GOOD 100: Jessamyn Rodriguez, Cooking Up Job Opportunities
Jessamyn Rodriguez was riding a bike-powered grain mill the first time we encountered her, demonstrating the contraption at the Union Square farmer’s market in New York. Rodriguez founded Hot Bread Kitchen in 2007 as an enterprise through which immigrant women could empower themselves by producing and selling ethnic breads made from local and organic ingredients.
The company, which started out of her apartment, has grown into a successful bakery, a storefront, and an “incubator kitchen,” which gives fledgling businesses a home, helping them overcome many of the entry barriers that challenge food entrepreneurs.
In 2013, Hot Bread Kitchen will continue to grow the portion of its budget supported through earned revenue and begin the process of scale-up to replicate its model in other cities.
“We are projecting nearly 60 percent total growth next year and by 2015, we will be completely sustained through the sale of breads and initiate the replication process,” Rodriguez says. “The first step of which is a feasibility study which will be followed by a business plan completed in 2013.”
HBK is making great strides toward its ultimate goal of sustainability through bread sales and replication — this year, HBK’s operations will be 77 percent funded through earned revenue. Their breads are available in 13 NYC Greenmarkets, and many other retailers around NYC. And, Rodriguez wants you to know that even if you don't live in New York, you can also purchase HBK products or make a donation online.
Over the next year, Hot Bread Kitchen will work to increase the diversity of its workforce, expand its line of multi-ethnic breads and augment the portion of its budget funded through earned revenue.
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