SONOMA FAMILY MEAL PROGRAM
Kyle and Katina Connaughton of SingleThread, have implemented a project that is currently Sonoma-focused and will mainly impact their immediate local community. Their hope is that this becomes a dynamic, working model that can be adapted by various restaurant operators throughout the country, especially as we continue to see more cities adopting a shelter-in-place directive due to Covid-19 concerns.
Kyle and Katina’s inspiration came from watching an interaction between Che Fico restaurant in SF and one of its investors, Dick Costolo. When the restaurant closed operations and went to a pick-up and delivery model, Dick volunteered to donate money via Che Fico to purchase some of those meals for families in need. This way, the support was two-fold and benefitted both the restaurant and the less fortunate.
STIMULATING THE LOCAL ECONOMY
Kyle and Katina have taken this inspiration one step further and modified the system with a SingleThread lens. They’ve tapped into their industry contacts to see if their partners would be open to purchasing blocks of family meals with a goal of feeding 200 or more needy families per day that the SingleThread chefs would prepare. These donated meals have been distributed to local families in need through Sonoma Family Meal SingleThread Relief Fund, a nonprofit that Kyle and Katina have supported since the wildfires as well as Corazon Healdsburg, a local organization that supports hospitality and ag workers. Already, the response has been extremely positive. Wineries such as Kistler Vineyards, Three Sticks Wines, Peay Vineyards, Lambert Bridge Winery, Banshee Wines, Aperture Cellars, Skipstone Wines, and many individual supporters including Ann Colgin Joe Wender, and film actor Josh Lucas, have thrown their support behind this initiative and have committed to purchasing blocks of donated meals for the next several weeks.
ADDITIONAL PICK-UP AND DONATION OPTION
SingleThread is also making an additional 25 plus meals each day available to the public for pick up within the local area (Healdsburg, Geyserville, Windsor). These meals are different from the typical SingleThread menu and served family-style. The cost is $75 and enough for up to a family of four. Customers who place an order for themselves will have the option of purchasing additional donation meals for Sonoma families in need. https://www.exploretock.com/singlethreadfarms/
Kyle and Katina are using the vegetables grown at the SingleThread farm, as well as supporting local producers to help stimulate the farming and agricultural community. For example, SingleThread features a roast chicken-themed night. Aside from a salad, the chicken and the sides; the team will include a recipe and meal kit that would include locally grown vegetables and dried pasta to cook the leftover chicken to make chicken stock to then produce chicken noodle soup for a future meal.
The daily offerings have been inspired by recipes from their Donabe cookbook. One popular menu item is Chicken Tan-Tan Nabe with housemade tofu, farm vegetables, California koshikari rice, kanpachi and citrus salad with barrel aged ponzu dressing, and steamed matcha tea cake. There is also a supplemental option for purchasing other items such as frozen cookie dough and bouquets of fresh flowers from the farm. The entire wine list is also available for those looking to make a wine purchase.
While additional ideas continue to build, Kyle and Katina are encouraged by the many ways this initiative can help their restaurant business weather this crisis, keep their employees gainfully employed, while expanding their ability to provide hearty, nutritious meals to food shelters. They hope this will inspire other restaurant operators to model this donation + to-go model and rally their communities at the same time.