Heart of the Home Kitchen Tour

Krista Connor

Fundraiser gives visitors a look into area’s finest homes—and offers tastings from local restaurants

For 95 years, the Junior League of Wilmington has been a female-run educational and charitable organization committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women and improving communities.

Fundraising is a focal point for the League, which hosts its biggest fundraiser of the year, Heart of the Home Kitchen Tour, on Saturday, April 9.

Each year, the self-guided tour, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., showcases approximately 15 of the area’s finest home kitchens in Wilmington, Newark, Hockessin and Southern Chester County. A list of this year’s selections, along with a tour map, will be released on April 8 at heartofthehometour.com.

Event Chair Angela Salvucci says aesthetics aren’t the only draw. Over the past few years, many attendees have been coming for the food.

“Since so many people were saying the food demonstrations were their favorite part of the tour, we’ve really been putting some energy into making the food sampling aspect a big focus,” says Salvucci.

Restaurants involved include 8th and Union Kitchen, BBC Tavern, BellaVista Trattoria, Bixby’s Caterers, Brew HaHa!, Caffé Gelato, De La Coeur Café, Food Bank of Delaware Culinary School and more.

The Junior League has hosted the Heart of the Home Kitchen Tour since 2004, although since 2012 the tour has been alternating with The Junior League’s Whale of a Sale fundraiser, so this is the tour’s 11th year.

In previous years, the event has raised as much as $50,000, and Salvucci hopes to top that on April 9.

“As we meet with homeowners who have just renovated their homes to include these astonishing dream kitchens, it is not lost on anyone that they are obviously very fortunate,” says Salvucci. “So the tour is a way to give back, for these families to invite the community into what really is the heart of their home, and by doing so help raise money to support some programs that are making a tangible difference to people less fortunate.”

Funds raised will go directly to the League’s mission and community programs, which focus on improving the lives of girls age 12-18 in the Greater Wilmington area. This includes making improvements to facilities at the Delaware Adolescent Program, which helps pregnant teenagers receive pre-natal care and continue their education.

Tour tickets are available online or at various locations, including Apropos, Everything but the Kitchen Sink, J. McLaughlin, Heart and Home, Kitchen Kapers and the Wilmington Country Store. Tickets are $30 each or four for $100 in advance, or $35 day-of.

For more information, visit the website or contact JLW@JLWilmington.org.

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