Not all restaurants have the instant success that Staplehouse is experiencing. The Atlanta eatery, which celebrated its first birthday last September, is on its way to becoming a staple on the city’s dining scene. In fact, it was named America’s best new restaurant of 2016 by Bon Appetit. But the establishment’s roots are not in fame or fortune.
Founders Jen and Ryan Hidinger were running a supper club out of their home when Ryan was diagnosed with cancer, causing them to hit pause on their dream of opening their own restaurant. Then, the Atlanta restaurant community came together to help support the Hidingers financially during this trial, and the couple realized what a force for good community could be—and The Giving Kitchen was formed. The nonprofit raises funds to help other area restaurant workers in need.
After Ryan passed away in January 2014, Jen partnered with renowned chef Ryan Turner (who had been alongside them since Ryan’s diagnosis) to bring Staplehouse to life. The wildly successful new restaurant gives 100 percent of its profits to The Giving Kitchen, living up to Ryan’s quote painted on the wall, which reads, “Anything long-lasting or worthwhile takes time and complete surrender.”
Today, the restaurant hosts private events in its cozy downtown location, and The Giving Kitchen partners with a variety of restaurants and organizations throughout Atlanta. If you’re interested in partnering with a philanthropic eatery, also check out these locales:
The King’s Kitchen, Charlotte, N.C.
Profits in Charlotte go toward feeding the homeless and providing job training and life skills development programs through the Charlotte Mecklenburg Dream Center.
SAME Cafe, Denver
An acronym for So All May Eat, this restaurant is based on a pay-what-you-can model. Those who can’t pay anything can eat in exchange for one hour of volunteer service.
The Oregon Public House, Portland, Ore.
The family-friendly restaurant supports a variety of nonprofits and charities around the state.