Eko’s Kitchen’s chef and owner Simileoluwa Adebajo has launched a GoFundMe fundraiser for the five businesses who lost their kitchens in a five-alarm fire that ravaged at least six buildings in San Francisco’s SOMA neighborhood early on Tuesday morning. The warehouse on 14th street near Shotwell housed the commercial kitchens of Eko’s Kitchen, Crepe Madame, Chili Cali, Fulfilled Foods and VeganBacon and has completely burnt down. Adebajo’s fundraiser is set to be split equally among those businesses as they set out towards recovery.
Fundraiser Brings in Thousands of Dollars for Six Food Businesses Destroyed by Folsom Street Fire
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Adebajo, who heads the city’s only Nigerian restaurant, had planned to move her business from her original location at Joint Venture Kitchens into the 14th street location just this week. She told Justin Phillips at the San Francisco Chronicle that had she not chosen to sleep in that morning, she might’ve arrived at work just as the fire was starting. “Almost all of our inventory and equipment has been lost in this fire,” she wrote on her restaurant’s Instagram yesterday. “[But] thankfully no one was hurt. I am so glad I was late for work today.” The GoFundMe Adebajo launched has already raised more than $18,000 towards its goal of $20,000.
Former employees of catering company Crepe Madame, which was started by Parisian transplant Laetitia Verdeaux in 2012, have also set up a fundraiser for their old boss which has raised around $5,000.
For now, Adebajo is back to her original kitchen preparing meals with the SF New Deal. “[We] will continue making meals to feed the city's most vulnerable folks, while keeping our staff employed,” she wrote.