An idea that came from a state college apartment grew into over 727 meals donated to those facing food insecurity.
Nick Cradler, a Penn State student and founder of the startup food company One for One, works to curb hunger around the world.
Cradler (Senior Economics) said when he was younger his grandfather would take him to Wilmington, Delaware to work at food banks, and he said this humiliated him.
“So every two weeks you wake up at 6am and there are a lot of random people [who] When you get together, you see the poorest of the poor … come in and choose what they want, ”said Cradler. “It’s definitely an eye-opening experience. It makes you grateful for what you have. “
One for One is a store where Cradler chooses a meal every weekend and publishes the selection on his Instagram page on Sundays. After the menu is published, Cradler will take orders until Tuesday so he can start cooking on Wednesday.
According to Instagram, One for One offers a variety of menu items, including grilled chicken, pulled pork, shrimp, and crab cakes.
Cradler has been up and running for about 12 weeks and said it received about 15-35 orders a week. He donates all profits to Share the Meal, a charity that is part of the United Nations World Food Program.
The idea was still in its infancy when Cradler started cooking for his roommates in the fall semester of 2020. He said he only got the idea of starting a company during the winter break.
Vin Barretta, one of Cradler’s roommates, said he was really impressed with his kitchen after one of the meals Cradler prepared.
“I think he made chicken parmesan once and we just said, ‘Dude, you either have to open a restaurant or do something with it because you’re really talented.’ And he cares what the most important part is, ”said Barretta (Senior Finance).
Cradler came up with the idea and One for One was born.
Another Cradler roommate, Ryan Miller, said he did his part in making his friend successful.
“I would post his food on Instagram and tag his account to encourage people to order from him the following week. He was the head behind it and the only one cooking, but I joke with him and say I’m his head marketing director, ”Miller (Senior Finance) said via email.
Cradler said he had years of restaurant cooking experience, but One for One gave him the ability to cook the kind of food he wanted.
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“So I cooked in restaurants for three or four years, [but] I haven’t made most of the food that I do [now] I can study and do it every week, ”said Cradler. “It’s great because I know how to make all of these things for the rest of my life.”
However, on April 12, Cradler announced that he had received an injunction from the State College. In the letter, according to an Instagram post, he was ordered to cease operations to avoid legal action as his operations did not comply with the “PA FOOD CODE Rules and Regulations”.
According to the letter, individuals in a private household are not allowed to prepare “potentially dangerous” food unless the home meets the requirements of the code.
“Obviously [I’m] really disappointed [I] spent a lot of time on [One for One, and I’m] Kind of like a one-man show, so I made it this big and it was probably my biggest week ever, “said Cradler. “I had to shut it down so it was definitely frustrating, but I met a few new people.”
Cradler said he is still accepting donations for Venmo for Share the Meal, which can be found on One for One’s Instagram.
The disappointment also went through Cradler’s apartment. Barretta said it was hard to see all of the “time and effort” Cradler put into One for One suddenly stalled.
Miller said the order frustrated him but understood that there are rules. He said Cradler’s mission was an “amazing thing”.
“After reading the note from the district, I ended up getting pretty frustrated. The note said that he was endangering people and that what he was doing was illegal as he did not have a permit. When you really look at what he did and who he did it for, it confuses me that someone would want to turn it off, ”Miller said.
Barretta said he believed Cradler was a giver and that he had the ability to brighten a room when he entered.
“I see him as a humorous guy who [when] he goes into the room … [everyone’s] The smile will be a little bigger, ”said Barretta. “It simply increases the energy in the room tenfold. It’s easy to see if you’ve spoken to any of my roommates. One can only say that it brings a positive energy into the room. “
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