7 N.J. restaurants selected for DoorDash accelerator program

Businesses will receive $10K grant, 8-week training, 1-on-1 consulting

Seven Northern New Jersey restaurants have been selected for the DoorDash Accelerator for Local Restaurants program — an initiative that gives grants ($10,000) and business training to small businesses.

The program, run by DoorDash, is done in partnership with Accion Opportunity Fund, DeliverZero and the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey. It is intended to help increase access to opportunity for small businesses, including those owned by women, immigrants and people of color.

Twenty businesses in the metro area were selected. The participants of the New Jersey cohort include:

  • Café Metro (Denville);
  • Casa Cubana (Jersey City);
  • Cavany Foods (Jersey City);
  • Cliffs Café (Englewood Cliffs);
  • Mi Lindo Ecuador (Newark);
  • Neguess Creole Restaurant (Vauxhall);
  • SQ Pizza (Mahwah).

As members of the first New Jersey cohort of the Accelerator for Local Restaurants program, these small business owners not only will receive a grant and training, but one-on-one customized business advising and the opportunity to connect with other local restaurant owners.

In addition, DoorDash is partnering with DeliverZero to provide free environmentally friendly, reusable packaging to participating restaurants — the equivalent of up to six months of free packaging for each business — as they transition their businesses to a more sustainable future.

More than 150 restaurateurs from eight cities have completed the Accelerator for Local Restaurants through local cohorts in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia and Portland, Oregon, guided by some of the industry’s most recognized entrepreneurs and chefs. The majority of restaurant owners participating in the Accelerator for Local Restaurants cohorts have identified as immigrants, women or people of color.

Esther Ladipo, associate manager, social impact, at DoorDash, said the impact of the program can be substantial.

“The participants represent a diverse cohort of restaurateurs and business owners, reflecting New Jersey and New York City’s vibrant, multicultural communities and cuisines,” she said. “We’re proud to partner with the Accion Opportunity Fund, DeliverZero, the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey and the Five-Borough Chamber Alliance to empower local economies and look forward to helping our newest cohort grow their knowledge, invest in their business and transition toward more sustainable business practices, which will benefit local New Jersey and New York communities.”

Carlos Medina, CEO of the Statewide Hispanic Chamber, said his group is thrilled to be part of the program.

“As an organization committed to empowering Hispanic-owned businesses and promoting economic growth in our communities, we recognize the importance of supporting small business owners, especially those who come from underrepresented backgrounds,” he said.

“We are excited to join our partners at DoorDash and the Accion Opportunity Fund in celebrating the seven local restaurants that have been selected to participate in this year’s Accelerator for Local Restaurants program. We look forward to working together with our partners to identify new ways to help local restaurateurs and small business owners succeed in today’s dynamic business environment.”

U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-5th Dist.) applauded the program.

“In Jersey, small businesses are the backbone of our communities and I’m grateful for the support the Accelerator for Local Restaurants program provides to local North Jersey businesses and so many others across Jersey,” he said.

“In Congress, I’m dedicated to working across the aisle to lower taxes, cut outdated and unnecessarily burdensome red tape, improve access to capital for small businesses, unleash more economic opportunity and create jobs — to continue making Jersey a great place to do business. Accelerator for Local Restaurants opens doors for small business owners, especially for women and people of color.”