Partnering with others

Main Street Gourmet is cooking up breast cancer awareness and strengthening the community through its philanthropic efforts.

In 1992, Main Street Gourmet started “Muffins for Mammograms,” a program to raise money to provide mammograms for women unable to afford them. The company hosts the week-long effort every year during October.

It works with Akron General Medical Center to bake, package and distribute muffins, cookies, brownies and breast cancer awareness literature to members of the business community. In recent years, Main Street Gourmet has also worked with Massillon Community Hospital and Lodi Hospital.

The efforts have raised more than $100,000 since the program started, allowing hundreds of women to receive potentially-life saving mammograms.

“Muffins for Mammograms” was nationally recognized in 1994 as a Bronze Award winner by the National Breast Cancer Board, and earlier this year, the Ohio Department of Health selected the program as an Ohio Cancer Control Model Program based on its creativity and impact on cancer detection and prevention.

Since 1995, Main Street Gourmet has supported the Workshop Program at the Weaver School, which works with people who are mentally challenged. Main Street Gourmet employs nine students from the school to perform duties at its corporate and production facilities.

In 1996, the Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities recognized the company for its support of people with disabilities. It also received the 2004 Disability Employment Awareness Award from the County of Summit Board of MRDD.

Additionally, Steve Marks, co-founder and co-CEO of Main Street Gourmet, founded the Road Runner Akron Marathon. The annual event promotes health, fitness and community while also benefiting charitable organizations. The event attracts 5,000 participants, 2,500 volunteers and 75,000 spectators.

Main Street Gourmet also donates food to the Akron Canton Food Bank. Co-CEO Harvey Nelson is past president of this organization and serves on its foundation board.

Main Street Gourmet strives to better the community through its philanthropic endeavors and through economic development. It constructed a 60,000-square-foot headquarters and employs more than 100 people, boosting Akron’s economy.

Its combined development and service efforts have won it several awards and gained recognition for the company and for the city of Akron.

HOW TO REACH: Main Street Gourmet, (330) 929-0000,