In October 2011 Daniel and Eli Russell were charged with the task of raising $50 each for charity. The Russell family decided an old fashioned bake sale would be the best way to accomplish this. Being a passionate cook, Chris volunteered to help the kids make treats for the bake sale using crisp rice cereal and marshmallows. Shunning the treats from his childhood, Chris foraged through his pantry in search of culinary inspiration.
After a couple of hours, some sticky little fingers, and some licked-clean bowls later; they had created three flavors of treats: Mint-Chocolate Cookie, Butter Scotch Sprinkle, and Cherry-Dark Chocolate. Accompanied by Jennifer, they took the treats to their street corner and set up shop on their old lemonade stand.
Although their charming smiles may have inspired initial purchases, people soon came back to buy seconds and even thirds. Daniel and Eli sold all their treats, raised over three hundred dollars for the charity, and had customers lined up as they ran out.
Inspired by the success of the bake sale, Chris and Jennifer contacted Wendy Israel, the former Pastry Chef of their restaurants Moomba and TanDa. Wendy loved the idea of gourmet treats and agreed to come on board as the Pastry Chef, and the idea for TREAT HOUSE began to grow.
Over the past year and a half dozens of exciting flavors have been developed that please children’s and adults’ palates equally.
Treats are always made with the customer’s health in mind. All Treats are certified Kosher Dairy; and unless specified otherwise, are gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free. Our Homemade Marshmallows are made using raw cane sugar — never corn syrup. Breakfast bars contain brown rice, oats, flax, dried fruits, and seeds (some contain nuts.)
The team of Chris, Jennifer, and Wendy was completed with the addition of Michael Trenk, another 20-year restaurant veteran and friend. Chris and Jennifer are thrilled to have joined forces with their old friends to create TREAT HOUSE, an idea that grew from a bake sale.
While creating a profitable business was certainly our primary goal in creating Treat House, it was also very important for us to find a meaningful and impactful way to continue to give back to our community.
We considered many causes; however in the end, helping to fight local hunger really resonated with us. We learned that while we live in one of the richest cities in the world, 1 in 3 New Yorkers have difficulty affording food.
We have partnered with The Food Bank For New York City, which is an incredible organization that helps fight hunger in a staggering number of ways. For every Treat we sell, we donate 10 cents to the Food Bank and for each t-shirt we donate a dollar. Every time you Treat yourself you will also be Treating others, and helping fight hunger in our city.
Founded in 1983, Food Bank For New York City is the city’s major hunger-relief organization, working to end food poverty in all five boroughs.
Emergency food is a critical first step in the continuum of services needed to address hunger. Food Bank procures, stores and distributes more than 70 million pounds of healthy food every year, including fresh produce. Through a citywide network of approximately 1,000 charities and schools, including food pantries, soup kitchens, senior centers, after-school programs, and more, Food Bank helps to provide food for 400,000 free meals each day for New Yorkers in need. Food Bank also provides financial resources for a more secure tomorrow and nutrition education for healthy lifestyles.
For more information
about any of their services,
call (212) 566-7855 or
visit their website at