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Emma’s Torch To Open New Location At Brooklyn Public Library

December 5, 2018, Brooklyn, New York -- Emma’s Torch, the social enterprise that empowers refugees through culinary education and job readiness training, today announced a new partnership with Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) to manage its concession program at Central Library, located at 10 Grand Army Plaza. Emma’s Torch at BPL will complement the organization’s existing full-service restaurant in Carroll Gardens and is expected to open to the public in February 2019.

“We’re excited to partner with such an important local institution that is dedicated to lifelong learning and community,” says Kerry Brodie, executive director of Emma’s Torch. “We look forward to bringing our delicious food to the library, and to expanding our training program to encompass both locations.”

Emma’s Torch is a non-profit that provides culinary training to refugees, asylees, and survivors of human trafficking, and positions them to begin meaningful careers in the food industry. As part of their apprenticeship, students hone their skills during the day and operate the organization’s flagship restaurant (345 Smith Street, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn) for dinner service at night. With the additional space of Emma’s Torch at BPL, the length of the apprenticeship program will extend from two to three months, and will allow Emma’s Torch to teach its students new skills, including barista training, customer service, and commissary production. The collaboration also allows Emma’s Torch’s students to attend the Library’s diverse range of free classes, further supporting their educational development. Emma’s Torch is grateful for its community of donors and the Mizuho USA Foundation, Inc. of Mizuho Americas for supporting this initiative.

“Brooklyn Public Library is delighted to welcome Emma’s Torch to Central Library, and we look forward to a long and meaningful partnership,” said Linda E. Johnson, President and CEO of Brooklyn Public Library. “In addition to serving wholesome food, the organization empowers people with free education and career training, which squarely aligns with the Library’s mission. We, too, ensure Brooklynites have access to the resources they need to thrive.”

To date, Emma’s Torch has trained nearly 30 students since its launch in 2017, with an average of four students per class. The organization anticipates that the expansion into Brooklyn Public Library will enable an increase in the number of students that can participate in the program. Emma’s Torch is also excited to partner with Brooklyn Public Library to ensure that its students are utilizing the incredible adult education resources housed at the library.

Emma’s Torch at BPL will feature healthy, sustainably produced food for the Library’s 1 million annual visitors and 400 staff members to enjoy. The menu will change seasonally and will reflect local produce and the premium ingredients provided by our partners. The organization will continue to operate the Carroll Gardens restaurant, which has been named by Time magazine as one of the world’s top 100 places to visit in 2018.

About Emma’s Torch

Emma's Torch is a non-profit restaurant that provides culinary training to refugees and survivors of human trafficking.

About Brooklyn Public Library

Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) is an independent library system for the 2.5 million residents of Brooklyn. It is the fifth largest library system in the United States with 60 neighborhood libraries located throughout the borough. BPL offers free programs and services for all ages and stages of life, including a large selection of books in more than 30 languages, author talks, literacy programs and public computers. BPL’s eResources, such as eBooks and eVideos, catalog information and free homework help, are available to customers of all ages 24 hours a day at our website.

Media Contacts

Meryl Feinstein