Heidi Yu Spurrell from Food Made Good (left) and Mostafa Zeineldin from Emmer Pizzeria and Cafe (right) 
By Sarah-Jane Tucker

Our Food Made Good Community enjoyed coming together at Emmer Pizzeria and Cafe at Pacific Place in Admiralty this month, warmly invited by Chef Mostafa who invited us all to individually pre order from the tasty breakfast menu. Our team particularly loved the ‘Don’t make me choose’ hand milled and fermented Emmer bread, which comes with both the smashed avocado and the feta and tomato topping, so we could enjoy tasting the very best of both worlds on just one breakfast plate.

Emmer Pizzeria and Cafe’s delicious food options (Green Shakshuka and ‘Don’t Make Me Choose’)

Supporting the community

Community level action was the subject of our breakfast discussion and an opportunity to acknowledge that meaningful stakeholder relationships are at the heart of a resilient and sustainable business. This widely held view is shared among a league of leading sustainable organisations worldwide who have found that by taking corporate social responsibility seriously, they have come to enjoy the business benefits of linking sustainability, community and growth. 

It is clear to see why serving the community stakeholders of an organisation can be so rewarding. When a business chooses to engage in local projects that meet local needs, customers have reason to visit more frequently. According to one Harvard research paper, the more time a customer spends with the brand, the higher the value they place on it. This enhances customer loyalty, promotes word of mouth recommendation, which may lead to trusted referrals that can expand the business; while also providing a reliable source of customer feedback to improve product offerings. 

hearing from our speakers

Customers are not the only target audience to benefit from community social responsibility programs however.  Mr. Koh, founder of Dignity Kitchen who kindly zoomed in for this event, described how he employs a team of people, of whom around 85% percent are working with a varied range of disabilities. The kitchen provides a hawker Centre style eating out experience for a range of community groups from the elderly to terminally ill children; serving from 300 – 600 meals per day. While diners enjoy their meal experience, the staff at Dignity Kitchen learn essential employment skills centered around food preparation, cooking and foodservice. The team even provides local wheelchair food delivery, while at the same time being paid a proper wage. Team members then have a solid foundation in catering experience before taking employment in local restaurants.

Food Made Good Members networking

Jeff Rotmeyer was our second speaker. The founder and CEO of ImpactHK is a charity organisation in Hong Kong that has been transforming the lives of those experiencing homelessness in Hong Kong through showing kindness, love and care. One way that ImpactHK has grown the humanitarian movement in Hong Kong is through distributing meals on the streets every single day no matter the political situation or weather. Their strategy is to make sure that people on the streets know that they are cared for and respected. 45% of ImpactHK’s staff have previously experienced homelessness which goes to show the level of dedication and passion they are putting into their work. Over the last 3 years ImpactHK has had over 10,000 volunteers, showing the immense public support. Hearing from Jeff’s own personal experiences and relationships that he has formed with those who are homeless, was extremely eye-opening and touching. Jeff rounded off his presentation with a call to action, asking the Food Made Good Members for advice on opening their first kitchen in Mong Kok where they will distribute 1,000 meals a day.

 

 

Food Made Good HK CEO (left) & Deepa Jivan from Tai pan Beers (right) 
In addition to the fantastic speakers at the meet-up we want to highlight other best practices in supporting the community. Developing people has also been a key tool used by Pernod Ricard to support their global goal of training 10,000 bartenders globally on sustainability, and this was a perfect way to keep their key accounts bartenders busy during the quieter Covid pandemic period. By offering their best bartenders, state of the art service training delivered by Food Made Good, the drinks brand can partner with its client base to support them during this difficult time, while investing in key staff and inviting client brands to differentiate themselves through heightened bartender service.

The Sustainability Meet-Up Series is a monthly gathering designed to educate and empower the Hong Kong foodservice community – chefs, restaurateurs, FOH, BOH, suppliers and sustainability leads.

Inspired by our framework, the programme is curated to inspire the community, in novel ways through which they can bring in small but significant changes to their sourcing choices, menu design and supplies. We will be organising talks delivered by sustainable food industry leaders, on various themes linked to UN International Days and our three pillars – Sourcing, Society and the Environment.

A big thank you to the Mostafa Zeineldin and the whole team at Emmer Pizzeria and Cafe for their gracious hospitality and delicious food! There was so much to learn from our speakers this month, a big thank you to all of them again: to Mr Koh, founder of Dignity Kitchen and Jeff Rotmeyer the founder and CEO of ImpactHK. We also want to thank InvestHK and Fresh Accounting for making this event possible. 

Stay tuned for upcoming member events.