TRIBE STORIES: DEEPTI SHARMA

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Elevation Tribe

FOUNDER, FOODTOEAT and I MADE YOUR FOOD

Deepthi Sharma is doing her part to make the food business more inclusive. She founded the corporate catering concierge service FoodtoEat to create a network of diverse multicultural food professionals and connections to catering services and other food needs. Recently, she’s started a social media campaign, “I Made Your Food,” to share personal stories of food service workers and create a personal connection between them and their customers. Below, Deepthi shares more about her mission:

Why did you start FoodtoEat?

I started FoodtoEat in 2011 to connect immigrant, women and minority-owned food vendors to opportunities for growth – ultimately helping them strengthen their own business skills. FoodtoEat helps businesses feed employees great food and build stronger & more diverse work cultures. We are trying to bring diverse cuisine into the workspace while bringing colleagues together.

How does FoodtoEat work?

We’re a corporate catering concierge service. We simplify catering needs by handling everything from finding the right vendor, creating menus, placing the order and making sure the delivery runs smoothly.  We are fully equipped to handle anything from a five-person lunch to a 500 person event including alcohol, rentals and everything in between.

We work with over 100 individual restaurants & caterers in NYC. We carefully handpick all of the vendors in our network to make sure they can handle the range of companies we serve.

How did the idea for I Made Your Food spring from FoodtoEat?

We started I Made Your Food as an ongoing social campaign that focuses on telling the personal stories of the local food vendors that we work with at FoodtoEat. We believe it’s important that our clients (and New Yorkers in general) have a better understanding of the human beings that create and cook and deliver their food every day: their background, their beliefs, their passion, their “story.”

How have you seen the impact of your work on your network of minority food service professionals?

A surprising number of small businesses we work with didn’t view themselves as entrepreneurs or business owners. Running a restaurant or catering business was just another job.

With the I Made Your Food campaign, we’ve been able to help them discover their “brand.” Instead of just putting food on a plate, they’re understanding how their experience and values influence their business, and how to better share that story with their customers and the community at-large.

Want to learn more and work with FoodtoEat or I Made Your Food? Check out Foodtoeat.com and read more about the organization and the stories behind the I Made Your Food campaign.