Total loan: $10,000
Milwaukee, WI, United States / Food
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A loan helped the Tandem staff continue to maintain business and operations.
After teaching high school English in Detroit, Michigan and then Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, I decided to take my lifelong passion for food and make a career of it. I moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 2013 to work and study with a prominent female chef, and quickly moved my way up the ladder from prep cook to line cook to sous chef and kitchen manager, eventually spending a full two years managing an intense, bustling, always-busy, farm-to-table restaurant in the heart of downtown. Being an educator is still a deep passion of mine; that said, the education system in the United States is so flawed that I couldn't continue to pursue that passion without compromising my beliefs in what is equitable and just. In opening the Tandem restaurant in 2016, in a neighborhood with so many young people who are unemployed and lacking adequate opportunity to provide for themselves, I have been able to fuse my two passions. For the past three years, we have been an anchor in our community and in Milwaukee at large. We have employed over 150 young people, ages 11-28, and show no signs of stopping! A little over six years ago, an amazing Milwaukee chef took a chance on a young woman who had spotty culinary experience but a passion and drive to make a career out of something we all take for granted, food. The Tandem took that model and multiplied it by dozens of young people; I hope to to continue helping that next generation of young chefs who may not have the experience, but know their worth and are motivated to make a change.