Everytable tries to make healthy food as accessible as fast food

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LaToya Meaders, president and co-founder of Collective Fare, a coffee shop and restaurant company in Brownsville, Brooklyn, says it all comes down to marketing. In Brownsville, the main thoroughfares are a parade of fast food restaurants, fried chicken, seafood and soul food, and national brands like McDonald’s have a lot of character.

Collective Fare has thrived, Ms Meaders said, by integrating into the community – serving veggie-rich cauliflower macaroni alongside the must-have fried chicken sandwiches – and hiring around the neighborhood. “People don’t want to be told what you think they like,” she said. “In these communities, they have had enough. “

Still, Ms Meaders is optimistic that with the right marketing Everytable can overcome this kind of skepticism. She could open a franchise through the company social equity franchise program, who is raising a $ 20 million debt fund to support and train black entrepreneurs and put them on the path to owning and operating an Everytable store. She is also in talks to work with the company to create an iconic New York dish, similar to Everytable’s Trap Kitchen Chicken Curry, which was developed by black chefs in the Compton neighborhood of Los Angeles. “There is a risk that a white man will come and say, ‘You have to eat like this’,” she said. “But we can say, ‘We’re playing with him.’ “

Another concern: is Everytable’s food really affordable enough for the poorest Americans. Adam Drewnowski, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington and a leading researcher on social disparities and health, said he was encouraged by Everytable’s model, particularly its focus on prepared foods, which help those who are short of time and money. . But he noted that, even with a recent increase in food stamp benefits, the federal government’s Thrifty Food Plan, an estimate of the cost of a minimum and nutritionally adequate diet, allocates just $ 6.89. for a full day of calories.

Ultimately, however, the fate of Everytable will likely be decided by the public. And predicting what people will adopt at mealtime is a tricky proposition. For Katrina Barber, at least, a 31-year-old photographer, Everytable works. She discovered it during the pandemic after losing her job in Austin, Texas, and moving to Los Angeles. Money was, and is, tight. Since Ms. Barber isn’t much of a cook, she finds herself ordering the Chicken Tinga or the Bowl of Carnitas at Everytable in University Park up to twice a week.

Ms. Barber is excited about Everytable’s mission, but her loyalty is cemented by its low prices. “I love spending $ 6 on something that tastes like a $ 10 meal,” she said. “Instead of going to Burger King or Taco Bell and spending the same amount, I can get a nutritious meal that tastes really good.”


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