Construction Update - July 6, 2016
Things are progressing well and even ahead of schedule in some instances.
Jeff and I have the supreme privilege of meeting amazing people doing amazing things. Occasionally, we meet people who surprise us with their ingenuity and unwavering generosity. Such was the case when we met the talented, successful Wall Street traders behind a new restaurant in New York City.
Opening this Winter at 246 W 48th Street, between 8th Ave and Broadway, PS is a social business and plant-based restaurant. Its creators, April Tam Smith and Naren Karanam, want to create a place where they can leverage the power of good food and good-heartedness to help those in need.
PS Restaurant believes in contagious kindness. Their mission is to break the cycle of poverty and be a source of hope by connecting resources to vulnerable communities, providing tools necessary for self-sustainability, and building meaningful relationships with neighbors, near and far.
April says, "We aren't the first food and beverage business in New York City. Bars and restaurants pop up every day here, and the food scene is captivating. However, we are one of the first social restaurants in the country, daring to use every inch of our existence to transform this world into a better place. We believe that the most encouraging and powerful way to serve the vulnerable both here and overseas is by giving them a hand up."
Founded in Generosity
It takes a heart of true generosity and a whole lot of grit to launch a restaurant in the heart of Manhattan where 100% of the profits will go to charity. And that is exactly what you'll find in co-founders Naren and April. April has spent the past few years serving at orphanages in South Africa and Haiti, often bringing friends from work or church to experience the beauty of the Haitian community. These trips inspired the pair to start Fresh Soul. You can watch more of April's generosity story on the Generous Giving website.
As if opening a restaurant weren't difficult enough, Naren and April are doing it while pursuing their full-time careers. Naren is the head of U.S. Equity Derivatives at a $5 billion hedge fund, where he has worked for the last four years. April has been at a bulge bracket investment bank for the last ten years and is currently an Executive Director on the Equity Derivatives team.
April and Naren have joined forces with the best talent from New York City's restaurant world. PS's COO Craig Cochran has been a tour-de-force in the New York City food scene, with over ten years of opening and running notable restaurants around town. Starting in 2003, Craig opened Candle 79, Angelica Kitchen, Cafe Blossom, and several more. He then opened Terri, which now has three locations in New York City. Craig is also the co-founder of Blackbird Foods, which has distributed specialty foods to New York City and Philadelphia restaurants since 2013.
PS is a perfect example of the type of the kind of triple-bottom line profit that Impact Foundation seeks. Thus, we are proud to count them among our program-related investments. This means donors can contribute to Impact Foundation for the purpose of funding our investment in Fresh Soul. To find out how you can contribute to the launch of Fresh Soul and help New Yorkers dine for good, check out their "donate page" here.