Client Spotlight: Ben’s Friends, A Non-Profit Offering a Community of Sobriety for Food & Beverage Professionals

Here at Sprouthouse, we’re privileged to donate our time representing a nonprofit organization that’s dedicated to bringing hope, fellowship, and a path forward to hospitality professionals grappling with substance abuse or addiction: Ben’s Friends. This partnership allows us to contribute to a cause that deeply resonates with our values (and the lives of many of our clients). We get the opportunity to make a positive impact on bettering the industry that is our livelihood. Ben’s Friends has been a client of ours since 2020, and we’re extremely proud to be working with them in a pro-bono capacity.

We love spreading the good news of this resource and telling everyone we can about it. Whether we’re announcing the launch of a new chapter, assisting in an upcoming partnership, or connecting chapter leaders with their local media, we never miss an opportunity to brag on our Ben’s Friends partners.

We’re also using what we’ve learned from our time with Ben’s Friends to launch a company-wide program encouraging our employees to combine their work and passions: work pro-bono on organizations that are meaningful to them.

Ben’s Friends is a support group for members of the food and beverage industry.

In 2016, Charleston-based restaurateurs Steve Palmer and Mickey Bakst decided they had to do something about the rampant substance abuse in the food and beverage industry. Yet another chef had just taken his own life. And this time it was their friend and colleague, Ben Murray. Through the pain of this loss, Steve and Mickey—who are both in recovery and have been sober for a collective 60 years—created Ben’s Friends.

They knew that their friends and colleagues could find hope in a shared, community experience by starting a dialogue and acknowledging that substance abuse cannot only be overcome through isolation and willpower. Ben’s Friends hopes to write a new chapter in the lives of food and beverage professionals across the country.

Free to all, Ben’s Friends offers daily zoom meetings, late night meetings, family support, meetings for men, and meetings for femmes, along with 20+ in-person chapters throughout the country.

What started with an idea and one local chapter in Charleston, SC, has now grown to: 

  • A nationwide presence with over 20 in-person chapters reaching from coast-to-coast
  • Daily Zoom meetings for those needing immediate support
  • Support groups for family members and friends of those struggling
  • 25 national leaders ready and willing to help anyone take the first step towards sobriety

We hope this information empowers people to share Ben’s Friends resources with those who may need it. Check out more on their website.