A Message From Our Founder
As we end our first full fiscal year at Emma’s Torch, I am in awe of all that we’ve accomplished. We served hundreds of avocado toasts at our pop-up Classroom Cafe in Red Hook, Brooklyn; won the Princeton Entrepreneurship Network’s start-up competition against a slew of for-profit ventures; were featured multiple times in the New York Times; and prepared to open a terrific new restaurant in 2018 as our home for the years ahead. Most importantly, we helped eight refugees from around the world who completed our culinary training, and welcomed them to America as valued contributors. This work would not have been possible without the dedication of our board, under the leadership of Francesca Furchtgott, and the many team members working day in and day out to ensure that what began as a dream could become a reality.
Someone recently asked me what I do at Emma’s Torch, and I laughed: on any given day, I’ve been part dishwasher, CEO, plumber, chef, fundraiser, and career counselor, to name only a few. The best way that I can describe my role is resident spider: I weave a diverse web of students, chefs, industry professionals, and donors who come together to make Emma’s Torch and its mission of refugee empowerment a reality. That network of advisors, mentors, and volunteers circles the globe, including people ages 12 to 85, and has been fundamental to our success and growth thus far.
I love my role as Spider-in-Chief, and am continually inspired by each element of my web. 2017 allowed us the opportunity to plant the seed, that we plan to grow sustainably in 2018 and beyond. As we proudly look back at all that 2017 has brought our organization, I am deeply thankful for your support in making this possible. With exciting growth in store for 2018, I encourage you to come along for the next stage of our journey.
Kerry Brodie, Founder and Executive Director