Paul’s Place will officially open its doors Basic kitchen, the newly built home of its culinary arts training program and restaurant located at 925 Washington Boulevard in the Pigtown community of Baltimore City, July 20e, focusing on student recruitment and delivery and delivery services. The operations expanded to include catering and sit-down meals will be launched in the coming months with the integration of the first cohort of students.
Groundwork Kitchen, named as a nod to those working in the rows of a kitchen from scratch, is a 14,000 square foot building that houses a 100 seat restaurant and training facilities where classes can accommodating up to 20 people aged “18 to 80” will learn dining and dining skills from dedicated staff as well as guest chefs from across the region.
“Meals that make sense” are becoming a reality next week, and we couldn’t be more excited, ”said William McLennan, Executive Director of Paul’s Place. “When someone gets taken out, dines with us, or chooses Groundwork Kitchen to host their next event, they can feel good knowing that their support is helping to develop a new workforce for Baltimore City.”
This free 12-week program run by Paul’s Place and based on FareStart’s National Catalyst Kitchen Initiative, is a proven model implemented in nearly 60 other facilities across the country. Groundwork Kitchen utilizes four integral components of the program: culinary skills training, life skills training, hands-on experience, and one-on-one case management support and coaching throughout training, placement and for six. months after graduation. After graduation, all students will earn ServSafe certifications.
“This model of training, case management and employment is proven to boost the local economy, strengthen communities and transform lives. We invite everyone to participate in its launch here in Baltimore and make a real change – ordering meals, signing up for the program, hiring our graduates, ”said McLennan.
The idea for this venture arose when McLennan attended a conference and representatives from Catalyst Kitchens presented the model for a social enterprise culinary arts program.
“A light bulb came on and I knew the idea and model was worth exploring for southwest Baltimore,” McLennan said.
Upon completion of the project and the launch of the program, McLennan, after nearly 20 years at the helm of Paul’s Place, is grateful that he realized the vision before retiring. “Seeing Groundwork Kitchen become a reality has been the pinnacle of my career, although I know it’s just the start of something amazing for this organization and the community it serves,” he said. he explains.
Groundwork Kitchen Executive Chef Kimberly Triplett put together the first menu, which includes an all-day breakfast including avocado toast, bagels with assorted spreads and yogurt parfaits, plus a variety salads, sandwiches and flatbreads for lunch. The American menu offers vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. Take-out and delivery will be available Tuesday through Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. with breakfast served all day and lunch deals available from 11:00 a.m. Once open, the sit-down restaurant will offer breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch.
Chef Triplett brings nearly 20 years of culinary management experience to Groundwork Kitchen, having held various leadership roles with Bon Appétit Management Company, an on-site catering company providing comprehensive food service management to businesses, universities, museums and specialized places. She was the Executive Chief and Director of Operations for American University and held a Managing Director position within the company before securing a corporate position as Regional Support Manager, which has her leads to her most recent position as Resident District Director. She received an associate’s degree in food beverage management from Baltimore International Culinary College.
Groundwork Kitchen is also supported by Program Director Ellen Levy, who has ties to Paul’s Place dating back to 2014, when she was a social work intern while earning her Masters in Social Work from the School of Social Work. from the University of Maryland. Levy returned to Paul’s Place in 2018 as a case manager and now as a program director she has used her workforce development knowledge to create a program focused on student services. She oversees student recruitment, case management services, and placement and retention services for this new specialized training program.
Shavonya Bracken will serve as the training leader. Bracken has over a decade of industry experience, having led the Foodservices Division for Richardson Farms before joining Chartwells Higher Education as Director of Food Production and Deputy Director of Retail Sales at the ‘UMBC. At Chartwells, she trained her team in food preparation and various customer relationship roles. Bracken received a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management from Morgan State University and attended Baltimore International College, where she became a certified culinary.
Paul’s Place is expected to provide 122 jobs and nearly $ 12.2 million in annual economic activity to the city of Baltimore, according to an economic impact study the organization commissioned by Sage Policy Group in 2018.
The $ 10 million project received substantial funding from Chase’s Community Development Banking group, the Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Foundation, the Neighborhood Improvement Impact Fund, the Abell Foundation, the T. Rowe Price Foundation, the Enterprise Community Loan Fund, Cross Street Partners and New Market Tax Credits. In addition, significant philanthropic support has come from many dedicated family foundations and individual Paul’s Place supporters.
Alexander Design Studio was the project architect, The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company was the general contractor and CAPEX Advisory as the project manager. Total Image Creative, served as operations manager for the restaurant launch.
Those interested in applying for the program or placing a takeout / delivery order from July 20 can do so through the new Groundwork Kitchen website at: http://groundworkkitchen.com/.
ABOUT PLACE DE PAUL
Paul’s Place is a catalyst and leader of change, improving the quality of life in the Washington Village / Pigtown neighborhood and surrounding communities in southwest Baltimore. Paul’s Place offers programs, services and support that strengthen individuals and families, fostering hope, personal dignity and growth. For more information about Paul’s Place, visit www.paulsplaceoutreach.org.