West Michigan chef, GRCC alum fighting to end child hunger with new Grand Rapids restaurant

Every bowl of ramen sold at Noodlepig will help feed children locally, nationally and around the world.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A West Michigan chef is on a mission to fight food insecurity here at home and around the world.

He’s creating a restaurant in Grand Rapids to do just that.

Chef Chris Wessely is chopping away at ingredients developing recipes for his restaurant Noodlepig, the handmade, gourmet, fast ramen coming soon to Grand Rapids.

“We are really putting the food first and foremost so again like I tell everybody, we need our noodles to shine. We want people to come because we taste delicious. The icing on the cake is that you happen to also be feeding three kids at the same time,” Wessely said.

Every bowl of ramen sold goes to feed children in need.

“For every bowl of ramen that we sell, three hungry children are fed one here locally, one here nationally, and one abroad. And we do that by tying in with three specific charities that do exactly that,” Wessely said. 

The three charities are Hand 2 Hand in West Michigan, No Kid Hungry at the national level, and Faith in Deeds out of India.

“I literally went to these charities and said, hey, what’s it cost to feed a kid in your organization, and then I took that dollar amount I built right into the cost of the noodles. That’s before we even pay for the electricity or the rent, or paying for payroll or even ourselves and so we run into putting that at the forefront of our mission, of our company,” Wessely said. 

Wessely, who’s from West Michigan and a Grand Rapids Community College alum, says he wants to be an asset in his community.

“I want to be a role model to my children and I just want to help, I want to sleep well at night, working hard…I want to feel like I made a difference,” Wessely said. 

Wessely has signed the lease for the space at 601 Bond Apartments. The Japanese-style restaurant will allow you to place your order at a kiosk inside.

“We have some interesting culture mixes, so I have a pork posole ramen, I have some fusion bowls that are gonna be a lot of fun to share with West Michigan. So again, if you don’t like any of those bowls or you want to be your own chef, you could also build your own bowl as well,” Wessely said. 

These ramen bowls will not only feed your stomach but also your soul.

Wessely is working with an architect for the build-out of the restaurant. The goal is to be open during the early part of 2022.

To learn more about Noodlepig and its mission click here.

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