Creating economic opportunity through careers in food
Hot Bread Kitchen envisions a food system that equitably compensates talent and sustains a diverse workforce while celebrating culinary tradition and innovation.
We achieve our mission through our employer-driven workforce development and business incubation programs, Bakers in Training and HBK Incubates.
Our non-profit social enterprise marries market to mission: 65% of our operating budget is funded through bread sales and kitchen rental. Essential philanthropic support makes it possible for us to provide industry-specific training and educational programming to benefit our clients.
The flash of inspiration for Hot Bread Kitchen came from a slip of the tongue.
In 2000, founder Jessamyn Rodriguez interviewed for a job at a microfinance organization called Women’s World Banking. When she explained the opportunity to a friend, he misheard the organization’s name as Women’s World Baking. Forget banking — the missing letter conjured up a vision of an international women’s baking collective that stuck.
Fast forward seven years: Jessamyn, after a decade of social justice and public policy work, is now a baker. She launched Hot Bread Kitchen’s Bakers in Training program out of her home kitchen in Brooklyn.
Since then, our programs, kitchens and staff have grown. In 2010, Hot Bread Kitchen moved into La Marqueta, an indoor market in East Harlem built by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia in 1936. In its heyday, La Marqueta was visited by thousands of shoppers a day, many of them recent immigrants, that sought products from their homelands. Sadly, in the 1970s and 80s, the number of shoppers decreased and many vendors shut their gates.
In 2010, to revitalize the entrepreneurial history of La Marqueta, the New York City Council and the Economic Development Corporation envisioned bringing a culinary incubator into the market as an anchor tenant—Hot Bread Kitchen was selected to run it.
In early 2011, we launched HBK Incubates out of La Marqueta, to support the growth of start-up businesses, bring food entrepreneurship back to the historic public market and aid in the creation of good jobs and good food in the community.