Everytable, the Los Angeles-based social enterprise seeking to end food inequality by making healthy food affordable, convenient and accessible for all, has received a total of $2.5 million in program-related investments (PRI) from Annenberg Foundation and The California Wellness Foundation (Cal Wellness) to support the development and implementation of a pioneering social equity franchise program. The $1.5 million in funding from Cal Wellness and $1 million from the Annenberg Foundation will allow Everytable to foster economic empowerment among entrepreneurs from marginalized communities. Everytable plans to open 25 franchises owned by entrepreneurs of color from underserved neighborhoods in Southern California over the next five years.
What started in 2015 as a revolutionary grab-and-go restaurant concept with delicious, high-quality, made-from-scratch meals priced according to what a specific neighborhood can afford, Everytable is now a multi-channel, fresh-prepared food business blending markets, SmartFridges, and subscription delivery (and pickup) throughout Los Angeles and Orange County, California. Meals are prepared by chefs at a single central kitchen to reduce costs, and those savings are passed on to guests — meal prices start at $4.95 in underserved neighborhoods, and $6.95 in middle-income or affluent communities. Everytable has also recently stepped up efforts to eliminate food insecurity among students by opening Everytable Markets and SmartFridges at several local colleges and universities.
“At Everytable, our core mission is to push against structural inequality, first through the pricing and accessibility of our healthy food offerings, and second by hiring from the low-to-moderate income communities we serve,” said Sam Polk, co-founder and CEO, Everytable. “Now, with this extraordinary and meaningful funding from Annenberg Foundation and Cal Wellness, we can expand our socio-economic impact through the development of a franchise training and education program to empower disenfranchised entrepreneurs, who ordinarily might not be able to access capital, to bring affordable and nutritious food into their communities and participate in the profits and capital gains from the success of their businesses.”
“The lack of freshly made and affordable, healthy meals is a challenge that should not exist for anyone in a city as plentiful and kind as Los Angeles,” said Annenberg Foundation Executive Director Cinny Kennard. “Everytable is designed to effectively combat this existence of ‘food deserts.’ Along with the California Wellness Foundation, the Annenberg Foundation is pleased to support Everytable’s mission, especially its vital new social equity franchise program — making training and education available to entrepreneurs in underserved communities so they can manage and maybe even open Everytable franchises. With this new project Everytable aims to create jobs and lift up local economies. We are proud to be a part of such an innovative and inclusive approach.”
“Our $1.5 million investment in Everytable shows our commitment to leverage our endowment to serve communities that too often get left behind,” said Judy Belk, President and CEO of The California Wellness Foundation. “We’re committed to using every tool in our tool kit to advance our mission to improve the health and wellness of Californians. That includes grantmaking as well as making program-related and mission-related investments from our endowment. We’re thrilled to partner with the Annenberg Foundation to fund this ground-breaking franchise program. And I’ll tell you, those salads at Everytable are delicious, so we’re encouraging folks to give them a try when one opens near you.”
The new franchise model will be designed to train entrepreneurs from underserved communities with the express purpose of fostering economic empowerment among talented individuals, who lack access to capital and training resources. The program will provide critical education and ongoing support through on-the-job training in a real-world commissary and storefronts, and participation in Everytable University, a year-long, multidisciplinary educational series.
Everytable will also provide program graduates with funding to open Everytable locations, assist with retail site selection and build-out design, and provide marketing support. Program candidates will be recruited internally among current store-level managers, through non-profit and academic partners, and via standard online recruiting channels.