Ismail Samad is a native of East Cleveland, OH a social entrepreneur, enterprise developer and a closed loop food systems expert. He has held key positions in both nonprofit and for profit organizations focused on some of the underlying and systemic issues addressed within his latest venture Loiter, an ecosystem of enterprises centered on economic, environmental and spatial justice.
As an entrepreneur, Ismail opened his first business, Crust and Crumbs, at the age of 23 and later Co-Founded the Gleanery, the first of its kind fine dining, farm to table restaurant in Putney Vermont with a mission to encourage diners to play a role in addressing the fundamental issue of wasted food.
During his time at CommonWealth Kitchen, Boston's Non Profit food business incubator, Ismail provided technical assistance, and business development support to early and growth stage BIPOC and Women owned enterprises. Additionally, Ismail led the farmer value added and contract manufacturing programs leveraging his USDA, HACCP, and TPS lean manufacturing certifications and trainings. His most significant body of work was his leadership on the anchor institution strategy, negotiating a shift in procurement practices within Harvard University, MIT and Boston Children's Hospital to include BIPOC food products and working to secure forward contracts with foodservice companies Sodexo and Compass Group providing predictable revenue for local farmers.
Ismail served as culinary director and was pivotal in the planning, launch and early expansion of Daily Table, nonprofit grocery stores in Roxbury, Dorchester and Cambridge Massachusetts. Daily Table focuses on addressing food insecurity, nutritional health, and wasted/surplus food and provide an equitable healthy and community relevant destination for underserved communities.
While on Vineyard Martha's Vineyard Ismail ran the highest rated catering company on the island and returns as needed as a Personal Chef for aligned clients seeking artfully prepared and sustainably sourced menus for their families and guests. He is on the Bboard of Director for the Chilmark Town Affairs Council, Boston Area Gleaners and The Corbin Hill Food Project.