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Mission first, people always

Occasionally a restaurant comes along that is about so much more than the food or the beverage or the decor. It’s about what it stands for and the good it does for the community. West-bourne opened recently in New York City’s Soho neighborhood.

Its positioning statement reads: “L.A. inspired, vegetable forward and mission driven. Through our partnership with the Robin Hood Foundation, a portion of every purchase made at West-bourne’s first location in Soho will benefit a neighboring nonprofit, The Door, to fund hospitality job training for youth in our community, and we hire from that very program to build our team.”

I asked founder Camilla Marcus what her inspiration was behind the restaurant. “Our integrated and local giveback model that is unique to hospitality was integral to the concept from the very start. To me, philanthropy for my generation is changing, as we want to vote with our dollars now and make a statement by aligning with brands based on shared values. We see it notably with brands like Everlane and Warby Parker, and yet by comparison, we make more decisions about where we eat and drink every single day than just about anything else. So, I got to thinking, what if your morning coffee, or dessert, or bottle of wine could have a real, meaningful impact on people in your local community?”

As hotels look to connect with millennials yet differentiate themselves from their competition, giving back to the community and focusing on shared values might just be the key. Bravi! to Camilla and her team for leading the way!

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