Tacolicious is making Mondays both delicious and philanthropic.
The casual, contemporary Mexican restaurant in San Francisco’s Marina and Mission District neighborhoods that launched Mmmmm Mondays in March 2012. On Mondays, 15 percent of the proceeds from the restaurant’s Marina location go to a different public school every month, and the buildOn afterschool program at Galileo Academy of Science and Technology has been a recipient. Now Tacolicious is raising money to build a school in Nicaragua with buildOn through its Tacolicious School Project.
“Public school and education have always been the focus at Tacolicious,” said Joe Hargrave, owner of Tacolicious. “Now we’ve been presented with the opportunity to give back outside of our community and we’re lucky to be able to do that.”
Employees are set to go to Nicaragua and help break ground on the school in March 2013. We asked Tacolicious’ Sales Director, Kory Cogdill, about the project:
How were you introduced to buildOn?
A longtime friend of the restaurant and investor at our Chestnut street location works with buildOn. Coincidentally, as we were launching our Tacolicious School Project she approached us to see if there was a way for us to collaborate. It was perfect timing knowing our community outreach platform was focusing on education. After learning about the after school programs and the amazing work buildOn was doing, it was a perfect fit.
What do the schools do with the proceeds from Mmmmm Mondays?
Where the money goes from there is up to the individual school. I know a lot of schools will use the funds to help with lunch service, after school programs, and general upkeep of the classrooms.
Joe, the owner, and his wife, Sara, have kids in the local school system. They saw a real need as they were constantly being asked to help out financially at the kids’ schools with supplies and such. We were doing a lot of small donations through gift cards and food but we weren’t seeing a big difference. So, that’s when we launched the Tacolicious School Project. Now with the funds we gather, we are able to see the direct impact the money can make.
How have you seen your contribution make a difference?
Our first beneficiary, Mission High School, used the money to help build their first commercial grade educational kitchen. Telmo (Antelmo Faria), our Executive Chef, helped consult on the project. It was really great to see such a tangible product come to fruition.
What does social responsibility mean to Tacolicious?
A lot. We are very fortunate to be in a position where we are able to give back to our community, very active with our outreach and will always be as long as we are operating. Our philosophy is to keep a strong and responsible connection with our community.
Why did Tacolicious decide to build a school in Nicaragua? How many people will be building it and when will they go to Nicaragua?
Being that education is our philanthropic platform, the Nicaragua trip really aligned with our philosophy. All of our efforts are primarily focused locally but this is a great opportunity to do some pretty awesome work outside our community. We can also focus on a community that wouldn’t have this opportunity if it weren’t for buildOn. We decided on Nicaragua because of the Latin connection.
What buildon initiatives mean the most to you?
The community service aspect is really admirable. A lot of kids these days don’t value community service, and it’s something that not only strengthens the person volunteering, but those that are benefiting from the service. Then in turn our community grows stronger.
You can continue to support Tacolicious and buildOn by dining at their Marina location (2031 Chestnut Street, San Francisco) every Monday, or donate online.