Interview by Jan Osborn . Photos courtesy of Lyn Muse and Savor.
Savor in Klyde Warren Park recently joined forces with The North Texas Food Bank by generously matching donations up to $50,000 to help individuals affected by COVID-19. Savor plans to support the hospitality industry through ShiftSmart, Food4Kids and Furlough Kitchen Programs.
We recently had the opportunity to visit with Lyn Muse, founder and President of Lyn Muse Interiors and Owner of Savor in Klyde Warren Park, and asked her about Savor’s donor matching initiative.
Giving back has long been a family affair for the Muse family. Tell us how you made giving back a part of your family dynamic.
When we formed our family Foundation over 20 years ago we involved our entire immediate family – even though some of our five children were very young at the time. However, even then we communicated our overarching goal of providing a hand up, rather than a handout, to those in need. In those days, we met once a year over the Christmas holidays to bring them up to date and to ask them for ideas. They all volunteered at one of the beneficiaries of our grant-making when they were in high school and college.
Over the last three years, we have increased by more than five fold, the size of our Foundation and have appointed our daughter, Whitney Muse McKnight, as Executive Director of the Foundation. All of our children are grown now and have been appointed to the Board. Some of us are more involved with the day to day than others, but Whitney sends out a monthly report to all of us to keep us apprised of both new grants and investments. At her initiative, we have also begun to examine “impact investing” or using our portfolio to do well while doing good—like investing in affordable workforce housing at below market rate of returns with the opportunity to make larger capital commitments with the opportunity over time to recycle that capital. Our daughter-in-law, Mallory, is spearheading that effort, as she has a legal background in real estate and a keen interest in this initiative.
We now gather the family once a year for a two to three day retreat to have a comprehensive discussion on all of our philanthropy, and where we want to go as a family with it over the next year.
What inspires you to get involved with an organization and lend a helping hand?
The Muse Family Foundation has typically supported organizations that offer a helping hand to individuals who are working to improve their own lives. This idea has manifested itself largely through the Foundation’s donations to educational institutions.
How did you come up with the idea of Savor, your restaurant in Klyde Warren Park, to challenge North Texans to donate to the North Texas Food Bank?
At Savor, we believe in the power of food to help heal and bring our community together, especially during this unprecedented time. Last week, we donated and delivered meals to healthcare professionals at various hospitals around Dallas including UT Southwestern and Parkland as just one way to say thank you to these heroes. We saw firsthand the powerful effects a hearty meal can have in lifting spirits and energy, and wanted to expand that to reach more North Texans. We want all North Texans to be able to get the food and nutrition they need to fuel their families, and partnering with the North Texas Food Bank and Furlough Kitchen is a great way to give people access to food and nutrition.
How did you select the beneficiaries to receive this donation?
The hospitality industry has been especially impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19. Obviously this industry is close to our hearts, and these beneficiaries are doing noble work to help individuals in this industry – and others—find resources during this time. Savor’s ownership selected these impactful beneficiaries as they are positively supporting many individuals in the hospitality industry feeling the adverse effects of the COVID-19 outbreak. The North Texas Food Bank’s ShiftSmart initiative pays unemployed workers to pack boxes of food for vulnerable populations. The organization’s Food4Kids program provides backpacks full of nutritious, nonperishable, kid-friendly food to children. Lastly, the Furlough Kitchen program provides free meals to hospitality workers who are unemployed. These are all incredibly efficient, successful programs meeting the needs of our community every day and we are proud to support them. We hope other North Texans, who are able, support them too, by donating and allowing Savor to match the donation.
How are you staying encouraged these days?
I am encouraged and awed daily by the strength of the medical workers, doctors, nurses, janitors, cooks— everyone—in our hospitals. They are all working each day for the people on their left and on their right. They are our heroes battling this disease on the frontlines. I am also encouraged by our Dallas community and the support they are offering the restaurant industry during this time. I am thankful to everyone who has placed a curbside pickup meal order from Savor—because of you, we are able to support even more people during this time. I have confidence Dallas will be stronger on the other side of this pandemic.
Those looking to support Savor’s efforts through the North Texas Food Bank or Furlough Kitchen are encouraged to contribute to the matching fund – upon making a donation, please designate this specifically for the Savor Fund so a match can be made. Additionally, support Savor through its new Curbside Pickup. Ring 214-306-5597 to purchase a curbside pickup meal along with a bottle of wine. Savor is open daily from 12 p.m.-7 p.m., and daily specials can be found on the restaurant’s Facebook and Instagram pages.
If this story has inspired you to support the North Texas nonprofit community, visit our How to Support Nonprofits During Social Isolation page to learn how you can get involved!