Excitement is mounting at Grow as the team prepare to open their training café for the first time on 6th February.
Under the tutelage of chef James Ferguson, who is well known as the proprietor of Cooked Outside Catering, members of the Crew have been learning hospitality skills.
Several successful trial afternoon tea sessions have been staged in the café for supporters and friends of the charity and now the Crew are ready to welcome the public in to their 20 seat café.
“Over the last two months we have established a full schedule of work where the Crew have learned to prepare a range of dishes, including soups, spring rolls, scotch eggs, biscuits, cookies and cakes,” said Mr Ferguson. “Watching how they have developed skills and gained confidence has been inspirational and we’re all looking forward to opening our doors to the public so they can sample our fayre.”
Front of house training is carried out by Training and Development Manager Rich Portsmouth. He explained: “Some of the Crew have a natural aptitude to engage with people and will enjoy interacting with our customers as they serve them food prepared in the kitchen.
“Our menus are all based on locally sourced produce and served fresh.”
In keeping with Grow’s aim to reuse and recycle whenever possible the furniture in the café was donated by a school. Formica table tops were replaced with sanded down pallet boards and the paint was sanded off on table legs and chairs in the Workshop to create a distressed look. Much of the kitchen equipment was donated from the former La Grande Mare Hotel.
The coffee machine was also gifted.
Due to limited funding the Grow training café will open part time from Tuesday 6th February. Opening times will be between 12.30 – 3.30pm for simple lunches, tea or coffee and cake on Tuesdays. 10 – 1130am and 12.30 – 3.30pm on Wednesdays and 10 – 11.30am on Thursdays for tea or coffee and cake. No reservations are required but there may be a wait during busy times.
Customers are asked to bear in mind the café is operating as a training experience for the Crew.
Pictured: A trial session ahead of the big opening day