posted on by Jackie Bebenroth

It’s on the house.

As any restaurant in town will tell you, there are no shortage of non-profits vying for our attention. We get approached almost every day by energetic do-gooders asking us for a gift certificate donation, a silent auction item, or a raffle prize. While we would love to give, give, give to every cause under the sun, our recent investments in three new businesses have left us with limited cash flow for the time being, so we need to balance our generosity with the reality of our bank account!

Going to auction.

If you’re considering contacting us for free things, please be aware that our cause-related giving is generally limited to the missions closest to our hearts:

  • Local food initiatives
  • Community-building programs – bonus points to those located in Detroit Shoreway and surrounding neighborhoods
  • Environmental causes
  • Proactive health and wellness efforts (read: prevent the problem vs. find the cure).

When we donate to organizations that don’t fall within these categories, it’s typically due to our investor interests or client fundraising events. So if your cause isn’t aligned with our passions, it can’t hurt to ask, but please don’t be offended if we tastefully decline!

April’s Market at the Foodbank, where our Chef Ben Bebenroth served as honorary co-chair alongside The PD’s Joe Crea, was a no-brainer for us. All proceeds from the event support the Harvest for Hunger campaign, a 21-county food and funds drive coordinated by The Cleveland Foodbank.

Harvest for Hunger does more with less.

Spice of Life Catering Co. has participated in this event twice before (when it was Market Under Glass) and it seems to get better every year, drawing hundreds of people and dozens of restaurants…for good reason.

Chefs Brandon & Ryan slinging soup at Market Under Glass in 2010.

Chefs Ben & Brandon back for more soup slinging in 2012*.

One of the reasons the event is so popular is its all-you-can-sample format. As you step past registration and into the event, a smiling volunteer hands you a wine glass and a quirky plate (conveniently designed to hold said wine glass), then you’re free to graze away on limitless small bites and beverage pours for the next two hours.

Don't forget to mingle between bites.

From our perspective, it’s a great place to catch up with chefs we don’t see too often. We were pleased to be placed next to the fine folks at Noodlecat & Greenhouse Tavern so we could swap local food stories toward the end of the night.

Proud to be among these participants.

Between chatting up chefs, guests and presenting at the podium, Ben stayed busy pouring soup sips with Brandon at the Spice station. Brandon’s simple potato and wild ramp offering seemed very well received, as was most everything else at the event. Looking up from our station at 7:00, we noticed that we weren’t the only ones who wouldn’t be going home with leftovers – pots and pans were running dry.

Chefs Ben and Brandon, getting low on soup.

Sip 'em if you got 'em.

The event was especially unique in that guests got to tour the Foodbank warehouse and see, firsthand, the impact of their dollars. At the end of the night, the event raised $188,335, which is enough to provide over 752,000 meals to those in need! 

Special thanks to all 1,200 of you (and especially to Mike of Chagrin Falls who won our silent auction package) who came out to wine, dine, and help feed our community!

*Editor’s note: More thanks to Karen Ponza, Director of Communications and Special Events at The Cleveland Foodbank, for sending this picture our way! Cheers on an event well done.


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