Project Description

The Town Kitchen

What they do

The Town Kitchen, PBC, is a community-driven food company with a dual purpose: Train and employ young adults from the foster care and reentry communities in the Bay Area to give them the soft and technical skills needed for future employment, and offer sustainable organic catering to corporate clients—companies that offer their employees delicious and healthy locally sourced meals as part of its staff perks. The revenue from corporate and event catering enables The Town Kitchen to offer fair wages and job training programs to local youth.

What they stand for

The Town Kitchen (TTK) was co-founded in 2014 by Jefferson Sevilla, a former executive sous chef at Google, and Sabrina and Tara Mutukisna, sisters with backgrounds in tech and youth workforce development. They wanted to give back to the community by tapping into the dual strengths of youth empowerment and sustainable organic catering.

TTK is unleashing the potential of many Bay Area youth by using the kitchen to develop life skills and offer livable wages—impacting 88 lives so far. “The culinary environment is good for young people to learn,” Jefferson says.

Jefferson wanted to start a company “where we are building something for the greater good and we are bringing and helping people along the way by also teaching them new things about the food industry, where their food comes from, teaching them food justice as well as to appreciate everything that’s being put in front of them,” he says.

Why we invested

Bay Area corporations offer increasingly enticing benefits to attract and retain their staff, including nutritious and ethically-sourced meals. This environment enabled The Town Kitchen to grow steadily since inception. According to President & CEO Eric Quick, who joined TTK in 2017 to help scale the company, The Town Kitchen grew 82% in 2018 and another 47% in 2019and they’re poised to keep growing. Thanks to their delicious organic food, excellent service, and impactful workforce, TTK has reliable customers who not only come back for more but also recommend them to others. 

One such new opportunity is a $1M corporate catering contract. This lucrative opportunity alone would enable The Town Kitchen to train and hire at least 4 more individuals in food service and 7 in operations and deliverya positive effect of about $280,000 in combined annual income for foster and reentry youth.

But to deliver on a contract of this volume requires hiring and training more staff, purchasing additional equipment, and having more reserves to handle both increased costs from larger ingredient orders and a net 30 monthly billing cycle. 

The Town Kitchen has other supportive investors, but needed an additional $250,000 to support its short-term needs, bringing on more staff and equipment for that large contract. TTK sought a values-aligned investor who could help them scale both their revenue and their impact. Thanks to our mutual friends at Montcalm Capital, that’s where Mission Driven Finance came in. 

Our $250k loan enables The Town Kitchen to advance to the next level, securing not just one mega-contract, but having the capacity to bid on several more and continue hiring and training more young people.

Updates

3/2020 — Due to COVID-19, The Town Kitchen quickly pivoted to become TTK Provisions, offering home deliveries of meals and groceries to those in the Bay Area. This allows for continued training and employment of underserved youth in times of crisis.

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Project Details

  • Impact SegmentContinuing skills training/workforce development; creating quality jobs; shaping local markets
  • Impact VehicleAdvance
  • Investment Details$250,000 loan made in January 2020
  • Impact GeographyEast Oakland; Bay Area, CA (Expanding to SoCal)
  • LeadershipEric Quick (CEO & investor); Jefferson Sevilla (co-founder & Chief Impact Officer)
  • Year Founded2015