2013 has been our most successful year yet for TaKorean, and even as we look forward to amazing growth in 2014, we would like to take a moment and give back. Since our founding we’ve made a strong commitment to local charities by giving %1 of sales to local non-profits. This year we are focusing on three local charities that have a lasting impact on the welfare of the community – with a special focus on children, youths, environment, and food awareness.
Every member of TaKorean’s staff is passionate about food, for many of us that came from a childhood of schooling at the dinner table where we came to expect whole meals. Whole in the sense that the food was prepared from whole, recognizable foods. With packaged meals appearing as the norm for meals in too many areas of DC, we are proud to support Common Good City Farm in LeDroit Park, the only working farm in all of DC. CGCF not only provides fresh produce to DC residents who otherwise would not be able to afford it – but also educates children from the local community on farming and nutrition. With this donation we hope to help families have nutritious, whole meals year round.
The Washington Youth Garden, located on the grounds of the National Arboretum is home to an educational garden geared towards young children still forming a love of nature and science. As many children are unable to come to the garden on their own, the WYG sends teachers out to many local elementary schools and brings a Garden Science Program to them. Not only do kids watch the growth of an on-campus garden, but also learn the science behind the growth of seeds and anatomy of insects. Their education is tied to their own lives as they learn basic cooking skills, listen to a bee-keeper’s story of why a queen bee is so vital to nature and plant a bean vine of their own. Our donation will be used this coming year to support this educational program throughout DC.
Wilderness Leadership & Learning, Inc. is a foundation committed to motivating DC youths to set higher goals for themselves. We are proud to support the Challenge and Ropes Course experiential learning and leadership development program where youths learn teamwork and how to push themselves to realize their full abilities. We know that the leadership and communication skills they will learn in a fun and outdoor environment will help them the rest of their lives. The program is FREE for youths in grades 9-12 – the majority of whom are from wards one, seven and eight and a great opportunity to learn more about their own potential. Outdoor education makes a lasting impact on the character of young people, we are proud to be involved with this program.
With the opening of our new location in 2014 we look forward to continuing and growing our donations to the Washington DC community. We are very hopeful for what the new year will bring and thankful for the success we’ve had in 2013.
As we move into 2013 there is much to reflect on and be grateful for. 2012 was a big year for at Takorean. We expanded to our first fixed-location establishment at the new artisanal Union Market. With this growth Takorean has been able to hire more employees, and now we have a solid team who I am tremendously grateful for.
With this new expansion we are also able to provide even more to DC nonprofit organizations! I am proud to announce that more than 1% of Takorean’s 2012 sales were donated to DC Greenworks and DC Central Kitchen (DCCK).
Born and raised, this place has a special place in my heart, which is why I am always thrilled to learn about organizations that concentrate on improving, maintaining, and preserving the local environment. DC Greenworks is a progressive organization that seeks to empower residents and neighborhood groups to restore and preserve their communities by providing training, tools, and technologies that utilize, advance, and protect the environment. They reach these goals by focusing on conserving and reusing our rainwater. DC Greenworks uses living materials to build green roofs, green walls and rain gardens, as well as rain barrels and cisterns for rainwater capture. Other initiatives of DC Greenworks are partnering with local schools, urban agriculture, design and construction services for Low Impact Development (LID) projects, and green job training.
I continue to be extremely impressed by DDCK the more I learn from my peers and their events. I believe DCCK is a perfect example of how a non-profit can operate successfully in the commercial arena by providing job training and long lasting opportunities for unemployed men and women. Each day 5,000 meals are distributed at little or no cost to 100 nearby homeless shelters, transitional homes and nonprofit organizations, saving them money and nourishing their clients. Support from Takorean enabled DCCK to purchase a load of local Virginia winter crops – 100 bushels of sweet potatoes (4,000 lbs.) and 100 bushels of collard greens (1,800 lbs.) – which made up for 16,580 servings!
I look forward to hearing about the positive work that DC Greenworks and DC Central Kitchen continue to accomplish in 2013! I also encourage more business to give back to the community as the efforts and energy of the private sector can tremendously improve the livelihoods of those who are less fortunate and deserve an equal chance.
May this New Year bring all peace, happiness and prosperity!
DC Street Food, Inc. and TaKorean are proud to sponsor the Potomac Riverkeeper for the month of December. I’ve had a chance to learn a lot about the Potomac Riverkeeper in my past career in outdoor retail. We will donate 1% of gross sales for the month of December to Potomac Riverkeeper.
To put it straight: Potomac Riverkeeper stops polluters. What could be more important to the DC community than to protect its waterways? There are nearly 5 million people living in the Potomac River watershed, and most of them depend on the Potomac River for drinking water. Additionally, the Potomac River provides scenic trails for hikers, bountiful fish for anglers, and exhilarating rapids for paddlers.
Potomac Riverkeeper, Inc. was established in 2000 by principals from other environmental organizations, including: the Potomac Conservancy, Piedmont Environmental Council, Audubon Naturalist Society, and Sierra Club. The goal was to create a strong advocate, the Potomac Riverkeeper, and enforce existing federal and state laws governing the Potomac watershed and protecting it from exploitation.
TaKorean (DC Street Food, Inc.) is excited to start our Community Giving program by donating 1% of our total sales for the month of September to Trips for Kids Metro DC (TFK). When I decided to donate 1% of gross sales to local charities, I specifically wanted to contribute to environmental issues and at-risk youth. TFK combines these philosophies perfectly by introducing inner-city at-risk children to the wonders of the outdoors through mountain biking primarily. This experience gives opportunity to well-needed physical exercise, a better understanding of their surrounding environment, a greater appreciation of the nature parks in their own communities and a chance to push their own barriers and overcome obstacles. At the end of an event, they are tired and stand prouder for their accomplishments.
TFK is an award winning organization that focuses on children’s health, environmental responsibility and confidence building. They provide opportunities for children to get outside, be active and enjoy nature while receiving important education and mentoring. Over the past eight years they have created a holistic approach to encouraging youth to be active outdoors by starting a mountain bike race series, becoming involved with the Safe Routes to Schools (SRTS) program and providing classes, camps, festivals, and leading family-friendly bike rides.
Supporting the children in our communities sets the stage for a great quality of life. Whether they are on the trail to school, dirt trail or trail of life TFK provides the opportunity for our children to be healthier and more confident in their abilities. DC Street Food, Inc. is thrilled to support TFK’s program for the month of September 2010 and I encourage our customers to get involved as well at www.trailsforyouth.org/.
Having worked in outdoor specialty retail for over seven years, I was always inspired by Patagonia’s pledge to donate 1% of all sales to environmental causes around the globe. Patagonia started giving 1% for the planet in 1985, and since then businesses around the world have become involved. It was an easy decision for me to incorporate that same philosophy into DC Street Food, Inc. and TaKorean locally. Washington, DC is where I was born and raised, and along with delivering mouthwatering Korean BBQ tacos throughout the city, I’d like to do my part to better the community that has given so much to me throughout my life.
Each month we will blog about our chosen monthly charity in which we are donating at least 1% of our sales. Over the course of the year we will be able to give back to several different types of charitable organizations, fulfilling our goal of truly giving back to the local community. We at TaKorean believe that businesses have a responsibility to give back to the communities that give us the opportunity to serve them, and we are more than happy to do our part. Delicious food and a positive impact on our neighborhoods, our youth, our forests, our waterways, and our people is responsible business.