Kitchens for Good opens Pacific Beach store featuring ‘pre-loved’ dishes and cookware
San Diego-based nonprofit Kitchens for Good needed a new way to support its philanthropic efforts, including running an apprenticeship program that teaches cooking skills to encourage youth, formerly incarcerated and those who have difficulty finding accommodation.
His answer: a shop that sells “pre-loved” kitchenware and tableware at discount prices, from gently used pots and pans to fine Italian china.
The nonprofit organization opened its 5,000-square-foot retail space in Pacific Beach on Saturday to a cheering crowd.
“They provide opportunities and second chances and a way to be able to stay in this city, which I think is extremely important,” San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria told a crowd of several dozen. came to attend the inauguration.
Troy Johnson, San Diego magazine editor and Food Network television personality, also showed up at the event. He praised the efforts of Kitchens for Good, which also uses cosmetically imperfect food donations – provided by farmers’ markets and wholesalers – to prepare meals for everyone from low-income seniors to people living in the street.
“In 2020, 38.3 million Americans suffered from food insecurity,” Johnson said, citing a USDA statistic, adding, “We have the food. We just need a better system, and Kitchens for Good is that best system.
Kitchens for Good was forced to recall a restaurant operation during the pandemic, CEO Jennifer Gilmore said. The new venture is a way to generate much-needed revenue for the nonprofit, and it’s a promising start, she said.
“We’ve received around 29,000 donated items so far, with another 2,000 items per week, so inventory is constantly changing,” said Gilmore, holding a tea set provided by Italian Chinese maker Richard Ginori.
Revenue from the sale of lightly used and like-new kitchen and dining utensils will go a long way towards continuing their apprenticeship program, she added.
Ayoe Rydiander began training to become a chef about three weeks ago at the 250,000-square-foot nonprofit facility, located in a Salvation Army-run transitional living facility called Door of Hope in the neighborhood. central San Diego to Birdland.
“It’s so hard. It’s so much information. It’s so much fun,” said the 61-year-old, who said she struggled with homelessness and drug use in 2018 after escaped an abusive relationship.
Today Rydiander is sober, has a roof over his head and a new purpose. She said she spoke to restaurants in the Gaslamp Quarter, where she lives.
“The sky’s the limit,” she said. “Do you know how many doors are opening for me at the moment, baking, cooking? I’m excited for everything.
Those interested in donating to Kitchens for Good can drop off lightly used products at their location at 980 Hornblend St. Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 619) 997-2081.