Our team was fortunate enough to get to know Chef Anita Moore, owner of Soiree Steak & Oyster House, when we worked with her to help finance her new restaurant in the 18th and Vine Jazz District through our LoanUp program.
With the restaurant shuttered to customers by the COVID-19 pandemic, Chef Moore hasn’t let her kitchen go quiet. With residents living about and around Soiree, she saw firsthand that her community needed her more than ever. Many of her neighbors are transit-dependent and have limited options for stocking up on food and supplies, making them more susceptible to COVID infection.
By setting up a “pop-up shop,” Moore is working to do her part to keep her third district neighbors safe. Soiree will transition to provide fresh food and other supplies at affordable prices, with a pay-what-you-can model for those most in need. This allows the restaurant to keep some of her team working as they continue to serve a neighborhood with too few options.
To make this a reality, Chef needs to add additional shelving and refrigeration to safely store the additional product she’s bringing in, which she’s getting at a savings through partnerships with her suppliers — savings she’ll pass on to the community.
With various COVID-19 relief programs suffering from underfunding and delays, Chef Moore doesn’t know if or when she’ll get outside support. More importantly, she realizes that this is an urgent need for the neighborhood now. That’s why she’s hoping to raise $15,000 to put directly into providing this service to the neighborhood.
The EDC has pitched in with a $2,500 grant, but further community support is needed to scale this effort. You can get support to her directly via Venmo. Her handle is ChefAnitaMoore.
Chef Moore is also interested in partnering with grocery stores or other businesses to help bring food and supplies closer to the people who need them.
See Chef Moore’s letter to community partners that kicked off this campaign, which includes her contact information.
For more of Anita’s backstory on the opening her new restaurant concept and her partnership with EDC’s Loan Up program, check out our interview from before her opening day.