May 6, 2022
Caitlin Cullen is a chef, world-changer, and founder of The Tandem in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Caitlin now serves as the food center director at Kinship Community Food Center, but prior to that Caitlin dedicated numerous years of her life to The Tandem and the community in Lindsay Heights, Milwaukee.
The Tandem is a restaurant, but they do more than just serve food. Located in a neighborhood that was once a thriving community and a stop on the Underground Railroad, is now a struggling community with an unemployment rate of more than 50%. Five times the national average. Caitlin opened The Tandem as a social project that built a community, a strong foundation, a support system - a family - in the community, that was much more than just a restaurant. No matter who you are or where you came from, what you’ve been through or what you’ve done in your past - there is a place and a spot for you at The Tandem. If someone needed a job, Caitlin would hire them - teach them the food industry, management skills, or whatever else they wanted or needed to learn and help them transition out into the community to other jobs. If someone needed a driver’s license, Caitlin or someone from The Tandem would be out doing driving lessons around the neighborhood, practicing with them until they passed, and cheering them on when they came back with a license. If someone needed a meal or a drink after work, they got you. A babysitter, Caitlin and her partner Anne would watch your kid. A kid needed tutoring or a hot meal after school, The Tandem would take care of that. There are so many instances, so many ways that Caitlin and The Tandem served the community, so many stories to share - but we’ll let Caitlin tell you herself. When Covid hit our world, The Tandem took their work a step further and stopped selling food and instead starting giving away meals to those in need. Throughout the pandemic, they fed over 115,000 people. Incredible! Above all, The Tandem is a family that looks out for one another and takes care of one another. And The Tandem should be an example to all of us.
In this episode, you’ll hear:
Watch “In Tandem”: https://youtu.be/wnqjmMN1xKg