Everytable, a Los Angeles-based social enterprise seeking to end food inequality by making healthy food affordable, convenient and accessible for all, has recruited food justice veteran Bryce Fluellen to lead its pioneering social equity franchise program that aims to foster economic empowerment among entrepreneurs from marginalized communities. With a combined $4.5 million in program-related investments from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Annenberg Foundation, The California Wellness Foundation (Cal Wellness), and Dignity Health, the disruptive new franchise program will serve as a model approach to franchising, a system largely devoid of diversity and representation by people of color.
A community changemaker, Fluellen has fought for food justice and social equity for more than 20 years developing and implementing strategic programs at Starbucks, Magic Johnson Enterprises, and the American Heart Association to drive systemic change to benefit underserved populations and communities. As Community Impact Director at the Los Angeles chapter of the American Heart Association, he was instrumental in developing and implementing a multi-year, million-dollar regional campaign with the National Football League Foundation to transform and improve youth physical activity, building a collective impact blueprint for the League to scale across 30 team markets.
Fluellen also aligned with the American Heart Association’s national office to develop national health equity programs, cultivating volunteers, donors and corporations for both national and local initiatives. Fluellen also created a groundbreaking sustainable basic cooking skills and nutrition curriculum for more than 9,000 children within the Los Angeles, Long Beach and Santa Ana school districts, while also facilitating hundreds of workshops to educate parents, school administrators, corporate and community leaders about the positive impact of healthy eating on disease prevention.
Also a Master Chef, Fluellen operated a Los Angeles full-service catering company, YAMS Catering, where he created partnerships with health-focused organizations to educate Black and Hispanic communities about healthy eating. Fluellen is a Board member at the Los Angeles Food Policy Council, and also volunteers for Penny Lane Foster Care, Careers Through Culinary Arts Program, and the Jack and Jill of America’s San Fernando Valley Chapter.
“I’ve watched and learned from Bryce’s pioneering work in food and social justice for the past seven years, but Bryce has been doing this important work for decades,” says Sam Polk, co-founder and CEO, Everytable. “It’s a true honor to have such a proven and exceptional leader lead our social equity franchise program, which we believe is a game-changer for talented entrepreneurs who ordinarily wouldn’t have access to the capital to launch their own businesses.”
In his new position as Executive Director of Everytable’s Social Equity Franchise Program, Fluellen joins Clare Fox, Everytable’s Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and former Executive Director of the Los Angeles Food Policy Council – the nation’s largest such organization – in building a team to support Everytable University. The year-long, multi-disciplinary educational series will provide in-depth, hands-on training to empower and prepare disenfranchised entrepreneurs to open Everytable restaurants in their own communities.
Everytable will also provide program graduates with funding to open Everytable locations, assist with retail site selection and build-out design, and provide marketing support. Program candidates will be recruited internally among current store-level managers, through non-profit and academic partners, and via standard online recruiting channels. Everytable aims to open 50 such franchised locations within the next three years in Southern California, followed by expansion into other markets.
“Everytable’s social equity franchise program has the potential to change lives, creating equity while promoting health among those who have been on the margins of society,” says Fluellen. “This is also a huge opportunity to create economic mobility, empowerment and ownership for those who have been divested from for so long. We believe this program can serve as a template that can be replicated across the country and the franchise industry.”