Inner city communities in places like Compton and South Central have become known as “food deserts” which illustrates their lack of access to healthy and affordable food options.
With this in mind, Everytable celebrated the grand opening of their sixth location on Compton Boulevard yesterday; complete with a DJ and free bowls to the first 500 people.
“Compton is the perfect location for us. It is a strong and vibrant community where healthy food is lacking and people wanted it. We felt our business would do well here,” says CEO Sam Polk.
Polk formerly traded hedge funds on Wall Street before starting a community based nonprofit. Groceryships is a scholarship program for people to buy fresh produce and learn to cook healthy meals in a social group setting.
Compton is Everytable’s sixth location and in the next two months they will be opening at Cal State L.A and in Watts. Polk says that his goal is 150-200 locations. Everytable’s meals are priced based on the communities they serve. Bowls in Compton would not be priced the same as bowls in Brentwood.
For Polk, the inspiration behind his business and nonprofit was learning about social justice and his understanding that healthy food is a human right.
“Sadly we live in a world that has deep inequalities and deep segregation and that applies not only to healthy food.”
For their Compton location Everytable teamed up with Trap Kitchen to produce their own dish. Trap kitchen was started by two rival gang members who formed a bond and successful business over their love of culinary art. Polk relayed being a fan of Trap Kitchen before he knew that he was opening a location in Compton.
“We wanted to celebrate the fact there are these incredible entrepreneurs from the local community. There is a huge pool of untapped entrepreneurial talent in places like Compton and the Trap Kitchen is a great reflection of that.”
Everytable employs people from the neighborhoods they are in and make sure that their leadership teams are diverse and reflective of the community. In the future, they plan to offer ownership opportunities to communities of color through franchising.
Senior Economic Development Specialist for the City of Compton Dean L. Jones, along with other city representatives, were in attendance to celebrate Everytable’s opening.
“I appreciate the non-meat dishes. They have a lot of assortments. I had the teriyaki sesame tofu with rice and broccoli. It was delicious.”