WE BELIEVE that an equitable and resilient local economy requires closing Boston's growing wealth divide by PROMOTING INCLUSIVE ENTREPRENEURSHIP and CREATING SUSTAINABLE EMPLOYMENT, with a focus on people who have been impacted by racial, social, and economic inequality.
CommonWealth Kitchen is a collaborative community, providing shared kitchens combined with business assistance to help aspiring entrepreneurs build great food companies, create jobs, improve healthy food access, and strengthen our regional food economy.
We are a community of individuals with unique skill sets
and passions who come together collectively
to help food entrepreneurs realize their dreams.
Meet our team. Click on a team member to learn more.
Executive Director & Co-Founder
Jen Faigel is a co-founder of the former CropCircle Kitchen, now CommonWealth Kitchen, and stepped in as Executive Director in 2014. Jen is responsible for setting organizational strategy, raising funds, wrangling staff and businesses, developing and managing strategic partnerships, and generally managing the chaos. Jen's background is in real estate and community economic development. She was the lead real estate consultant for the $15 million Pearl project, which is now home to CWK's flagship kitchen operation. In her career, Jen has developed more than 400 affordable homes and over 225,000 SF of commercial real estate - worth over $200m - as a means to create jobs and economic opportunity. Her motto in life is- "If you can't ride two horse at the same time, then you shouldn't be in the circus!" Jen's all-time favorite food is white clam pizza from Pepe's in New Haven.
Jill is Director of Workforce, Supplier, and Diversity Development at the Commonwealth’s Gaming Commission. Jill is the former Director of Economic Development Programs at The Boston Foundation. Previously, Jill worked for more than a decade in Boston Mayor Menino’s administration, including as Assistant Director of Economic Initiatives.
Phil is Chief Administrative Officer at MassHousing. Since 1970, MassHousing has provided more than $17 billion in financing for the construction and preservation of affordable rental housing, and affordable loan products. Previously, Phil worked as Chief of Operations for Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corp., and also worked as a Senior Manager at Polaroid and Roxbury Tech.
Director of Finance and Business Operations
Executive Chef & Director of Kitchen Operations
Brad oversees culinary operations at both Dorchester and Jamaica Plain, as well as culinary and business technical assistance. And chief dishwasher. Brad spent a decade running Community Servings’ kitchen. Previously, Brad worked for almost 30 years in fine dining, including over a decade as Executive Chef for Todd English.
Brad joined CCK in 2013 as a consultant to advise on the design and operations for the Pearl facility and the CCK kitchens. He was hired in 2014 to run all day-to-day operations of both the Jamaica Plain and Dorchester facilities. Brad is responsible for ensuring all business operations are conducted in accordance with all applicable codes and regulations. He provides technical assistance to businesses on recipe development, scaling, packaging, and LEAN manufacturing. He also manages CCK’s commissary operations.
Prior to joining CCK, Brad spent 7+ years running Community Servings’ kitchen operation, which provides over 9,000 scratch-made meals each week to 900+ home-bound people suffering from an acute, life-threatening illness. Brad supervised a staff of 20+ professional chefs, trainees and volunteers. Previously, Brad worked for 25+ years in fine dining, including over a decade as Executive Chef for Todd English in his Figs, Olives, and other restaurants.
Brad loves local food but really do miss wild ramps from West Virginia, eggs & white truffles from Italy and Extra virgin oil from Liguria.
Chris joined CWK in April 2015. He is an urban farmer in Dorchester and loves growing various veggies. In the CWK commissary kitchen is where you can find Chris prepping ghost peppers for salsas, Chris is a carnivore at heart and loves beef but he can’t resist Beet Poet Juice from Jubali Juice.
Drew Fink joined the Fink Family Foundation as an Associate in 2014 and a Trustee in 2016. Beyond his role in the foundation, Drew is an investor and advisor for early stage startups, including Love Grown Foods, Bitty Foods, and Tiny Farms. A former Bain & Company consultant, Drew also has professional experience in renewable energy and software development. As the founder of the Torres del Paine Legacy Fund, Drew has spent the last 3 years developing innovative travel philanthropy mechanisms in Southern Patagonia. In addition to CommonWealth Kitchen, Drew serves on the board of The Island School, a place-based education program in the Bahamas. Drew graduated from Stanford University with a degree in Earth Systems and a minor in Economics and is currently pursuing an MBA at Harvard Business School.
Heather is one tough cookie. She is the owner /baker of Top Shelf Cookie Co. Heather is a mixologist she can put together all sorts of awesome cookie combinations like her award winning PB Toffee, her signature Black & Gold or her Summer Ale made with Sam Adams Beer. In her spare time Heather can be found taking on various roles at CWK. More recently she assists in the commissary kitchen with the Smart Lunch team.
Irene Li co-owns and operates the Boston-based food truck, restaurant and shipping container enterprise collectively known as the Mei Mei Group. Founded with her two older siblings, their award-winning food businesses merge modern techniques and genre-bending creativity with sustainable practices and tech-savvy communications. Irene’s background of living on an organic farm, working the restaurant line, and organizing for social justice inform her leadership of the food and sourcing elements of the company. She recently graduated from Cornell University with a BA in Food Systems and Cultural Studies, received two James Beard Rising Star nominations and an Eater National Young Gun award.
Board Vice Chair
Operations & Business Manager
Sherina is a local Dorchester resident that was brought onto the management staff in 2015 to help with the day to day management of CWK which includes bookkeeping, payroll, grants management and marketing services just to name a few. She served on the Board of Directors of Dorchester Bay EDC for the past 10 years and chaired the Small Business Loan Committee reviewing small business loan applications. Previously, Sherina provided a similar role at YouthBuild USA and Interise. Her favorite taste at CWK is the Jerk Pork from Fort Hill Jerk and the toasted coconut ice cream from Minus the Moo.
Sous-Chef & Kitchen Manager
Colin Roy was hired in May 2014 to assist with the opening and operation of the Pearl facility in Dorchester. Colin assists Brad in managing all daily operations of all of CWK’s kitchen facilities. He also manages business scheduling to ensure efficient use of kitchens, provides regular one-on-one support, and coordinates all of the food truck operations.
Prior to joining the CWK team, Colin had spent 3 years working for a food truck that operated out of CWK’s Jamaica Plain facility. He brings tremendous experience and first-hand knowledge of working in a shared kitchen. Previously, Colin had experience in a wide range of food businesses, from country club to restaurant and has a degree in culinary arts.
Dinora came to the US from Fogo, Cape Verde in 2012. She warms the kitchen every morning as she preps for SmartLunches with CWK. When Dinora gets home from work, she makes incredible Cape Verdean food, including the best dessert: pudim, made from milk and caramelized sugar.
Freddie is a local resident who has lived in the inner city for over 53 years. He came to CWK from the Urban League's mature worker program. Freddie is a steak & potatoes guy who loves to read and play chess.
Meg Tallon is the Director of Community Outreach for East Boston YMCA’s Teaching Kitchen, where she facilitated the creation and permitting of the kitchen, launched programming for all ages and created the Urban Farm to Kitchen program. Tallon’s expertise as a chef and gardener give her special insight into how to teach people to put fresh and healthy food on the table in their everyday life. A graduate of the Cambridge School in Culinary Arts, Tallon has worked as a chef and baker and taught business and cooking classes. She joined the board of CommonWealthKitchen in 2014, previously she assisted with the opening of the new CWK Pearl shared used kitchen commissary and culinary business incubator.
Entrepreneurship Program Manager
Roz is the first person you’ll see when you contact CWK as an entrepreneur. She helps entrepreneurs get their businesses up and running with CWK, organizes our events and educational programs, and develops and manages our partnerships with job training programs and business planning organizations. She loves saying yes, which sometimes gets her into trouble, but also means she does all the random things you wouldn’t think of, from coordinating labels for our farmer value-added program, to hand-painting signs for our events. Roz has a background in sustainable agriculture and ecology research.
Greg Watson is the Schumacher Center's Director of Policy and Systems Design where he is a public voice for sustainability, equity, neighborhood planning through democratic processes, government policies that support human-scale development, citizen financing of new enterprises, and more. He has spent nearly 40 years working in the new economics field and to understand of systems thinking as inspired by Buckminster Fuller, whom he names as a mentor. Previously, he served as Commissioner of Agriculture in Massachusetts under Governor Deval Patrick and as Commissioner (1990 to 1993) under then Governors Dukakis and Weld. During the Patrick administration, he worked to launch a statewide urban-agriculture grants program and chaired the Commonwealth’s Public Market Commission, which oversaw the planning and construction of the Boston Public Market. He has also served as Assistant Secretary for Science and Technology with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Economic Affairs; Deputy Director of the Massachusetts Centers of Excellence Corporation; and as Executive Director of the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative where he made urban agriculture a major focus of the community's revitalization plan. Greg Watson also served on President-elect Obama’s transition team for the U.S. Department of Energy; as Senior Advisor for Clean Energy Technology within the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs; and at the New Alchemy Institute on Cape Cod, first as Education Director and later as Executive Director. Greg Watson currently resides in Falmouth, Massachusetts.
Tom is supporting Jen and her team as they navigate CWK from an extraordinary startup changing hundreds of people's lives, into a stable scalable juggernaut transforming Boston's neighborhoods. He's helping with things big and fancy-sounding, and breaking down boxes for recycling. He has more than twenty-five years of experience working in and supporting the third sector. He's been an A&F guy, CIO and COO. In 1999, he founded Mendelsohn, Gittleman & Associates with Julia Gittleman; his work has often focused on strategic planning, organizational systems development and management capacity-building. Tom loves to cook in kitchens, on backpacking stoves and over open fires. Loves to Cook: Marsala, Piccata and beer (though never together).
If you google Seth you will find a number of amazing articles about his time as the Chef/Owner of The Gallows in South End and rave reviews of his work at Vee Vee in JP, his recipe for Snappy Lobster in The Boston Homegrown Cookbook:Local Food, Local Restaurants, Local Recipes (Homegrown Cookbooks) and many more. Chef Seth, is an experienced culinary professional that has been working in Boston for over 15 years. His long-lasting relationships with local farmers, fish mongers, specialty food providers, and distributors enables him to get some of the best quality items, as well as the best of what's in season. Today besides helping manage CWK commissary contracts Seth's latest venture is Farm and Feast Tours which will bring customers on "tasting trips" to specialty farms in the area.
Irving is a Puerto Rico native and Roxbury resident. He considers himself a handy man and self-taught home cook that can step into any role at the kitchen. He is a great prep cook with amazing knife skills and can prepare authentic Puerto Rican cuisines.
Jorge has been with CWK since June 2014. He came to Boston and settled in Roxbury from Puerto Rico 28 years ago. He has been cooking for over 20 years and has been with Community servings for the past 12 years. At CWK, Jorge wears many hats. He is a prep cook in our commissary kitchen but you also find him managing the building at night. Jorge is a foodie but says nothing tops his…roast pork.
Ronald is an Urban Farmer at the Urban Farming Institute. At CWK you can find him pitching in wherever he can. One day he may be roasting bananas for Batch Ice Cream or working with the Smart Lunch team, and the next day he may be prepping ghost peppers for salsa or making apple crisps for Red Apple Farm. Ronald loves the Jerk Chicken from Fresh Food Generation and solving riddles.
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