Montclair-based Adventure Kitchen donated proceeds from a bake sale earlier this month to Toni’s Kitchen, a local soup kitchen.
“This is becoming a Montclair tradition!” said Adventure Kitchen founder Lynley Jones. “This is the fourth year we’ve done this, and it’s such a fun way to bring the community together for a good cause.”
Jones was accompanied by some of the bake sale volunteers to present the check to Anne Mernin, Toni’s Kitchen Executive Director, while the Sunday evening meal was being prepared at the soup kitchen.
“The donation from Adventure Kitchen is especially sweet,” said Mernin. “The bake sale raises awareness while sharing a sweet moment together.”
The annual bake sale is organized and sponsored by Adventure Kitchen, a Montclair business that creates spice blends and prepared foods for sale at the Montclair Farmers Market and at their new pop-up retail location at 26 South Park St., scheduled to open later this month. Adventure Kitchen also holds four weeks of food-oriented summer camp each year, and they publish recipes and content “for curious cooks” on their website at www.adventurekitchen.com.
Each year, Adventure Kitchen recruits local home bakers and volunteers to donate items for sale and to staff the bake sale booth. Many of the bake sale volunteers are Adventure Kitchen customers or campers, and some are former camp counselors. Adventure Kitchen staff members also volunteer their time for the event. This year’s bake sale was held on October 6.
“We hold the bake sale downtown every year,” said Andrea Lacotte, who organized the bake sale for Adventure Kitchen this year. This is intentional, because “this is a part of town where there are lots of people who need extra help,” she says.
“If you hang around downtown for very long, you’re bound to bump into someone who needs bus money, or medicine for a sick child, or something to eat,” said Jones. “Being a part of the community means pitching in to help your neighbors,” she said.
In addition to the annual bake sale, Adventure Kitchen also donates 10% of profits from their spice sales to food-related causes. “I don’t ever want us to forget what a great privilege it is to do what we do,” said Jones. “We spend our days creating adventures in food for our customers, but there are so many people in this world who simply don’t have enough to eat. I don’t ever want us to lose perspective about that,” she said.
Toni’s Kitchen is a food ministry of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church on S. Fullerton Ave. in Montclair. Information on donating directly to Toni’s Kitchen can be found at their website: toniskitchen.org/.