Jessamyn Waldman pays for English classes for the bakers at Hot Bread Kitchen in Long Island City, Queens. Ecuadorian immigrant Ruperto Morocho opened two Latin restaurants where South Bronx residents can nosh for nice prices.
Despite recession, theyre doing their part to revitalize city nabes. Mayor Bloomberg thanked them and a select crew of other small-biz owners and nonprofits yesterday with Neighborhood Achievement Awards, which are presented annually by the citys Small Business Services Department.
"Great cities are built on great neighborhoods," the Mayor said at a ceremony on the lawn of Gracie Mansion.
Other winners include Greene Grape Provisions and Greene Grape Wine Store, which led the charge in filling vacant storefronts in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, and Pastosa Ravioli, an Italian food store whose owner helped start Staten Islands first Business Improvement District.
Niki and Shaokao Cheng, who opened five BoConcept furniture shops in Manhattan and Brooklyn, were also honored, along with Accion USA, a nonprofit lender for small business owners who cant qualify for bank financing.
Morocho, 51, draws diners to his two eateries, Delicioso and Nuevo Delicioso, with cheap prices and recipes that awaken nostalgia for the food back home. Food bloggers rave about his rotisserie chicken.
Waldman, 33, who formerly worked at the United Nations, said Hot Breads customers support her efforts to offer immigrants jobs and training despite the economic slump.
If youre going to spend a dollar and you cant afford to give to charity, you have to buy bread anyway, she told the Daily News.