Firmly rooted in the Southern California region for well over two decades, Tracy Borkum, principal of Urban Kitchen Group restaurants CUCINA urbana (San Diego), Fish Public (San Diego), CUCINA enoteca Del Mar, CUCINA enoteca Irvine fondly believes in giving back to the communities in which she has invested so much. As many entrepreneurs do, Tracy donates staff hours, funds and resources to dozens of organizations from Orange County to San Diego. However it’s the creative methods of giving back that mean the most to her. The restaurateur inspires her followers with a dedication to philanthropy and charitable giving in a variety of unique fashions from fundraising to spreading motivational messages:
Inspiring By Design – Wishing Wall: As a successful female entrepreneur in a male-driven industry, Tracy Borkum has always remained a steadfast woman’s advocate in both life and business. She demonstrates leadership in the organizations she supports (such as Susan G. Komen, Center for Community Solutions, Girls Rising and more) and now, through a unique platform she created to help inspire and support female empowerment. At her newest location, CUCINA enoteca Del Mar, Borkum has fashioned a unique way for women to reveal their secret wishes, burdens or desires and release them to the universe. On the wall of the women’s restroom, Tracy created a “Wishing Wall” where ladies can write down a heartfelt wish on a tag and place it on the wire heart holsters, affixed to the wall. An anonymous sampling of the more than 1,500 wishes already made: “I wish to have peace & acceptance in my heart,” “I wish for serenity and happiness,” “To find my Prince Charming,” “For my sister to get healthy,” “I wish for true love & to always have good friends and family to share my life with.”
Spreading the Socially Conscious Message: Social change takes a village. When it comes to green initiatives and eco-friendly practices, Urban Kitchen Group firmly believes in practicing what they preach. These methodologies are engrained in the collective’s identity and are incorporated everywhere from the restaurant design to the local food they source to “back of house” recycle standards. Urban Kitchen Group wears the sustainable mission on their sleeves—literally. All servers don shirts with various sayings such as “Think global, eat local,” “Go Green,” “Not for us, for our children,” “Make food, not war,” “Life is a bowl of pasta,” covertly penned in Italian. In addition, these empowering mantras can also be found in the custom oversized graffiti murals found at all three CUCINA locations.
#SipSupport: Urban Kitchen Group proudly presents a new monthly fundraising initiative–#sipsupport. The program rouses community support by raising a glass! In order to reach a wider scope of local organizations in need, each month different beneficiaries are selected. For every bottle or carafe of CUCINA private label wine sold, CUCINA will donate $1 to the local organization! During the month of May 2014, charities supported are Words Alive in San Diego to advocate for reading and Working Wardrobe in Orange County to help create an empowered workforce. More information can be found on www.urbankitchengroup.com or at @cucinaurbana and @cucinaenoteca.