In this episode I interview April Tam Smith, co-owner of PS Kitchen, a vegan restaurant in New York that gives away 100% of its profits.
April’s ‘day job’ is managing director of an equity sales and trading team at a large investment bank where she’s worked for the past 13 years. Most evenings, however, she can be found at PS Kitchen. It’s a balance she’s happy to strike as she’s driven by a passion to help people.
Having spent time volunteering in South Africa and Haiti, April, who moved to the US from Hong Kong when she was 11, discovered the joy of giving and was keen to make a difference in her own neighborhood.
She and her business partners teamed up with experienced restaurateurs Craig Cochran and Jeffrey LaPadula, owners of the Terri plant-based restaurant chain, to launch PS Kitchen, which opened its doors in August 2017.
Located in the heart of New York’s theater district in Times Square, the restaurant is unique in not only giving away 100% of its profits to charity, but also in providing employment for people who have experienced challenges such as homelessness or incarceration and are in need of a fresh start. A third of employees come from the restaurant’s charity partners that include the Bowery Mission and anti-sex-trafficking organization Restore.
In this interview April talks about:
• How her day job allows her to fund PS Kitchen
• The benefits of running a social enterprise business
• The importance of collaborating with the right people and organizations
• The challenges of opening a restaurant of this kind (and how one of them is also a bonus in regards to the business’s purpose)
• Why she chose the location for the business – and signed a 15-year lease on it
• How the story behind the restaurant has been key to its early success
• And much more
Visit the PS Kitchen website
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Vegan Business Media is a multi-media, multi-author blog for aspiring and existing owners of vegan-run businesses, designed to equip them with the information, tools, inspiration and resources they need to start and grow their enterprises. It is hosted by award-winning journalist Katrina Fox.