NEWARK, NJ – October 1, 2020 – As summer turned to fall, La Casa de Don Pedro set out to encourage New Jerseyans to support local and black-owned restaurants, breweries, and wineries while raising funds for its COVID-19 relief efforts through Burgers and Brew Week, an interactive alternative to their annual fan-favorite Burgers and Brew event.
The week-long interactive celebration, which ran from September 21st through 27th, included a host of participating establishments throughout New Jersey, exclusive cooking videos with celebrity Chef Jesse Jones and local personalities, behind-the-scenes footage from Montclair Brewery and The Fox & Falcon, as well as a social media challenge where participants could win gift cards and other prizes for posting photos of their burgers and beers.
In total, there were 21 participating restaurants, breweries, and wineries located throughout Northern and Central New Jersey, all of which are small businesses and 11 are black-owned. Nine of the businesses either contributed a portion of their sales during the week to La Casa or donated merchandise which the organization gave away as part of the social media challenge.
The Burgers and Brew Week message was simple: buy local and buy black given the difficulties these establishments currently face in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. With help from celebrity Chef Jesse Jones and Gayle Griffin, PhD, the week began with a virtual kick off sponsored by RWJBarnabas Clara Maass Medical Center and RWJBarnabas Newark Beth Israel Medical Center which aired on Facebook Live. Chef Jesse showed viewers how to make his signature burger while Dr. Griffin, a La Casa board member, spoke of the many benefits and services La Casa provides to approximately 50,000 people annually. The rest of the week was filled with a series of video cooking tutorials and promotions which highlighted the food and drink establishments as well as the sponsors of the event. All videos were recorded, edited, and produced in house by La Casa’s Communications & Development Specialist Elgin Cintron and Director of Program & Fund Development Carrie Puglisi.
Sponsors for the event included Donnelly Construction, JP Morgan Chase & Co, M&T Bank, Prudential Financial, PSE&G, and Valley Bank (Premier Gold); McCarter & English, LLP (Bronze); Horizon NJ Health, Withum, and Violet PR (Friend); RWJBarnabas Clara Maass Medical Center and RWJBarnabas Newark Beth Israel Medical Center (Kick Off Presenting); Leila Ross Wealth Management, Rutgers University – Newark, and Shoprite of Newark (Fall Equinox); Capacity Benefits & Financial Services Group, LLC., Dawn Gammon, Greater Newark LISC, and JW Pierson (Sunset); The Basile Family, Bayshore Recycling, Beacon Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Summit, Julio Colon, Dr.Gayle Griffin, GUbarry, Inc., and On-Site Technology (Dusk); and Arooga’s North Plainfield, Blueprint Café, Bovine Burgers, The Fox & Falcon, Hackensack Brewing, Montclair Brewery, OneHope Wine, SOMA Brewing, and Summit Diner (Food & Drink). Food and drink partners included Café Moso, Four City Brewing, Light Rail Café, Lovelee Wine, and South + Pine American Eatery. To view all video content from Burgers and Brew Week 2020, visit https://tinyurl.com/LaCasaOnYouTube.