Blog

May 21, 2019

Homeboy Industries, an Inspiration for Everytable and for All of Us

As the 4th anniversary of Everytable and our fight for food justice approaches, I’m inspired to share how my friendship with Father Greg Boyle of Homeboy Industries, an LA-based social enterprise, served as a catalyst for our business. For more than 30 years, Homeboy Industries has helped formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated men and women redirect […]

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As the 4th anniversary of Everytable and our fight for food justice approaches, I’m inspired to share how my friendship with Father Greg Boyle of Homeboy Industries, an LA-based social enterprise, served as a catalyst for our business. For more than 30 years, Homeboy Industries has helped formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated men and women redirect their lives to become contributing members of the community. If I had never met Father Greg, and discovered his heart-led approach to business, Everytable would not exist today.

Before Everytable, I was a hedge fund trader on Wall Street making millions. But something was missing—I felt like my work didn’t matter, and I didn’t like my place in the world.

After I left Wall Street, I read Father Greg’s book, Tattoos on the Heart, and was deeply moved. Months later I had an idea for an organization that would support people struggling with food insecurity and obesity, something I could relate to from my childhood. I reached out to Father Greg to see what he thought of the idea. He loved it, and invited me to start it at Homeboy Industries.

Father Greg gave me the confidence to start Feast (formerly known as Groceryships) a nonprofit organization providing nutrition education, fresh produce, cooking classes, and emotional support for families living in food deserts, that has now spread all over Los Angeles, New York, and many other states across the country.

It was through my work with Feast, working in South Los Angeles, a neighborhood with per capita income of $13,000 per year and life expectancy 10 years lower than Bel Air, that I came to understand the needs of working moms. Many of them – who often had several children and multiple jobs- were hungry for a restaurant that would provide fresh, healthy food with the same convenience and affordable prices of fast food. That was where the idea for Everytable was born.

Over the years Father Greg has been a mentor and a tremendous inspiration for me in this social justice journey, and his heart and counsel have very much shaped the mission and values of Everytable. In fact, every newly hired Everytable employee receives a copy of Tattoos on the Heart, and we sell copies at all of our locations.

So, it’s with profound enthusiasm that I announce a new collaboration between Everytable and Homeboy Industries. Our chefs teamed up with the women of Homegirl Café, a division of Homeboy Industries, to develop a bold new dish that will launch on May 30 at all Everytable locations. One dollar of every bowl of Homeboy Salmon Adobo sold in June will be donated back to Homeboy! We can’t wait for you to try it, and help us give back to an organization that his given us so much.

 

 

 

 

Sincerely,

Sam Polk

 

Learn more about Homeboy Industries

October 24, 2018

Building A Movement

Every year in Anaheim the Natural Foods Expo brings together all the major and upcoming health and wellness brands. The growth in the sector is amazing—there are acres and acres of established and new brands, all vying to meet the growing demand for healthy food.

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Every year in Anaheim the Natural Foods Expo brings together all the major and upcoming health and wellness brands. The growth in the sector is amazing—there are acres and acres of established and new brands, all vying to meet the growing demand for healthy food.

There’s only one problem.

Most of the brands sell at price points decidedly higher than the conventional, unhealthy brands they are trying to unseat. So most of those products end up getting sold through affluent retailers (think Whole Foods) to affluent customers. In underserved communities, the products that are available are the same ones that got us into this health & obesity crisis.

Well, we think that’s not right. And we are not alone.

It all started when Hayden Slater, CEO of Pressed Juicery, a company that is committed to making healthy food affordable for all, agreed to sell us his juices at two prices. The first price is the regular price he would sell Pressed Juices. The second price, at a significant discount, was for all the Pressed Juices that we are able to sell in underserved communities. That way, not only is Pressed Juicery available in South LA and Baldwin Hills for the first time, but it’s at a discounted price so it’s affordable.

We didn’t know it at the time, but that was the beginning of a movement.

Since then, we’ve gone on to partner with 12 different brands, all of whom sell to us at two prices, so that we can sell their products in all our stores, and make sure they are affordable in all communities. So this blog post is a big thank you to our partners:

· Barnana

· RX Bar

· Beanfields Chips

· Skinny Pop

· Epic Seed Yogurt

· Think Jerky

· Pulp Pantry

· Halfpopped

· Hippeas

· Kize Bars

· Health Ade

· Spindrift

· Later Days Cold Brew

· Boxed Water

· Copra Coconut Water

· Top Chico

· Lifehouse

· Rebbl

Together, we can make healthy food affordable for all.

October 02, 2018

How to ‘Pay it Forward’ at Everytable

Everytable’s mission is to transform the food system by bringing healthy, affordable food into every community. Now, you can join the fight for food justice by ‘Paying it Forward’ the next time you’re in one of our stores.The core of how we execute on our mission is a variable pricing strategy. We vary our prices based on what each community can afford. So, for example, a Kale Chicken Ceasar in Century City might cost $7.95 (a great value!), and that same Kale Chicken Ceasar at our new store in Compton will cost $5.95. Same chefs, same food, but different prices, to make sure Everytable is accessible and affordable in allcommunities.

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Everytable’s mission is to transform the food system by bringing healthy, affordable food into every community. Now, you can join the fight for food justice by ‘Paying it Forward’ the next time you’re in one of our stores.The core of how we execute on our mission is a variable pricing strategy. We vary our prices based on what each community can afford. So, for example, a Kale Chicken Ceasar in Century City might cost $7.95 (a great value!), and that same Kale Chicken Ceasar at our new store in Compton will cost $5.95. Same chefs, same food, but different prices, to make sure Everytable is accessible and affordable in allcommunities.

We believe healthy food is a human right, and shouldn’t be a luxury product.

And yet, the truth is that not everyone can afford a $5.95 salad. For example, it’s estimated today that over 58,000 people in Los Angeles are experiencing homelessness. Others are in their homes, but because of the affordable housing crisis, have little money left over after paying the rent.

Because of this, we’ve had since we opened two years ago, a Pay It Forward Wall at our Everytable South LA. Here’s how it works. Whenever anyone has a little extra cash to spend, and feels like being generous, they can buy a meal for someone else. In return for their payment, we give them a post-it note. They can write a nice message on it, and then post it on our Pay It Forward Wall. Then, whenever anyone comes by Everytable who can’t afford a meal, they can grab a post-it off the wall, and use it to buy any meal at Everytable.This is how we all join together to make our healthy meals accessible and affordable to all. So come in today, get a great meal at Everytable, and also Pay It Forward by buying a meal for someone else, so that everyone can have access to delicious healthy food.

If you’d like to buy a Pay it Forward Meal for one person, or two, or two hundred, or two thousand, send me an email to sam@everytable.com.

Sam Polk

CEO

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