Goodwill opens bistro
"They helped me a lot to change my life around." Stefanie Glass, culinary student
Lunch is now served in the Neighborhood Bistro, which took over The News Tribune’s cafeteria with a grand opening on Aug. 13. The Goodwill Industries culinary training program operates the coffee shop eatery as a satellite location of the main instructional space at Goodwill’s main office downtown.
“The News Tribune has been a great community partner and supporter of Goodwill’s mission in the past, by sponsoring our Ready to Work Breakfast and hiring our clients,” said Terry Hayes, CEO of Tacoma Goodwill. “They really went out of their way to partner with us.”
The daily newspaper had already contracted with Goodwill Industries for newspaper packaging workers, so the eatery seemed like another logical fit. The newspaper-run cafeteria was losing money with the drop in customers brought by the recessionary layoffs at the newspaper.
The partnership solved two problems: Goodwill needed more training space, particularly for real-life restaurant operations and the newspaper needed a way to provide food and snacks on-site to keep people productive instead of leaving the building for meals. While the eatery is located in the newspaper building, it is open to the public. It offers fresh meals, lattes and coffees, specialty catering for events as well as grab-and-go items.
The Neighborhood Bistro us operated by students in Goodwill’s six- and 12-week Culinary Skills training courses that are designed to teach essential job skills such as food safety and sanitation, food preparation and customer service. Graduates of the program have been hired as pantry cooks, line cooks, pastry chef assistants and cashiers around Puget Sound. The program is free for students, who also get a small monthly stipend for their work as well as a set of work-appropriate attire once they graduate and prepare for the workforce.
Profits generated from the bistro are used to fund job-training programs at Goodwill, which provides various skills courses to some 8,000 clients a year in 15 counties in Washington.
One of those students is Stefanie Glass, a 22-year-old single mother who found her way to the Goodwill program and now has a culinary job.
“They helped me a lot to change my life around,” she said. “My life is just better, and I have everyone at Goodwill to thank.”
The Neighborhood Bistro is located at 1950 S. State St.
Letter to the Editor
If you would like to contact us directly, please submit a Letter to the Editor here.