As part of USF’s Public Service Internship Program, I am working with Reverend Will Scott and Kitchen Manager, Tiffany Davis, to renovate the St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church for the introduction of their Commercial Community Kitchen.
Located on the corner of Turk and Lyon Streets, St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church is a historic Western Addition congregation rooted in African-American/Caribbean experience. Before their move to their current location, St. Cyprian’s long history began in 1870 when a group of Black Episcopalians gathered to form a new church, called Christ Mission, under Rev. Fr. Peter William Cassey on Pacific Street. Thirty years after the close of Christ Mission, the remaining parishioners started a San Francisco Guild sponsored by St. Augustine’s Church in Oakland. After the completion of the Panama Canal in 1914, many laborers began migrating to California who were of East Indian origin and brought up in the Church of England. Black Americans of the Episcopal faith also began migrating to California. Both groups decided to join forces and form their own Episcopal church beginning with Sunday services at St. Paul’s Church in 1915 and then, later at the Chapel of Grace at Grace Cathedral in 1922. A committee formed to devise a plan to create a Black Episcopal church in the Diocese of California and gained approval from the Bishop of California. After the vestry was elected, the first formal service as St. Cyprian’s Church was held in Grace Cathedral on April 8, 1923 as the newly formed St. Cyprian’s Guild began raising construction funds. The congregation was forced to move around quite a bit, during which St. Cyprian’s became a mission with the Church of the Advent of Christ the King and placed under the charge of the Cowley Fathers until 1934. In 1934, Rev. Fr. Robert Humphrey, SSJE, became St. Cyprian’s mission full-time vicar and helped the church to buy a building on the corner of Sutter and Lyon Streets. Services were conducted at this location until St. Cyprian’s was given parish status in the diocese. Bishop Karl Morgan Block then decided that the church building should be replaced altogether, building today’s current church at Turk and Lyon. The first service was held on December 18, 1960. In the 1970’s the church started a job training program for youth and also a needle exchange program in the 1990’s. More recently, the Anglican Communion’s first female bishop, the Right Reverend Barbara Harris visited St. Cyprian’s Church prior to her consecration in 1989.
Today, the church seeks to provide resources for their diverse neighborhood and welcomes weekly activities including, A.A. and AL-Anon meetings, safety trainings, homeless outreach and a weekly sandwich program to feed the city’s hungry. They also plan to begin a partnership in fall of 2010 with an afterschool and summer youth program as well.
Their newest project aims to introduce a Commercial Community Kitchen. Unfortunately, St. Cyprian’s modest church kitchen is in need of significant physical improvements if they wish to serve the wider community. Over the next year, they wish to also start up the St. Cyprian’s Commercial Community Kitchen Program to provide low-cost community space rentals for mid-venture culinary ventures, and eventually for startup culinary entrepreneurs and caterers as well to launch their small businesses. The church itself plans to use the kitchen as well in order to prepare food items for church parishioners, events and nonprofit outreach. One such partnership includes the Village Project, a Western Addition youth program with needs for an expanded and safe kitchen. Simply Sandwiches, a group that makes sandwiches and distributes them to the homeless in San Francisco, is another such partnership.
My name is Madelene Parks and I am a senior USF business student graduating in December 2010. My major is Hospitality Industry Management. My experiences, besides my major coursework, include working as a barista for six years at small family owned coffee shops, an administrative assistant position in an accounting department, and (my proudest moment) a three month internship as a line/prep cook at Kuleto’s Italian Restaurant in Union Square. Prior to this point, the closest I have come to taking on an ordeal such as this was planning a restaurant from top to bottom in my Restaurant Entrepreneurship course and maybe watching my mom design our kitchen at home when it was renovated when I was 9. This is a very, very new experience for me which just makes things that much more interesting.
Inexperience beside, I am very excited to begin working with Will and Tiffany. From the moment I met them, I could tell that they both had very big hearts and their passion for this project is what initially sparked my interest. I hope to learn much from them as we put our heads together to make this project a success. This is more than just a project to me. This is using what I know and what I excel at to actually do something to help my community.
Chef Jean-Marc Fullsack’s Walk Through
On October 20, 2010 Chef Jean Marc Fullsack from the BHIP program agreed to perform a walk through of the existing church kitchen. Using his experience and expertise, he helped to provide professional insight as to where we needed to start, who we needed to talk to and what we needed, to name a few items. Below are the minutes from this meeting.
Kitchen Layout Plans
The next important step is for us to locate a kitchen designer willing to:
1) provide us with an estimate/list of necessary items and/or
2) provide a crew and design the kitchen pro bono or discounted for a nonprofit
3) find out what the health code laws are/legal considerations.
After Chef Fullsack’s walk through, I started comparing my notes about kitchen renovations to those that Chef had mentioned. Although I had left out a few key components such as the hood system, back alleyway yellow zone for loading/unloading, and security cameras, I was still surprised by how much I already knew about commercial kitchen requirements. For example, from taking Advanced Culinary I knew to include a 3 compartment sink, a new dishwasher, a retiled floor and where to place a new walk-in refrigerator. Soon after this meeting I began researching both kitchen equipment companies that may be willing to donate as well as local restaurant supply/equipment companies that may be willing to donate their time or resources as well. However, I soon discovered that I was in a little over my head when companies failed to respond to my emails, calls and inquiries. In order to mediate these concerns, I made arrangements to meet with one of my professors who could provide more guidance with both finding a kitchen designer and deciphering health code laws.
Legal Considerations with Juris Doctor Jim Abrams
On November 10, 2010 I met with Jim Abrams, the Hospitality Law professor at USF. Mr. Abrams is a Juris Doctor and specializes in restaurants, hotels and other industry related businesses. Mr. Abrams has offered to provide us with legal advice and also plans to speak with his contacts over at the San Francisco Department of Public Health in order to find out further legal issues, codes or permits we must comply with/obtain, especially concerning our unique circumstances (as an incubator kitchen). From speaking with his contacts at the SFDPH, he may also be able to find us a kitchen designer to assist us as well. Below are the minutes from this meeting.
Permits (we may need 3):
- Department of Public Health (definitely need)
- Bureau of Building Inspection
- Fire Department (inspects hoods?)
California Retail Food Code (CAL Code) for food sanitation and safety:
- Scroll down to 113700 where Part 7 begins (California Retail Food Code)
- A commercial kitchen would be considered under the operative term, Food Facility (see 113789), check to make sure this is correct?
- What do we need to do? What are the extents of the requirements?
- Contracts and other written agreements should be made between the church and the catering groups (what you will provide them with, what you won’t, other considerations?)
- Caterers should have their own insurance as well, within their insurance they should make St. Cyprians (or whatever the legal name/entity of the church is) an “additional insured”
- Are the caterers using St. Cyprian’s kitchen to sell food to the public? Or, does the church itself plan to use to kitchen to sell food to the public as well?
- Does St. Cyprian’s have existing liability insurance? Do they have their own insurance broker?
Americans with Disabilties Act (ADA)
- When remodeling, must comply with ADA accessibility standards
- Any alterations on existing buildings that involves moving walls around must comply, as well as the path of travel (from the entrance, to the exit, to/from/within the restrooms, etc. [there must be a restroom within 200 feet of the food prep area])
- However, these alterations take budget into consideration and involve removing anything that is a “readily achievable barrier” (aka. signage, curb cuts, bathroom accessibility, etc.)
- California Conference of Directors of Environmental Health (CCDEH), professional organization for directors of departments of health, http://www.ccdeh.com
- Great source of information for not only laws but, guidelines to implement/consider what professional inspectors recommend
- Plan Check for Retail Food Facilities, very useful prior to meeting with a health inspector
- There are also further references under the Folders & Files about Food Safety: http://ccdeh.com/documents
- Health Inspector Checklist
Farmer’s Market Considerations
- In the future, if we do use food donated by local farmer’s markets there are things that must be taken into consideration:
- CA Civil Code Section 1714.25, http://law.onecle.com/california/civil/1714.25.html
Interestingly enough I am now applying my Hospitality Law coursework to this project as well. After recently learning about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), I immediately understood the need to remove readily achievable barriers throughout the church even though we are renovating just the kitchen. I am also thoroughly researching and utilizing the resources of the California Retail Food Code (CAL Code), the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) and the Bureau of Building Inspection to ensure that this project is started correctly, minimizing (and hopefully eliminating) future liabilities that arise from selling food to the public. Furthermore, I also just returned from a USF Hospitality Management Association trip to visit the 2010 International Hotel, Motel + Restaurant Show in New York City. While exploring the trade show exhibits I made sure to pick up information that would interest St. Cyprian’s kitchen needs and inquired with a few of the presenters my questions concerning health food codes and program design. After this experience, I feel as though I am gaining a better outlook on this project overall and finally feel more secure with my own abilities and knowledge, concerning both the food service industry and business law.
Goals & Tasks for Future Interns
After inquiring with Reverend Will Scott, I also realized that St. Cyprian’s does not currently have a business plan in place. I met with a family friend who works as a property manager, and she provided me with a general business plan template which she shares with her own clients. The real value of creating a business plan is not in having the finished product in hand. Instead, the value of a plan lies in the process of researching and thinking about one’s business in a systematic way. The act of planning helps one to think through the details of a business thoroughly, research and focus efforts on what is important. It may take time now, but avoids costly, and even disastrous mistakes later. The business plan is also required if we wish to attract funds from investors, loans and/or grants as well. With this information in hand, Will and I decided the best starting point was to establish a timeline to complete our business plan. Below is a rough timeline with completion dates for various sections of our plan:
I. Executive Summary – Completed at the end
II. General Company Description – January 15
III. Products & Services – January 31
IV. Marketing Plan – February 31 (entails Competitive Analysis, Customer Demographics, Niche, Strategy – Promotion; Pricing, Product – Feature & Benefits, Economics, Sales Forecasts)
V. Operational Plan – February 31 (Production, Location, Legal Environment, Personnel, Inventory, Suppliers, Credit Policies – Accounts Receivable; Accounts Payable )
VI. Management & Organization – January 31 (Professional and Advisory Support)
VII. Personal Financial Statement – March 31
VIII. Start-Up Expenses- February? (Dependent upon budgets/estimates provided by kitchen designer/consultants)
IX. Financial Plan- March 31 (12 Month Profit and Loss Projection, Four Year [Optional], Projected Cash Flow, Opening Day Balance Sheet, Break-Even Analysis)
X. Appendices – On going (Brochures and advertising materials, Industry studies, Blueprints and plans, Photos of location, Supporting articles/research, Detailed lists of equipment owned or to be purchased, Copies of leases and contracts, Letters of support from future customers/clients, Any other materials needed to support the assumptions in this plan, Market research studies, List of assets available as collateral for a loan?)
Unfortunately, I am also still in the process of seeking a kitchen designer/food service consultant to assist us with budgets and estimates. I have yet to recieve any responses from those who I have contacted via my other professional contacts. However, we have successfully arranged meetings in January with both La Cocina and La Victoria to discuss our business plan, tour their facilities and hopefully recieve inside information pertaining to their business models, pricing structure, permits, zoning, etc.
January 6: CDBG and ED Funding Technical Assistance Workshop
January 10 @ 2pm: La Cocina tour/meeting with Caleb Zigas
January 12 @ 2pm: La Victoria tour/meeting with Jaime Maldonado
January 18 @ 6pm: St. Cyprian’s Kitchen Team Meeting
February 8 @ 6pm: Monthly St. Cyprian’s Kitchen Meeting
Although my internship with this program has ended I will continue working with St. Cyprian’s. The short time period of this internship (three months) is not nearly enough time to make significant progress. However, from working on this project so far I have definitely learned how much time, resources and effort goes into an undertaking such as this. In other words, this is no easy task. It takes a great deal of commitment, passion, external and internal knowledge, as well as the help and support of the community, industry professionals, legal entities, and city personnel/organizations/agencies/officials, to name a few. As a recent college graduate hoping to one day open my own restaurant (a long, long time from now), I feel I am gaining significant and valuable experience that will aid my professional growth and goals in the future.
In 2011, I hope that we will continue to make progress with this project and complete our goals in a timely manner. I also hope that we can find a kitchen designer, complete our business plan, and secure funding from grants and microloans (or private investors, industry related companies, etc.). At this point, we will probably need $250,000. So funding is very important! However, with Reverend Will Scott, Tiffany Davis, Jennifer Wolfe and the St. Cyprian community’s passion and commitment, as well as my own, I am sure we will be victorious and successful.
Happy New Year! May 2011 bring good tidings to the St. Cyprian’s Commercial Community Kitchen Project!
To be continued…