Your browser is old and is not supported. Upgrade for better security.

COLORS: Oakland

Oakland restaurant advancing livable wage opportunities in the industry

Pitch Video
Investor Panel

Highlights

1
COLORS will be part of the Restore Oakland center, which is a community advocacy & training center that'll mobilize the Bay Area community.
2
Our restaurant nourishes the professional development of our staff & students with CHOW trainings & by placing graduates in equitable jobs.
3
The US food service restaurant market is expected to grow at a rate of 11.3% during the forecast period of 2018 - 2023.
4
Our partner org has already raised $16 million in capital for our building, which will house our restaurant.
5
We are at an advantage in that we are the landlords of our building. We are setting up roots to stay & nourish the Fruitvale community.
6
Our mission is to promote a just & dignified workplace in restaurants throughout the Bay Area and to build a strong restaurant industry.
7
We treat workers with respect and dignity and care about their well-being.

Our Team

Sekou Siby Executive Director of ROC
From the Ivory Coast & moved to NY, where he survived the 9/11 terrorist attack. He cooked at Windows on the World, & co-founded ROC United, managing & organizing major campaigns & bringing 100's of restaurant workers to victory against wage theft.

As founders of the Restaurant Opportunities Center, a national org dedicating to improving wages and mobility for restaurant workers, we've found that the lack of diversity of staff in Bay Area fine dining prevents thousands from advancing to livable wage jobs.

Founder
The Co-Founder and President of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United) and Director of the Food Labor Research Center at University of California, Berkeley. Graduate of Yale Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
General Manager
Mari has worked in the industry for many years. In those years, she has grown from being a cashier to a General Manager. She has seen many sides of the restaurant industry both that she loves, and that she wants to improve for workers.

The Story of COLORS Oakland Restaurant

We're excited to inform you that we are opening up in April! COLORS: Oakland is a both a restaurant and mission-driven enterprise located in the heart of Fruitvale, in Oakland, CA. We will be serving delicious Afro-Latinx food that is representative of the surrounding community. 

We bought our building!

Back in 2015, we teamed up with the Ella Baker Center (EBC) and co-bought a building in Oakland, CA! It was a diamond in the rough.

We got the community engaged!

We've wanted to hear what the community needed and what they wanted to see in our building. We held brainstorming sessions and listening sessions with the Fruitvale community to think through how to uplift the community for the better.  

The Development of the Concept: The Food

We surveyed many hundreds of community members to figure out what type of food our restaurant would have! We wanted it to be developed by the community, since it is for the community. We asked folks what they liked to eat. We found out that the community wanted Latinx food. But, competing with the vast amount of Latinx food in Fruitvale isn't an easy task. We also asked folks what type of food was missing in the area, and they said Soul food. So, we created a hybrid of Afro-Latinx cuisine. During that study, we also found that the community wanted healthy options on the menu, and that they liked to eat out with family. 

We have teamed up with Nelson German to develop our Afro-Latinx flavor and delicacies.  We're excited to share these distinctive tastes with you!

Job Training offered at COLORS

COLORS: Oakland Restaurant is both a business and a mission-driven enterprise! We train hundreds of working people, low-income folks, immigrants and formerly incarcerated people to climb the ladder of the restaurant industry and get better jobs. We already teach free classes for intro and advanced Bartending, Serving, and ESL. 

Once we open up COLORS: Oakland, we will be able to offer even more classes! We are currently hosting our classes out of different partner restaurants, like Plum Bar, Kingston 11 and Copper Spoon. But, once we open up, we'll be able to have our classes on our site, and we will be able to expand our offerings to include Kitchen Management Training, Barista Training, and more ESL classes. 

Who are we? We are ROC!

We are a national restaurant worker's rights organization that advocates to improve wages and working conditions for the 13 million people who work in America's restaurant industry. With nearly 13 million employees nationwide, the restaurant industry is one of the largest and fastest-growing private sector employers in the nation. In 2017, the restaurant industry garnered over $799 billion in sales revenue. Despite the growth and profitability of the industry, restaurant jobs provide largely low wages and little access to benefits. The Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United) engages people who work in the industry, employers and consumers to ensure all people who work in restaurants can achieve financial independence and improve their quality of life. 

COLORS Restaurant is within the Restore Oakland Building

We are co-owners of the Restore Oakland building! Our restaurant, COLORS, is located in the Restore Oakland building. Restore Oakland is composed of various nonprofits that help advocate for low-income, people of color, and formerly incarcerated folks. As a whole, the organizations of Restore Oakland work to reverse a decades-long cycle of unjust economic and criminal justice policies that have had devastating impacts on communities of color and immigrant communities. We will build power and self-determination to shift resources away from prisons and punishment and toward community reinvestment, restorative justice, and economic opportunities.

Our restaurant brings in the economic justice component of our communities real struggles. We aim to create opportunities to secure living wage jobs in the restaurant industry—an important Bay Area economic driver—for everyone: people who have been incarcerated, working people, immigrants and people of color. We train people in our restaurant to advance the restaurant industry ladder and achieve more equitable careers that are more sustaining for their families.

Here are a few of the organizations that have joined us within the Restore Oakland building:

Our Business Model 

Our restaurant, COLORS: Oakland, has 100-person seating. It comes equipped with a large bar for delicious cocktails to be prepared, a spacious dining room, and a private dining room, for folks seeking their own private events. Our kitchen is roomy, and is able to produce for both our restaurant and our catering department. 

Our primary two revenue streams will be our restaurant, which will include the rental of our private dining area, as well as our catering department. Our catering department will allow us to reach broader audiences in the Bay Area. 

Our restaurant will serve the community and it will be a space where neighbors can come in and sit by folks who are visiting out of town. Where low-income folks and affluent folks can all come in and have a good time. Where Bay Area residents can grab some scrumptious food with their families, or some drinks during a date night. We will have events, whether poetry readings, or live-entertainment that will bring in more community members to come and rejoice and celebrate together. 

Our catering department will be another revenue stream that will have the flexibility of being to be able serve many people. We will be able to cater weddings, through multiple preferred caterer lists,  but also to fill the lunch and dinner needs of large corporations and schools in the Bay.  

Take a look at COLORS: Oakland!

    Use of Funds 

    We wanted to have the security of being owners of our building, as mentioned earlier. In order to do this with the high-rising prices of property and construction in the Bay Area, we raised $14.8 million to buy and renovate our building. Now that we have our building, we need to focus on our operating budget for our restaurant. We are seeking to raise $350K for our restaurants' operating expenses through Wefunder. Our mission is to provide opportunities for restaurant workers and community members. We are excited that we can provide another opportunity, and one that gives folks a stake in the business. We are excited to sell equity to community members so that we can all have ownership of COLORS: Oakland, and continue to build it together. 

    Once we hit out minimum fundraising goal, we will use that money to begin hiring our incredible team of core managers. There will be a lot of heavy lifting needed, so we must have our Chef, and our Managers on board and ready to move this forward.

    Join Us!

    Come be part of COLORS: Oakland with us! This is a huge community project that is for the community, and by the community. We want you all to have this opportunity to be partial owners and investors of this great vision and dream coming to life.  

    Please note that this offering is for ownership of COLORS: Oakland exclusively. Investors will not own any part of  the other COLORS locations, ROC, or of any of our partner institutions.

      Overview