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Launching (and Funding) The Food Entrepreneur Program

Updated: 2 days ago

Featuring Kitchens for Good 

San Diegans interested in developing and selling their own specialty food products now have an avenue to make their dreams reality while attaining financial security. SVP stepped into the “test kitchen” with Kitchens for Good to bring to life the Food Entrepreneur Program. A dedicated consulting team helped the nonprofit’s leadership develop a robust program framework for a new micro entrepreneurship initiative and position it for $250,000 of funding from the City of San Diego to cover all expenses for the first year of the program.   

In a first for SVP, this engagement was funded by an investor – Parker Pike – who saw that he could supercharge his investment in Kitchens for Good by also funding SVP to support their initiative. In the memory of his late wife and food entrepreneur Sandra Sexton who had a special talent for lifting up people around her, Pike funded both organizations in parallel. His dual investment catalyzed our support for their project, and their ability to execute. Resulting in $250K for Kitchens for Good and a brand-new program that will serve dozens of people into the future – this investment was leveraged indeed!  

Following a fruitful partnership with SVP that resulted in the launch of its SHOP, a pre-loved cookware and resale shop, Kitchens for Good returned with another great idea. The nonprofit, known for breaking barriers to employment opportunities, was ready to launch a micro enterprise program for its culinary and baking apprentices.  

SVP Lead Partner Drew Buser and Partners Brad Kleban and Jaci Sander rolled up their sleeves alongside KFG’s CEO Jennifer Gilmore and a hands-on Operations Committee including Mike Irwin, Sally Toister, Maggie McDermott, Victoria Pardo Uzitas, Jess Yuen, and Karen Henken. SVP’s consulting team led the group in developing a clear understanding of the entrepreneurial needs of Kitchens for Good apprentices and identifying local and national partners to support the micro-enterprise program. With this foundation, SVP Partners facilitated discussion and built consensus between the CEO and the Operations Committee on the new program’s mission, objectives, and outcomes.   

As a final project deliverable, the SVP team presented a robust program framework based on existing KFG processes, best practices from other entrepreneurial nonprofits and the State of California apprenticeship guidelines.  The Food Entrepreneur Program was born. With essential scaffolding in place, the nonprofit had what it needed to obtain funding to launch. 

Jennifer Gilmore says, “This was our second engagement with SVP, and both have been transformative. In both cases, we launched new programs and found new funding sources. It's a terrific resource for nonprofits! Thank you!”  

The Food Entrepreneur program is just one of several KFG’s programs aimed at breaking the cycle of poverty and creating equitable communities where job seekers can thrive in careers in the culinary arts. Participants in the program will have the opportunity to develop specialty food products and learn the process of creating, marketing, and selling their products both online and in stores.  The nonprofit’s commercial kitchen is available for product research and development, production, and packaging. Instructors will offer the technical assistance needed to source ingredients, automate techniques, scale recipes, and brand products.   

Are you looking to leverage your investment to a specific nonprofit or program? Contact us to learn how you can multiply your impact through SVP’s capacity building support.  

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