AHRC’s Café 230: Serving Up New Potential
Café 230 is staffed by both typical and special needs cooks, who work side by side prepping for executive events as well as daily Meals on Wheels deliveries to local seniors.
Though an integrated kitchen, there are still supports in place to help people with disabilities continue to expand their skillsets. From the encouragement of job coaches to the hands-on instruction of AHRC Culinary Manager Kelly Kendrick, Café 230 cooks use their time in the kitchen to help others, but also express themselves through their culinary training.
“The love and respect that they have for each other is foremost,” said Kelly Kendrick, culinary manager at AHRC Nassau. “They are talented but they cook with love and people enjoy it.”
Café 230 team member Regina King started cooking when she was still in diapers, beating eggs in her grandmother’s kitchen, and has worked in the Café for six years.
“I love helping cater,” said Regina, “Serving the food and watching people come back for seconds is (the best).”
Michael Tindal of Freeport has worked in the kitchen for the past six years. He enjoys bringing home his cooking skills to his roommate, but also hopes to expand his recipe box to include meals ranging from meatloaf to omelets. “Working in the kitchen is a great opportunity. It’s a learning experience in a nice atmosphere with good people,” said Michael.
In addition to cooking skills, time management and learning to work as a team are also part of the Café 230 experience. For Gloria Waller of Roosevelt, the time crunch for the team during daily Meals on Wheels prep can be challenging. “We need to get everything done before 10 a.m. because if it doesn’t we have to rush,” said Gloria, who has also worked in the kitchen for the past six years.
Gloria feels compelled to stay on schedule so fellow AHRC Workforce participants, like Michael, can deliver meals out into the community. Michael sometimes butters rolls and other times delivers. “It makes you feel good to help (people) out,” said Michael.
One group supported by the Café is the Freeport High School Football team. “Every time they have our food, they win the game,” said Gloria. “It’s lucky food.”
Interested in Café 230 catering for a Nassau County-based event? Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.