Having joined the company in 1994, just a year out of college, I’ve grown up at Bon Appétit Management Company. When asked where I learned about sustainable food systems (and I get asked that a lot); the answer is quite simply “here.”
I set my sights on Bon Appétit after reading an article in a trade magazine about the company’s innovative restaurant-style approach to food service (that “aha, I have to work for that company”-moment has left me with a soft spot for PR). I decided to seek out a position anywhere in the company I could. I got my foot in the door as an employee services coordinator and over the ensuing 14 years have been lucky enough to grow and take on responsibility for communications, marketing and culinary strategy.
Being the child of “bohemian” parents who worked in the non-profit sector, my rebellion was going into the business world. I wanted to focus on restaurant service, not social service. Yet, the value my parents put on community seeped in somehow and when, in 1999, the Bon Appétit Farm to Fork program was born, a piece of my heritage was awakened.
Since then, I’ve become an activist in a way I never thought likely. I relish the ability to use Bon Appétit’s purchasing power to make changes in the supply chain. (Watch my TEDxManhattan talk “How the Humane Sausage Gets Made” for the inside look at our commitment to gestation-crate-free pork.) I thrive on the passion I hear from our people when they talk about our company Dream. I take great pleasure in pushing the company forward and proving that a for-profit business can act with both a warm heart and a scientific mind. And, I only cringed slightly when in conversation with Fedele (our CEO), I heard myself quoting my mother’s frequent invocation of the Buddhist Eightfold Path to say my work at Bon Appétit is “Right Livelihood.”