Café Altro Paradiso’s 2019 Bake Sale for Planned Parenthood

Eater called the goal “ambitious.”

Pastry chef Natasha Pickowicz pledged to raise $40,000 dollars through the collective selling of baked goods, flowers, and other such sundries in and around Café Altro Paradiso with proceeds benefitting Planned Parenthood of New York City’s Action Fund.

In 2017, her inaugural volunteer team of 18 pastry chefs came together with 50 bake sale items apiece for 3 hours. She feared they wouldn’t sell. Doors opened to lines down the block and they raised $8,000. Last year, a dozen more chefs joined the original team and they raised $22,000 from an even more packed crowd. Yesterday, over 50 bake sale vendors and an enthusiastic volunteer crew took the party outside. The “ambitious” $40,000 represented a hope to again double their previous take.

Lines of hundreds upon hundreds wrapped the block. Breads, pastries, coffees, ice creams, and cocktails all ran out.

They closed with $85,000 raised.

In ten years of speaking with chefs at dining room tables, in closet-sized basement offices, or while wandering markets mid-interview, the complexity of their drive to feed never ceases to astound. But for all they do to put food on a plate, they rarely experience the interpersonal interaction of the exchange. Some thrive on such isolation. But in a time when so many of us hunger for connectivity and collective fears drives a need for change, we sometimes need to encourage each other outside.*

In a Grubstreet interview, Natasha said that November 9th, 2016 was her call to action. Only when such a call is answered and evolves into conversations, and invitations, and rolling balls, and a touch of chaos, and a little risk, and a whole lot of coming together, will we create the kind of world we want to live in.

Thanks, chefs.

If you missed the bake sale and would still like to donate, you can do so here.

*Natasha explains this beautifully interviewing Laura McQuade, CEO and president of Planned Parenthood in NYC, for Cherry Bomb Radio. Listen or read the transcript.

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