An old-school diner takes on modern operations
March 23, 2022
Charlotte’s food and beverage industry members are furthering relief efforts
Editor’s Note: This story has been unlocked as a public service.
In a recent Unpretentious Palate newsletter, editor Kristen Wile shared how she was struggling to compose and publish food and beverage news during a time when so many have seen their lives uprooted by an unjust war, now desperate to find safe passage and refuge. After much reflection, she reached this conclusion: “Unpretentious Palate isn’t simply about food. It’s about community…we are united in supporting Charlotte’s culinary culture. And it’s the uniting that’s the most important part of what we do. We live in a world divided, now more than ever, and anything that can bring us together is a good thing — whether it’s food, football, or Wordle.” She also decided to donate $20 from each new annual subscription to Save the Children’s efforts in Ukraine Mar. 10 through Mar. 18.
Giving in ways we best can helps alleviate feelings of helplessness as we hope for peace now a month into the Ukrainian struggle. We applaud the members of Charlotte’s culinary community who are doing just that, giving in ways they best can. Here are some to know about and support:
- Team Rose Bread – Two weeks ago, this family-run carport turned bakery prepared Ukrainian breads to sell as part of their rotation –– including 500 sourdough Pampushka, Ukrainian soft rolls bathed in garlic, oil, and herbs and 250 Bublik, Ukrainian bagels, traditionally strung together. The sales plus customer donations yielded $7,035.77, which was directly wired to Hand of Help in Botosani, Romania, an orphanage providing shelter for Ukrainian refugees. The funds will immediately help offset the increase in utilities costs and other essentials like bedding, hygiene needs, laundry and cleaning, and toys for the children while they wait for what may come next. Team Rose Bread connected with Hand of Help by way of a Romanian customer. “Tonight, the aroma of freshly baked pampushka will fill the homes of over 100 homes in Charlotte,” Doug Rose writes on Instagram. “The smell of fresh bread is intoxicating, filling the nostrils and somehow entering the heart. What a fitting tribute to Simona and her team in Romania who are the very aroma of Love to those they serve.” Lindley Mills and Anson Mills contributed the grains used in this baking and giving effort.
- Cakeable – Last week, the students and teachers of Cakeable Charlotte, a 501c3 nonprofit serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, prepared vanilla cake pops for Ukraine with 100 percent of proceeds going to Convoy of Hope’s relief efforts in Ukraine and on behalf of refugees in Poland.
- Sweet Spot Studio – Chef Jossie and team baked and sold blue and yellow gluten-free macarons filled with vanilla buttercream to benefit World Central Kitchen.
- The Barcelona Burger & Beer Garden and Aliño Pizzeria – On Mar. 8 and 9, owner Michael Bay held fundraisers at each of his restaurants in Mooresville. A friend of the restaurants donated $5,000, and all sales for each day were matched by Bay. In total, a donation of $71,861 was given to World Central Kitchen.
- Brewer’s at 4001 Yancey – On Mar. 10, the combined Southern Tier, Victory, and Bold Rock taprooms donated $3 per beer sold to the CARE Ukraine Crisis Fund. Collectively, a total of $27,007.29 in donations was generated.
- The Culture Shop – This Belmont neighborhood joint serving up charcuterie, sandwiches, cheese, wine, and local provisions offered a special sandwich and soup in support of Ukraine. The Jersey Sloppy Joe was a double-decker of roast beef, ham, swiss, coleslaw, and dressing on toasted Duke’s marble rye. The Kapusnyak soup contained sauerkraut, carrots, potatoes, ham, and guanciale simmered in chicken broth with a dollop of sour cream and fresh herbs. They hope to offer the specials again and were able to donate 10 percent of these sales to World Central Kitchen.
While the above events have passed, there are still others happening to support:
- Manolo’s Bakery – This family-run shop for sweet and savory Latin-American baked goods is donating cakes for Charlotte-based Ukrainians who have March birthdays. The owner, Manuel “Manolo” Betancur, would prefer they spend their money helping loved ones back home rather than on baked goods for festive occasions. Manolo himself left behind war and unrest in Colombia when he immigrated to America. You can check out Manolo’s Bakery and many other vendors at the Charlotte StrEATs Festival in April.
- Oh My Soul – NoDa’s first vegan restaurant wants to ensure Ukraine’s animals are not neglected in relief efforts. Through March, proceeds and roundups for these menu items will go to UAnimals: Ukrainian Glory Cocktail – banana liqueur, Luxardo, Baileys official almande, orgeat, lemon, blue curaçao, butterfly pea flower whip. Zelensky Shot – banana liqueur, lemon, blue curaçao, Baileys official almande, lemon sugar rim. Cupcakes – blue and yellow frosted vegan treats. Doggie Biscuits – made with banana, oats, and coconut.
- Bulla Gastrobar – Through April, $1 of each Bulla Mule (Skyy vodka, Fever-Tree ginger beer, fresh lime, cardamom and currant infused syrup, and candied ginger) sold will go to the Ukraine Crisis Fund.
- Amelie’s – Through March, 100 percent of sales from bright yellow and blue macarons with vanilla filling will be sent to the International Committee of the Red Cross. They are $2.45 each.
- Crepe Bistro – Since Feb. 28, this Ukrainian-owned restaurant and catering business has been donating 30 percent from every in-store purchase to help the people of Ukraine and its armed forces. Located at 1605 Galleria Blvd. off of Monroe Road, the establishment offers sweet and savory crepes, sandwiches, paninis, wraps, salads, and omelets.
Know of other Ukraine support efforts by Charlotte chefs and restaurants? Please tell us in the comments.