Jack Storey – Cultural Ambassador to the Midwest

The interplay of community building and immigrant entrepreneurialism lies at the heart of NooshTube’s message of Yummy Diplomacy. It is no surprise, then, that the NooshTube team would so enthusiastically forge a partnership with Saving Cities, an organization based in Cleveland, Ohio. Saving Cities has a very unique mission – realizing the present-day potential of the American Midwest.

A steady but certain brain drain is gripping the cities of the American interior as millennials seek greener pastures along the coasts. One would assume that the increased digital interconnectivity would put a dent in this nomadic trend, but recent studies show otherwise. Big city lights have never shone brighter.

So what are Midwesterners to do?

Enter Jack Storey, the founder of Saving Cities, who left Ohio for Florida to study filmography, and later completed his MBA there. However, he knew from the onset of his interstate ventures that he would return back to his Ohioan hometown. You could say it was a lifelong commitment, one that carried its way into his college thesis: highlighting the socioeconomic conditions of these Rust Belt cities, resulting in a much-praised documentary, “Red, White, & Blueprints”. Inspired by the stories of trials and triumphs in his film, and the network of civic-minded people he came to know, Jack created the Saving Cities organization.

The organization merges technology with urban economics and education and takes a multi-pronged approach to its mission. On the one hand, it creates user-friendly web-based data technology, all the while addressing the issues of urban and technical education by hosting workshops and speaker series.

However, in essence much like NooshTube, Saving Cities is a community-building enterprise, emphasizing the importance of a livable neighborhood.

“People only think about downtowns when they think of a city. But actually, neighborhoods are where things happen,” Jack points out.

Big companies and federal programs often only invest in downtown districts, seldom addressing the issues concerning neighborhoods and their communities. Jack’s organization is filling this void. By creating economically stable neighborhoods and communities, coupled with the region’s low costs of living, Saving Cities aims to attract people back to these communities and highlight their socioeconomic potential.

New waves of Americans have recently started settling into these Midwestern cities. With their immigrant roots and American upbringing, they are a subset of millenials as comfortable with pizza and burgers as pierogies and samosas while rooting for Wolverines or Buckeyes. This has created an environment in which professional services and entrepreneurialism thrive alongside an array of diverse cultures.

As an organization run by a team of American immigrants, Nooshtube certainly has an international footprint. However, our mission is rooted at home, as it brings stories from around the world to the dinner tables of America. With our other partnerships, like Rumi Spice and Dinner Lab, we educate fellow Americans on the nuances of cross-cultural and cross-culinary societies. Through our partnership with Saving Cities, we support their mission, enabling Midwestern communities to retain and attract great people, all while helping us spread our message of Yummy Diplomacy.

About the Author 

Abdul-Kadar (AK) Rahim is a marketer and product developer with a healthy obsession with all-things culinary. He is part of NooshTube’s creative team, collaborating on content and marketing. Though brought up on the East Coast, he has a tendency to roam around the world, collecting stories and recipes along the way.