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Mera Kitchen Collective

Mera Kitchen Collective is a worker-owned cooperative founded by and for Baltimore’s refugee and immigrant women who have a passion for cooking. Structural barriers make it very difficult for refugees and immigrants to pursue opportunities that capitalize on our interests and skills.

We formed Mera Kitchen Collective to address these inequities. We empower ourselves through entrepreneurship and ownership. We’ve hosted pop-up dinners, cooking classes, catered events and sell our food weekly at the Baltimore Farmers Market. We are creating an intentionally inclusive community by sharing the cuisines from our home countries with the people of Baltimore.

In April 2018, we held our first “Refugee and Immigrant Arts Feast”, hosting over 450 guests who had the opportunity to taste and experience the food and art from 18 vendors from 13 countries. We generated over $6000 that went directly back to these vendors. In addition to Arts Feast, we've hosted 4 other sold out events, generating an additional $10,000 of revenue, which went right back to the refugee and immigrant members of our collective.

Our vision is to open and operate a community-owned cafe that provides meaningful employment and connections for more refugee and immigrants living in Baltimore. Our model also creates a platform to advocate for immigrant and refugee rights and representation.

Funded by Baltimore, MD (June 2018)