Haven’t had a chance to watch Neoscape’s discussion on food and branding with Comfort Kitchen yet? No problem. We put together a rundown of the highlights, talking points, and food for thought (pun intended) that came out of the panel.
Fostering Connection and Community with a Brand
Neoscape’s Senior Art Director Rita Ferreira joined the founders of Comfort Kitchen, Nyacko Pearl Perry, Biplaw Rai, and Kwasi Kwaa, to discuss the implications of social distancing on businesses that are so reliant on social gathering. The event was hosted by Neoscape’s Interactive Director, Evan Buxton. The half-hour discussion covered topics like designing remotely, sharing the comfort of food at a distance, and finding the good in new opportunities to connect at a deeper level. Some highlights of the panel included:
- Rita described the process of designing Comfort Kitchen’s brand with the team, which was done remotely. The most important things to remember when collaborating at a distance? Rita’s most valuable advice is: “come prepared to listen, come prepared to learn, come prepared to ask questions.”
- Kwasi discussed the challenges he has faced as a chef now that he has been forced to find ways to work remotely. In his words: “staring at a computer for 8 hours is my living nightmare.” However, he has learned how to connect at a distance via technology.
- Biplaw described how the pandemic affected the plans for Comfort Kitchen, the opening of which has been delayed due to the health crisis. He explained how “community is our central theme for the restaurant and also personally for myself,” so making the effort to maintain connections to teammates and industry colleagues is getting the business through the crisis.
- Nyako, who has a background in organizational and systemic healing consultation, spoke about the unique opportunity that the pandemic situation has created. In her words: “This is an opportunity to connect on a deeper level, for people to really hear more about what people’s lives are” which leads to so many more opportunities to “have deeper connections and to do deeper work and more powerful work.”
- The entire team discussed how everyone is searching for comfort, especially now, which was a theme that was pulled through in the branding process. From a business perspective, Comfort Kitchen as a whole has used this time to truly examine their values and how they are expressed to the community. Plus, they are exploring options like delivery and sharing the food experience at a distance.
- The COVID crisis has brought to light many inequalities in the food production and delivery industries. The Comfort Kitchen team is committed to telling the real stories about the food industry and everyone involved in bringing food to tables across America.
- The Comfort Kitchen team explained how the concept of a restaurant committed to serving comfort foods from around the world came to be. One of the restaurant’s missions is “to celebrate cultures that have been under the radar in the food industry right now.”
- The team leverages social media as a marketing platform but also as a way to source feedback and to create a space for conversations in the community.
- Rita discussed how, after quarantine, “we’re all going to be a lot more intentional because we’re all connected digitally… people are really breaking down what’s important, what’s the value.”
The Comfort Kitchen team encourages people to help their local restaurants in their own neighborhoods! Also, check out Unsung Restaurants, a fundraiser for mom and pop restaurants.
About Comfort Kitchen
We believe that food is a vital aspect of community building. We envision a place that is actively engaged in the celebration of art and history of our local community. We’re seeking to partner with individuals, groups, and organizations who want to make a positive impact. Visit our website and follow us on social media.