Product Feature: Hot Bread Kitchen
By: Kiya Jamison
The origin story of Hot Bread Kitchen is an interesting one: one day when founder Jessamyn Rodriguez with a friend about the organization, Women's World Banking, which she mistook for, Women's World Baking. A light immediately went off in her head, and an idea for a new business was born. Jessamyn had already been working over a decade on issues including social justice, education, and immigration rights. She then honed her baking skills at the New School, and in NYC restaurants such as Daniel Boulud. This was an opportunity to combine her life's work, and create jobs, facilitate economic empowerment, and provide good food to a blighted community.
This business grew from Jessamyn's small NYC apartment, but later found its home in the historic La Marqueta market, newly minted as a business incubator. La Marquetas' revitalization was sponsored by the city's Economic Development Corporation. Back in the day, La Marqueta was a popular market place, allowing immigrants a place to sell their native breads and foodstuffs. However in the 1970s and 1980s business started to dwindle and the once busy market slowed down. Jessamyn was chosen to anchor La Marqueta in 2011 when the city unveiled plans to revitalize.
Hot Bread Kitchen's (HBK) mission is, "Creating economic opportunity through careers in food." HBK empowers women who are economically challenged, down the path of entrepreneurship with its programs approach. At HBK, students of the baking program learn culinary math, ESL, key skills, in addition to baking in its incubator facility, which serves as a combined classroom/commercial kitchen rental space. The training is paid and students are offered commercial kitchen access, business development and support, market access, and job placement. In the Baker in Training program, Hot Bread Kitchen places 100% of graduates to businesses around the city. The operation is a successful model with 65% of funding coming from bread sales and kitchen rentals.
Here at the Bushwick Food Coop we are so excited to be supporting small women-run businesses that are in line with our sourcing values and principles. We carry a full selection of breads including:
- Challah – 3 types
- Chocolate Babka
- Hot Dog Buns
- Pecan Currant Bread
- NY Rye
- Tortillas (coming soon)
Please take advantage of the current 20% sale on HBK breads in the freezer and know that your purchase helps women sustain themselves and their families. There are so many ways to enjoy their breads: make crisp breads to adorn a cheese plate, or toast and slather with vegan butter by Miyoko and fruit jam or ricotta, olive oil, and sea salt. Or, check out one of these recipes:
- Simple Bread Pudding from NYTimes
- Sexy Challah Pain Perdu from Food&Wine
- Baguette croutons from Serious Eats
- Homemade croutons from Rachel Cooks
Which of their loaves is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!