Jessica Rights and Nicholas Freeman
Mount Airy residents Jess and Nick were furloughed from their catering jobs as operations manager and waitress, respectively. They live in the heart of the neighborhood where you may catch them out for a walk with their two little dogs or tending to their personal organic garden or the community garden. Jessica raises thousands of plants from seed for food programs. Nicholas carefully plans and plants seedlings outdoors. With their catering experience and fresh veggies, they eat as well at home as in any restaurant.
People throughout Philadelphia lack access to fresh whole food. Nick and Jess are on a mission to help people eat nutritiously and fight food scarcity. They believe that everyone has a right to eat as well as they do.
When the pandemic hit, they asked their friend and owner of Malelani Cafe George Drakopoulos to buy food wholesale for distribution to neighbors. Word traveled fast. Friends, neighbors, and strangers started calling to buy fruits and vegetables from them. With the profits they make, they donate fresh food to people in need. Jess and Nick have officially partnered with George and now operate out of his restaurant.
They formed Mount Airy Groceries as an immediate and direct way to combat food insecurity here in Philadelphia.
George, originally from South Africa, is now a proud Mount Airy resident and the owner of Malelani Cafe. He is a lifelong connector of people and advocate for positive neighborhood change. He comes from a family of restaurateurs who serve their customers not only through fresh whole food but through art and music as well.
He strongly believes that business owners have an obligation to be stewards to neighbors they serve. He is often exposed to people who are hungry but can't afford to eat. Therefore, he eagerly partnered up with Nick and Jess and donated half of his restaurant space to Mount Airy Groceries in their first 2 months of operations.
George is very social and his open mic group now hosts online events through his Facebook page. He hopes you can join him on his journey to use the arts to raise funds for the families he serves.