Why Building a Community Matters

What gaps can you fill for your community?

Summary
Transcript

Marcus Samuelsson—award-winning chef, restaurateur, author and TV personality—explains the value in connecting with the community you serve.

“[Community is] really about you give and you get back; you give and you get back more,” shares Marcus. “For me, it's been everything from going to the local library to learning about the history of what was there before me, from setting up pop-ups at the local farmer's market. People see you when you aspire and people take notice when you want to create jobs in a community that people maybe have ignored.”

Watch the video to learn more from Marcus about connecting through community.

I've been fortunate enough to be invited to a great community, the food community, the hospitality community. And I wouldn't be here without having great mentors and members of that community. When you open a restaurant and when you build something, who do you go back to? You go back to community.

You know, we have a festival called Harlem Eat Up! where we always have, where we celebrate chefs from all over the world and we give them a chance to work with local chefs from Harlem… and it's in those celebrations, and it's very often that world-famous chefs are saying, "That trip, that dinner we did, at Harlem Eat Up!, it made me rethink how we value inner cities or urban America. How come there's not farmer's markets and why do we still have food deserts?”

It's not when you cook for more just the rich guys, actually when the chefs are getting transformed into these environments. So, it's all about connecting people and if you don't ask people, you never know what that person is missing and how you can connect.

When you think about entrepreneurship, whether it's a restaurant or a nail salon or a tech business, it doesn't really matter. You're really starting this because you're deeply passionate about you have a point of view. You probably thought about the reason I can make a difference in the market space. And, now it's about how do I connect. Without the community, without connectivity and then you have to then do the different things to do that. Whether that is setting up a pop up in the park or whether that is volunteering or whether that is cooking for executives.

It might be all of the above. It's not one-way traffic. It's really about you give and you get back. You give and you get back more. For me, it's been everything from going to the local library to learning about the history of what was there before me. From setting up pop-ups at the local farmer's market.

People see you when you aspire and people take notice when you want to create jobs in a community that people maybe have ignored and people even forgive you if you do things not right from the beginning. Because they see the larger purpose of the why you get up in the morning and push. That's all you can ask for.

Marcus Samuelsson

Marcus is the acclaimed chef behind many restaurants worldwide including Red Rooster Harlem, Red Rooster Shoreditch and Marcus B&P. He was the youngest person to ever receive a three-star review from The New York Times, and has wo...

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