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

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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!

Twelve Days of Carroll's

Photo: Bill Dickinson, City street holiday decorations - Raleigh, NC USA via Flickr.

Photo: Bill Dickinson, City street holiday decorations - Raleigh, NC USA via Flickr.

Our Twelve Days of Carroll's is a playful celebration of three months of open doors - doors we can't keep open without you. To support our work as a nonprofit, social enterprise restaurant committed to hiring women recovering from homelessness, click here to make a secure, tax-deductible donation. 

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...

A ladle and a kolache

Two soup specials

Three catering orders

Four Italian subs

Five golden quiche

Six cookies baking

Seven blue plate specials

Eight begonia bandanas

Nine pots of coffee

Ten collard wraps

Eleven pickled peppers

Twelve grilled cheese

P.S. Check out our menu to read descriptions of the delicious items in our song!


Make a secure, tax-deductible donation to Carroll's Kitchen today.

A Letter From Jim

Dear Friends,

At the end of December, I will be moving to Ohio to be closer to some family. I believe this is a great thing for not only me, my wife, and our young kids, but also for Carroll's Kitchen.

It has been an absolute joy to be part of starting Carroll's Kitchen. It's one of the proudest accomplishments of my life and an experience that I will always look back on with immense delight. I have met so many incredible people over the last couple years and I'm honored to count you as friends.

Let me first be clear: the community support for Carroll's Kitchen has been incredible and business is going way better than we expected. Our general manager, Nina, knows how to run an excellent restaurant and our chef, Liz, produces amazing food that has people coming back again and again. We average 55% return rate for customers and our sales are already 30 - 40% higher than we predicted.

Our finances have been in the black since day one, and we have you, our customers and supporters to thank for that! It's one of the reasons I can feel comfortable stepping away at this time - because I fully trust that we're in great hands.

When Vicky shared the idea of a nonprofit restaurant with me back in January of 2015, I immediately knew this was something I couldn’t NOT be part of. So after a few months of praying and exploring the idea further, I made a bold decision to quit my job so I could focus full attention on launching this dream into reality. From the beginning, I knew my role was to get the doors of the restaurant open, and then we would reassess the needs of the organization from there.

We formed a board and became a nonprofit in August 2015, got our 501c3 status in March 2016, threw a killer launch party with 250 friends in April where we announced our location at 19 East Martin Street, raised over $200,000, and opened our doors on September 19. I'm so proud to have been able to launch a business/nonprofit in just over a year of work because the community was hungry for something like what we were creating.

Vicky and I had been discussing for the last several months that based on our individual strengths and expertise, it might make sense for the organization if we were to switch roles. Given her 35 years of restaurant experience and her ability to mentor the women in our program, it seemed more natural that she should hold the Executive Director title. And given my strengths in bringing people to the table and creating structure, we thought I might add more value as the board president.

So while I won't be here physically as much as I was, I'll still be involved as a founder and on the board. In swapping roles, we both feel that the organization is now better poised for the next phase of our mission and vision. We have also brought on a part-time program director, Theresa Garrett, to help with some of the program and public engagement opportunities.

Around the same time we were discussing this transition, my wife and I found out we are expecting our third child, and we have been wanting to get closer to our family support network. I had been simultaneously feeling a pull to be part of some of the revitalization happening in my hometown of Youngstown, Ohio.

All of this combined led us to make the decision to leave a city and a community and a job that I have loved so much - in pursuit of a new adventure.

We so much appreciate your prayers and support for my family, for Carroll's Kitchen, for the women in our program, and for the community as whole. We look forward to continue to push forward with you until our vision is achieved: that there would be no more women experiencing homelessness in Raleigh.

Thanks for helping us be more than just a meal.

Jim Freeze
Co-Founder and Board President
Carroll's Kitchen