What is it?
MacroBites Market at Kula is an Interfaith Neighbors’ supported health-conscious marketplace featuring grab & go nutrient packed meals and supplements. Located at 1201 Springwood Avenue, the venue is headquarters for a ready to eat meal prep distribution serving communities across the nation. The Market is open 10 am to 6 pm daily. For more information, click here.
The marketplace also serves as a community outreach center, with programs and initiatives shepherded by the Prosper Foundation – a Monmouth County nonprofit offering gratis, supportive counseling services to ages 7 to 18. For more about Prosper, visit growwithprosper.org.
The MacroBites Story
Childhood friends Fritz, Jarrette, and David are the founders of MacroBites @Kula, a ready to eat meal prep company that launched in Sept. 2019. And while the trio got off to a rocky start in their young adult years, all having served time in prison, their “against all odds” outlook resulted in a pathway to success. Today, they have garnered the attention of national media outlets, ship their product to over 30 states across the nation, opened a café in Robbinsville, and moved their headquarters to the historic Springwood Avenue in Asbury Park.
Along the way, the trio experienced everything from racial discrimination at traditional financial institutions and undercapitalization to revenue reductions due to the pandemic. It is at this point that Interfaith Neighbors, a Monmouth County nonprofit, stepped in with support.
Founded in 1988 with a mission to help the most vulnerable In Monmouth County improve their quality of life, Interfaith Neighbors administers eight distinctive programs: its flagship rental and mortgage assistance; Monmouth County Meals on Wheels Program, affordable housing development, neighborhood revitalization initiatives, a comprehensive Business Development Center, and two social enterprises – Kula Café and Kula Urban Farm.
During the onset of the pandemic, Interfaith Neighbors’ Kula Café, which served as an innovative workforce development program, temporarily closed its doors. In addition to being a community café and gathering place in Asbury Park’s underserved southwest neighborhood, Kula Café operated as a hospitality training and job placement program, finding stable employment for over 150 local youth since its 2013 launch.
As the pandemic’s longevity took hold, Interfaith Neighbors’ leadership team knew restaurants and retail establishments, having closed their doors or greatly reduced their staff, could no long be a viable conduit for the area’s young people entering the workforce.
“We can no longer be confident that graduates of our hospitality training program will readily find full-time jobs in the local restaurant/retail industry,” Executive Director Paul McEvily said. “The Kula Café had a good run – 150 area young adults trained and employed full time in a little over five years. MacroBites at Kula is a worthy successor to the Cafe. David, Jarette and Fritz are all from the community and intent on giving back to the community by focusing their business on healthy food choices and offering hope to others within the community. We are very pleased to have them operating out of the Kula space and wish them tremendous success!”
In turning their sights on broadening Interfaith Neighbors address of social determinants of health, the leadership team opted to support a corner store model that would offer the neighborhood healthy food options under the grab & go model, while serving as the kitchen operation for preparing their frozen meals that get shipped across the country in response to on-line orders.
“In working with David, Jarrette and Fritz over the past 3 months to reposition the café and prepare their business for opening on Springwood Avenue, we’ve witnessed an incredibly focused and dedicated entrepreneurial spirit across the MacroBites team,” said Chip Craig, Interfaith’s Associate Executive Director and Chief Business Officer. “Our assistance in helping MacroBites make this transition to a store-front and a kitchen dedicated to their growing needs is a tool Interfaith looks to offer to assist the economic development of the Springwood Avenue corridor.”
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