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Impact Story November 22, 2023

Closing the Opportunity Gap: Everytable’s Social Equity Franchise Fund

Topic Healthy Food
Geography California

Supported by contributions from various foundations, as well as CDFIs Reinvestment Fund and Community Vision, Everytable’s Social Equity Franchise Fund program aims to provide franchisees with the financial resources they need to thrive—furthering our vision of social and racial equity in the food system as well as wealth creation, particularly for Black and brown borrowers.

Access to healthy, affordable, and fresh meals is a fundamental human right, irrespective of one’s income or location. In contrast to fast-food restaurants and convenience stores that often offer quick but unhealthy options, Everytable, a Los Angeles-based prepared meal distribution company, is challenging the status quo. They provide a cost-effective, healthy alternative while also offering opportunities for individuals to build wealth through franchise ownership.  

Everytable operates with a mission to achieve food justice by making fresh and nutritious meals accessible and affordable. Its founder and CEO, Sam Polk, established the company in recognition of the food insecurity prevalent in low-income and working-class communities, leading to unhealthy dietary choices, including high-fat, fried foods, and the associated health issues like diabetes and obesity. Everytable aims to transform the food landscape by offering affordable, made-from-scratch meals. 

In addition to promoting food equality and racial justice, Everytable has launched Everytable University as a part of the innovative Social Equity Franchise Fund. This comprehensive, fully-paid program provides on-the-job training and business leadership coursework, enabling current managers, employees, and community members to learn the essentials of small business ownership, franchise management, and personal financial management. Upon completing the eight-month program, graduates can apply to operate their franchise location. 

 
 

Reinvestment Fund is proud to offer additional financing support. We echo Everytable’s commitment to creating access to nutritious food for all and are excited for this partnership that furthers our vision of social and racial equity in the food system.

Through the Social Equity Franchise Fund, managed by Mission Driven Finance, a California-based social impact investment firm, franchisees can access loans ranging from $250,000 to $300,000 to cover initial personal capital investments. This initiative ensures that community members and those with limited financial resources can participate in small business creation and wealth accumulation. 

The program actively promotes economic empowerment among entrepreneurs from marginalized communities by offering a well-supported and expedited path to business ownership. It serves as a model for a more diverse and inclusive approach to franchising, addressing the lack of representation by people of color and women. Graduates qualifying for the program receive critical access to capital, along with hands-on training, equipping minority entrepreneurs to operate Everytable restaurants in their communities. Repayment of the loan is facilitated through a portion of the franchisee’s profits. 

Everytable places significant emphasis on efficiency in food production processes to maintain its cost advantages. The company uses fresh produce and ingredients from local farmers and suppliers. Meals are prepared at a centralized production site and delivered through various channels, including retail locations, subscription boxes for home delivery within the local service area, Everytable-branded vending machines at workplaces and campuses, and bulk purchases for corporations or government. Pricing is flexible, with meals costing between $5 to $7 in low-income or low-food access areas and $7 to $9 in higher-income areas. 

According to Everytable’s 2022 impact report, they opened 38 stores, prepared 5.2 million meals, served 181,000 retail customers (including 96,000 in low-income/low-food access areas), and established 32 strategic partnerships to address food insecurity. In addition, in 2022, the first cohort of five franchise candidates graduated from Everytable University and started their journey to become franchise owners. 

Reinvestment Fund, along with a $1 million contribution from Community Vision, provided $8 million in financing for the fund-to-fund program. This partnership furthers our vision of social and racial equity in the food system as well as wealth creation, particularly for Black and brown borrowers. 

For more information, contact:

 
 
Christina Szczepanski
President, Lending and Investing

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