Watch this SPECTRUM21 Session Featuring Everytable, a Mission-Driven Food Company Tackling the Racial Wealth Gap
Women and entrepreneurs of color have the talent, acumen and lived experience to be lucrative business owners. However, the lack of equitable investment capital often hinders their ability to thrive. In addition, small business owners of color were disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and suffered the most loss.
Everytable, a mission-driven food company, is tackling the racial wealth gap by shoring up financial support for budding entrepreneurs through its radical social equity franchise model and addressing inequitable access to healthy food, one of several outcomes of systemic racism.
As a social enterprise that launched in in Los Angeles, Everytable illustrates a venture that can absorb multiple forms of investments and simultaneously tackle economic inequality, food equity and community health in an innovative, disruptive way. The key: Racial equity is centered in Everytable’s business model, from its franchise model to its ownership-training Everytable University, to the supply chain and production of its healthy fast-food meals.
“We’ve got a vision in front of us for a more just and equitable food system,” said Everytable founder Sam Polk. “This model also empowers tens of thousands of entrepreneurs to own their own business. … Our company was really built on principles of racial equity. And I think the way we approach racial equity is this idea of inclusivity, and can we have a world that works for everyone and includes everyone” … Our belief is that our stores will be better run and more successful with owner operators as opposed to hourly workers.”
At Everytable, this systems-level change looks like an innovative hiring model, and innovative menu — providing more food by weight for less money than a typical fast-food meal with its sliding pricing menu adjusted by neighborhood.
“Our social equity franchise business in an innovative model that … eliminates two of the biggest barriers to entry for marginalized and entrepreneurs of color gettin into the franchise system: significant upfront investment … and access to traditional and patient capital,” said Bryce Fluellen, Executive Director of Social Equity Franchise at Everytable.
Dee Garret-Adimora, Store Manager and Everytable University Participant, shared how working with Everytable opened new doors for her. She managed Carl’s, Jr., restaurants for 25 years, but didn’t have the financial capital to open her own franchise but had the work and lived experience. That’s where the social equity franchise business came in, and she shared: “Being a woman of color and being offered an opportunity like this, to grow into an owner of an Everytable … I love this concept and love everything we are about. I’m proud to be serving my community delicious and healthy meals every day. … Just to be a part of something that I see making a change makes me proud.”
This model relies on philanthropic and investment partners, including foundations as well as traditional venture capital investors. “Three years ago, The W.K. Kellogg Foundation made a $1.5 million program-related investment in Everytable to expand its retail stores and seed its social equity franchising model,” shared Susie Lee, Program Related Investmens Officer at the foundation and moderator of this panel. “We invested so Everytable can make good food available to children and families and make quality jobs.”
Learn more about Everytable’s model, how it is reshaping the food system and addressing racial equity, and how investors can play a role in driving this change further, faster, and with intention.
Watch Radical Social Enterprise: Healthy Food Access, Racial Equity and Economic Justice at Everytable
Bryce Fluellen: Executive Director of Social Equity Franchise, Everytable
Kaster (Dee) Garrett-Adimora: Store Manager & Everytable University Participant, Everytable
Sam Polk: Founder and CEO, Everytable
Susie Lee: Program Related Investments Officer, W.K. Kellogg Foundation (moderator)