubator program.
Why Robin Hood Said “Yes”
In 2011, Hot Bread Kitchen demonstrated a 400% increase in sales, allowing 85% of their expenses to be covered from their revenue indicating that their product and marketing strategy are both moving in the right direction.
Hot Bread Kitchen also aims to create employment opportunities for immigrant and minority women, both of which are target populations for Robin Hood’s poverty-fighting mission. Specifically, the language assistance piece of the workforce training program is great add-on for helping immigrant trainees with English skills; a key factor in job-placement,
Finally, food manufacturing and the specialty foods industry have both been identified as key growth sectors by the NYC economic development agencies (PDF). And because the organization’s ultimate goal is to fund their job training program entirely with the rising revenue from bread sales, they will soon become self-sufficient.
Hot Bread Kitchen makes 21 different types of dough that are made into 35 different products representing 12 different countries around the world.