Sanctuary Kitchen, a program of CitySeed in partnership with a network of community volunteers, was formed in 2017 to promote and celebrate the culinary traditions, cultures, and stories of refugees and immigrants resettled in Connecticut. In addition to its historical leadership as an immigration hub, New Haven receives up to 500 resettled refugees annually. This diversity brings opportunities for cultural exchange, enriching the community and building ties across demographic divides.


Through an 8-month culinary training program and social enterprise, sanctuary Kitchen can provide professional development and employment opportunities at above-market wages for immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers in Greater New Haven. 


“Currently, 100% of Sanctuary Kitchen chefs are women. Sanctuary Kitchen chefs have reported reduced social isolation, increased financial stability, improved English language skills, professional culinary skills, and new relationships and networks that provide sustained holistic support. Since the program’s founding, we have also hosted more than 700 refugee/immigrant-led culinary events, which have reached thousands of community members in New Haven, and across the world.”


Sanctuary Kitchen offers delicious meals through catering, Friday night curbside food pick-ups, Farmers Markets, and subscription meal services. With meals such as Adasi lentil dip, Mauritian Biskwi Fromaze, Temen Jezar, Syrian Beet and Yogurt Dip, and much more, Sanctuary Kitchens brings phenomenal culture and culinary flavors of Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Mauritius, and more to everyone in New Haven. 


They also frequently offer cooking classes where community members can join them for an authentic, hands-on cultural experience to learn how to cook traditional dishes. This allows for an excellent opportunity for anyone to meet local refugee and immigrant chefs and share stories over unique foods. 


Elm City Market believes in supporting businesses that uplift marginalized and displaced communities, and we are passionately committed to the success of Sanctuary Kitchen and all that it provides for community members.