Lens on Leadership: With Joanne Chang

May 24, 2022 Updated: January 23, 2024

From our Board of Directors to our Culinary Board, Friends Advisory Board, and Community Advisory Boards, we’re fortunate to have many incredible people among our lot. They lend their personal and professional experience in different ways to inform our work, make connections, and grow support for Spoonfuls. Every month, we introduce you to one of them!

This month, it’s Joanne Chang: Member of Lovin’ Spoonfuls’ Culinary Board and Owner/Chef of Flour Bakery + Cafe and Myers + Chang. Joanne and her restaurants have been a part of Lovin’ Spoonfuls since the beginning – literally! We hosted our launch party at Myers and Chang back in 2010 and, in just a few weeks, we’re headed back for our 25 Million Pounds Celebration.

How did you first get introduced to Lovin’ Spoonfuls?

Christopher [Myers]and I met Ashley when she would sit at the food bar or at a corner table at Myers + Chang. She was a regular guest and always writing stuff down and taking notes – I thought she might be a food reviewer! Christopher got to know her and learned that she was planning a food rescue organization.

What is it about Lovin’ Spoonfuls and/or the issue of wasted food that speaks to you personally or professionally?

As a restaurateur, I see firsthand how much food is wasted every day. It’s incredibly frustrating to know that on the one hand up to 1 in 12 people in Massachusetts are food insecure and on the other thousands and thousands of pounds of food are wasted every day.

How have you involved your restaurants in our mission?

We have made sure our teams know that when there is food that might be thrown away, they should think about whether or not it can be donated. We donate day-old cookies and muffins and bread [to local organizations], all of which are still great to eat, but just not able to be sold as fresh baked in bakeries.

What are a couple of tips you have for fellow chefs committed to wasting less food?

Educate your staff about how important it is to not throw away food if possible and to instead donate it, work it into the menu, or use it for family meal or their own consumption. Design your menus so that you are using up every scrap of food (bread pudding, stocks, etc.) and connect with a local food pantry that will take food donations.

What are a few ways people can support restaurants/restaurant workers in the current state of the pandemic?

Continue to support your local restaurants by getting take-out and visiting in person, if you are comfortable doing so. We survive and thrive on full dining rooms and active take-out stations, so please patronize your favorite local restaurants and cafes as much as you are able. Buy gift cards for presents!

Tell us about Flour and Myers + Chang! What’s going on?

We are thrilled that people are eager to get back into restaurants and bakeries! We are seeing an uptick in catering and large parties, and it’s been fabulous. We have partnered with Goldbelly to sell our pastries online and are continuing to grow our e-commerce business. I have a new class called Bake Like a Pro on MasterClass, too!

Learn more about our Culilnary Board.

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