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 Homegirl 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.