Announcing the Newest Accelerator for Local Restaurants Cohorts

DoorDash is introducing the new cohorts of Accelerator for Local Restaurants participants, all based in New Jersey and New York City.

Acc Local Restaurants NY NJ1

By Zachary Sharaga, Founder & Owner, Dear Mama, 2021 Accelerator for Local Restaurants Participant

Dear Mama Coffee was always intended to be a community space. Since opening, we’ve worked to serve great coffee and build rapport with our New York City neighbors. When the pandemic hit, the heart of our business was threatened, and like many restaurants and small businesses, we feared that we’d be forced to close our doors. 

The pandemic coupled with the turbulent economic climate prompted us to look for new ways to support our business. In 2021, Dear Mama was selected as one of the inaugural cohort participants of DoorDash’s Accelerator for Local Restaurants. We received financial support and specialized educational resources that enabled us to stay afloat while adapting and growing our business. 


The support from DoorDash came at a critical time for us. Today, we’re proud to employ more staff and continue serving the highest-quality product while offering a positive community experience for our customers. The Accelerator program was instrumental in sustaining our ability to pay wages that are 20% higher than the industry average and we know firsthand how important our team's livelihood is to contributing to the overall health of a community.

I’m among the more than 150 restaurateurs from 8 cities who have completed the Accelerator for Local Restaurants through local cohorts in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, and Portland guided by some of the industry’s most recognized entrepreneurs and chefs. These participants represent diverse cohorts of restaurateurs and business owners, the majority of whom are women, immigrants, and people of color. 

DoorDash’s mission of growing and empowering local economies resonates with me because it means supporting small businesses like mine that power local economies. The Accelerator for Local Restaurants connects small business owners to other restaurateurs and strengthens the community by creating a meaningful and supportive network. Navigating challenges, learning together, and supporting each other is necessary for our local economies to thrive and small businesses to stay afloat. 

That’s why I am so excited this program has continued to help restaurateurs across the United States and that the Accelerator for Local Restaurants is coming back to New York City and reaching our neighbors across the Hudson River in parts of New Jersey for the first time. As a past participant and a 2023 speaker, it's my honor to join DoorDash to introduce the new cohorts of 20 Accelerator for Local Restaurants participants, all based in New Jersey and New York City. 

The list includes:

  • Café Metro

  • Caridad Restaurant

  • Casa Cubana

  • Cavany Foods

  • Cliffs Cafe

  • Da Claudio

  • L’arte della Pizza Brooklyn

  • Lakou Cafe

  • Lighthouse

  • Little Chef Little Cafe

  • Mad Juicy

  • Mi Lindo Ecuador

  • Mr Mista Oh LLC

  • Multisweet LIC

  • Neguess Creole Restaurant


  • Someday Bar

  • SQ Pizza

  • thecradlenyc llc

  • Ungaro Coal Fired Pizza Cafe

These small business owners will each receive $10,000 grants, an intensive eight-week training and education curriculum, one-on-one customized business advising, the opportunity to connect with other local restaurant owners, and more. DoorDash is making all of these benefits available through its partnerships with national nonprofit Accion Opportunity Fund and local partners at the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey and the Five Borough Chamber Alliance in New York City. I’m also excited to share a new partner for this year’s cohort – DeliverZero is providing free environmentally friendly, reusable packaging to participating restaurants – the equivalent of up to six months of free packaging for each business. This is something that all restaurants need as we look for more sustainable ways to operate our businesses. 

I’m proud that Dear Mama continues to be a community space and happy to host DoorDash’s welcome reception for the selected New York and New Jersey participants. I’m honored to have been a member of the first Accelerator cohort and hope the New York and New Jersey cohorts experience the same level of growth and success.