International Women's Day

Happy International Women's Day from Team CK! Thank you for your support and encouragement as we work day in and day out to empower women leaving homelessness and incarceration. Team members Liz, Teresa, and Chef Ryan took time to share who they're thinking of today.



To The Stars: Meet Chef Ryan

 Chef Ryan Piper

Chef Ryan Piper

Chef Ryan joined our team this winter and we've loved every minute - and every bite - since! Keep reading to learn more about the proud dad and New Hampshire native, or better yet, come by the restaurant to enjoy the food he's passionately created.

Lifelong Learning // I worked my way up through working hard and trying to get the chef to notice my dedication. The majority of the chefs I worked for traded their knowledge for my free time. I found that most chefs really wanted young people with a thirst to learn, instead of cooks who were stubborn and only wanted a paycheck. So I did everything I could to stand out and let them beat me with knowledge. Sometimes that meant working 80 hours a week all summer long, and accepting that half of those hours would be voluntary. Through the years, however, I have learned that a chef never stops learning. There is always something to perfect, a new technique to develop, or a personal skill to pursue. The only difference is that chefs need to finds ways to motivate themselves and not get left behind. Food evolves every day, and so we must as well.

"Food evolves every day, and so we must as well."

Professional Path // It feels like I’ve worked in restaurants my entire life, but I think I made the conscious decision to pursue a career as a chef in New Hampshire. At the time, it was just a personal outlet for me. I was allowed, even encouraged, to let my perfectionist nature shine. Even when I contained the least amount of knowledge in a kitchen, I worked hard to ensure that I was learning at a high rate so I could stay competitive with my peers. This eventually developed into a passion when I learned that food had a strong effect on a person’s mood, and you could even recollect memories that are tied to certain flavors and smells.

The Dream Team // I am inspired by the incredible staff that I work with. The ladies at Carroll's Kitchen have endured a lot in their lives and I don’t often see people, with less struggles, matching the drive and desires that these people do, it’s really incredible. I only hope that I can instill my culinary and work-related knowledge to give them a platform to continue to push themselves and reach their personal/professional goals.

"I am inspired by the incredible staff that I work with."

Menu Must Have // I enjoy the kolache. It’s a simple concept that has unlimited possibilities, and it’s something I don’t think you can get anywhere else in Raleigh.

Quote Inspiration // per aspera ad astra, Latin for ‘through hardships to the stars’. Don’t let anything hold you back. Everyone who has tasted success has been in your shoes, you can do it.

Free Style // In my free time I do family things, all the time. My wife and I are currently trying to introduce our amazing one-year-old daughter to the activities we enjoyed before her birth, such as hiking, boating, and fishing. Every minute I'm not working is spent entirely on them, or food research. Sometimes both at the same time.

Angela's Story: A Family Place

Video by Portico Pictures

When we say we’re #morethanjustameal, we mean it. We’re an organization expanding choices for women living on the margins. We’re a restaurant giving women a second chance through employment. We’re a group of individuals supporting each other through life’s ups and downs.
 
We’re a team. We’re a community. We’re a family.

When Angela says Carroll’s Kitchen is a family, that’s because we accept her just the way she is. Our kitchen is a place of belonging in a world where belonging can be hard to find.When a woman who has faced untold grief and hardship joins our team - through encouragement, prayers, and love - we hold the doors (and our arms) wide open and say:
 
“Welcome. You are loved. Unconditionally.”
 
Now, it’s time to grow our family! And we have an amazing opportunity to do just that with a second opening in Morgan Street Food Hall where our job training will increase by more than 50%. We’ll be able to employ more women leaving homelessness and incarceration, creating even more hope and more opportunities for women who have been denied both, time and time again.
 
But we can’t do this without you - upfitting our location in the food hall will cost $150,000. By God’s grace, we’re 20% of the way there ($32,000 raised)!
 
Will you help us keep climbing?
 

Will you help us create more jobs and more hope for women living on the margins?
 

More women like Angela need a family. And the world needs more women just like her. 


A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn...
Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease.

- O Holy Night


The Thrill of Hope: Teresa's Story

 

Teresa’s light shines with every determined step she takes in her worn out slip-resistant sneakers, whether she's eagerly learning a slew of new kitchen skills or patiently teaching other women on our team one of the many skills she’s mastered.

In fact, just yesterday she graciously represented the best of Carroll’s Kitchen before an audience of journalists, bloggers, and news cameras. ➡️ Watch our Facebook live sneak peekof our Morgan Street Food Hall space!

When Teresa joined our team in September she had just left prison and wasn’t sure what her future would look like without a job. Soon enough, with a referral from Redirection NC, she joined us at 19 East Martin and we can't imagine life without her. 

The world needs to know more women like Teresa. Women who empower other women to be their best selves in every moment.

And that’s what our second location at Morgan Street Food Hall is all about - empowering and employing even more women leaving homelessness or incarceration. Our food hall operation will grow our job training team by more than 50% and offer untold opportunities for women like Teresa to share their story. 

Upfitting our space in the food hall has a price tag of $150,000 and we'll need your help to fill the gaps. Our biggest bills will include:

$52,000 -  upfit and equipment (think commercial oven, hood system, worktables, etc.)
$20,000 -  training and staffing
$15,000 -  van for delivering catering orders


Will you help us launch our second location so we can empower more women to live like all things are possible?


It's been an honor to work (and walk) alongside you in year one. Let's continue to move our mission forward and bring hope to women leaving homelessness and incarceration.

In this weary world, rejoice with us over the coming weeks as we share our stories of hope.


A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn...
Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease.

- O Holy Night


Let's Launch Location #2!

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The Thrill of Hope

We're launching a second location!


Dear friends,

In a world weary with heartache, we can make a choice to fiercely pursue hope. To fight for it. And that's exactly what we do every day at Carroll's Kitchen. So, we're thrilled to share our next big pursuit of hope: a second location! In 2018, we'll open another storefront at Morgan Street Food Hall.
 
And you know what that means. More food. More relationships. More community. More hope. But most importantly, more jobs for women fighting to support themselves and love themselves in a world telling them they're not worthy. And that’s what makes Carroll's Kitchen more than just a meal.

Will you join us in growing? In embracing the thrill of hope?


Upfitting our space in the food hall has a price tag of $150,000 and we'll need your help to fill the gaps. Our biggest bills will include:

  • $52,000 -  upfit and equipment (think commercial oven, hood system, worktables, etc.)
  • $20,000 -  training and staffing
  • $15,000 -  van for delivering catering orders

It's hard to believe we’ve quickly become one of the best breakfast and lunch spots in downtown Raleigh, with five-star online ratings and more repeat customers than we can count. But anything is possible with God! We've been running our first location in the black since day one and our team is stronger than ever. 

Will you help us launch our second location so we can empower more women to live like all things are possible?

It's been an honor to work (and walk) alongside you in year one. Let's continue to move our mission  forward and bring hope to women leaving homelessness and incarceration.

In this weary world, rejoice with us over the coming weeks as we share our stories of hope.

See you at the food hall,

Lindsey Blankenhorn, Executive Director


A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn...
Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease.

- O Holy Night


Hot Off The Press: N&O + 919 Blog

Check out our most recent media coverage, including a mention by highly acclaimed Raleigh News & Observer food critic Greg Cox. 


Eye opener: House specialty kolaches – Central European pillows of pastry – are offered here with a dozen or so sweet and savory fillings, from egg, cheese and peppers to apple butter and brie.

Note: Carroll’s Kitchen is a nonprofit restaurant dedicated to ending homelessness for women in Raleigh. It’s takeout only, so go ahead and pick up an assortment. (Pro tip: They reheat nicely in a 300 degree oven for about 10 minutes).

If you need a quick breakfast or lunch on the go, Carroll’s Kitchen is your best bet. The kolaches are freshly made daily, and you can get 4 for just $6! The best part about Carroll’s Kitchen is that it’s more than just a restaurant. It’s a non-profit dedicated to ending the cycle of homelessness for Raleigh women.

Hospitality Two Ways

group food show.jpg

Talk given by Sara Acosta at Hayes Barton United Methodist Church on September 8.  


Carroll’s Kitchen is redefining hospitality in the restaurant industry … but not like you might think.

Yes, we serve the downtown Raleigh community with favorite sandwiches, salads, and sweet treats. We have five stars on Yelp and we rotate weekly specials. We employ a chef and a general manager and a trained kitchen staff.

But that’s not the kind of hospitality I’m talking about.

I’m talking about the kind of hospitality that welcomes the stranger.

That washes the feet of the person at your door.

That pours oil over your head worth a year’s pay.

The kind of hospitality that greets the woman at the well as the inherently worthy person she is.

Let’s look to Dutch priest Henri Nouwen for a more complete picture:

“Hospitality means primarily the creation of free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy. Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place. It is not to bring men and women over to our side, but to offer freedom not disturbed by dividing lines.”

At Carroll’s Kitchen, hospitality means strangers become friends as we spend about a year together during a woman’s job training and life skills programming.

It means a woman now has a safe and dignified place to work through the traumas of homelessness - and all the grief that came before - in the comfort of her own room in our team home.

It means we’re learning how to work with each other (and sometimes working on ourselves) in the kitchen day in and day out, one kolache at a time.

We're a restaurant rethinking hospitality, because at one time or another, we're all the woman at the well. 

Q + A + Lindsey

North Carolina native and Raleigh nonprofit pro Lindsey Blankenhorn is set to join our team as executive director on July 5. Check out our Q + A with Lindsey to learn more about her - it won't take long to see why she's a fantastic fit for Team CK.

What career path led you to Carroll's Kitchen?

I’ve had the great pleasure of working with Mission Increase Raleigh for the last five years. I’ve worked closely with dozens of local nonprofits on organizational health and sustainability, and Carroll’s Kitchen is one of the organizations that captivated me from its inception.

Which of your passions manifest in leading Carroll's Kitchen?

Well two passions, really. Good food! I believe that some of our most sacred moments happen around the table, and with good food. I personally have always loved cooking and serving those I love - it's one of the most satisfying feelings of my daily routine. Being a part of an organization that does that for others really excites me.

I also really believe in the power of restoration. Helping women get a foothold on life again so that they might be equipped and excited to step into life more prepared and believing in themselves - that's the most exciting thing! I'm so looking forward to walking alongside our women.

What does empowerment mean to you?

To me, it means giving people the tools they need to craft their own future. Equipping folks with the self esteem, love, encouragement, along with practical life skills to get them to a place where they can say, “I can do this. I believe in myself. Let's go!”

What do you do in your free time/for fun?

Free time looks a little bit different these days. My husband Richard and I have a newborn daughter, Ada. We spend our time on walks and getting to know the sweet little human. We love to cook and throw parties for those we love.

What titles are currently on your nightstand? 

  • The New Jim Crow, by Alexander
  • Just Mercy, by Stevenson
  • The Handmaid’s Tale, by Atwood
  • BabyWise

Welcome to the team, Lindsey!

  


CK House: The Finishing Touches

With paint brushes in hand and big dreams for the future, we've mostly finished the updates to the Carroll's Kitchen a house - a safe and dignified place for the women in our job training program to call home as they make big steps towards leaving homelessness.

[Read our CK house announcement on Instagram.]

After paint, carpet, and furniture, we still need help with finishing touches - the little details that make a house a home. So, how can you help?

  • Check out our Bed, Bath, & Beyond registry
  • We love us some gift cards. Department store, grocery store, and home improvement store gift cards are especially helpful. You can drop them at the restaurant or mail them to: 19 East Martin Street Raleigh, NC 27601. 

Thank you for making Carroll's Kitchen a reality. Let's get back out there and make it #morethanjustameal together!