everyone is welcome at the table
What is Open Feast?
In an effort to plan and budget for my ongoing, longterm reparations, I’ve decided to start a reoccurring bake sale where all proceeds (including tips) will be donated to grassroots organizations in Pittsburgh fighting for change and justice--organizations that aim to heal our community. At this time I’m going to attempt to make it monthly, but if that proves unfeasible, I may move to bimonthly sales.
What’s the difference between “proceeds” and “profit”?
Profit is the total income minus expenditures. Proceeds are the whole gross revenue. So when I say that I’m donating the proceeds, I mean that I’m keeping none of it for myself. Any money spent on supplies will not be reimbursed. I’m considering that money and my labor as part of my payment to the organizations.
Why the name “Open Feast”?
Open Feast, to me, means that everyone deserves a seat at the table—that there is always plenty to go around and we should use our privilege and skills to create positive change where it is needed. And the name itself is also the name of a collection of poems I wrote in college that has deep meaning to me. It’s a phrase that has felt very personal to me for a number of years, and I am eager to reuse it now, in another form. Evolution, sweetie.
How does is work?
Each sale will fall around the twentieth of the month on a weekend and I will announce the date and menu in advance, as well as the date when you can start placing orders. Orders will be cut off as the volume of orders reaches certain marks (about 250 cakes). I am just one person, with limited resources. I also work almost every day, so I am fitting this around a rigorous schedule. I’m going to try to take as many orders as possible, but I also have to be aware of my own, human limitations.
And on the subject of limitations, there will be boundaries and rules in place with these sales. When I did my Bakers Against Racism sale (which inspired this), I took too many special requests and by the end, I was so burnt out that I never wanted to do it again. And to clarify, that is not the fault of the people who asked—it was my own fault for not upholding my boundaries/not realizing how drastically it would affect my baking schedule. With time to pause and reflect, obviously I’ve made the decision to do more, but in an effort to reduce burnout, what I offer is what is available. There will be rules about pickup that must be adhered to, as well as rules about dietary restrictions, amounts available for order, and also how orders can be placed. I am setting these boundaries so that this can be sustainable and my dream of baking for change can continue for years to come. Please help me achieve that dream.
What about pickup?
When you place an order for Open Feast, I will contact you with pickup details. As I said before, the pickup date will be announced ahead of time, so you can mark it on your schedule and make sure you are going to be available before ordering. And then, once you’ve sent in your order, I will let you know the hours of the pickup window, as well as the address. If you do not pickup within the pickup window, you will not be refunded. If you ordered food from a restaurant and never showed up to get it, you wouldn’t be refunded. Please treat me with the same amount of professionalism and respect.
So how do I place an order?
Around the 15th of every month I will announce the date of pickup and also the menu for that sale (including prices, etc.). Once the menu is announced, orders are OPEN and you can place your order in the form below. NOTE THAT THIS DOES NOT GUARANTEE YOUR ORDER. You will know your order is confirmed when I contact you to confirm via email or phone. At that time I will process your payment and coordinate a pickup time with you!
What about dietary restrictions?
I am absolutely going to make an effort to make these sales accessible to anyone, but due to financial and transportation limitations, I can’t always promise to meet everyone’s needs if I can’t get the ingredients needed to do so. I will ALWAYS have at least one vegan option, and if I can budget for it, in the future I hope to make that vegan option gluten-free as well. If you have allergies, please let me know. I rarely work with nuts, but in the event of gluten-free/vegan options, many substitutes ARE nut-based. I don’t want anyone getting sick, so even if you have a mild allergy or one you don’t think will come into play, just let me know anyways—just in case. I want this to be a safe and fun experience for everyone!
Does this count as my reparations?
Hardly. In this situation, you’re benefiting from the sale. You’re exchanging money for goods, rather than sending money directly to the organizations/people in need. I too am not leaving my reparations at this. This is just one part of my larger plan to do better and fight the system. While I am a woman of color, I acknowledge the privilege that comes with me being white-passing, and I acknowledge that I will never fully understand the struggle of BIPOC.
Also please note that this is certainly not the final form of Open Feast. I am very aware this will be a learning process for me and I expect to fail at times. But I hope that I can learn to do better, and then actively be better with every day.
art by bjenny montero