Hospitality Training Program
The Kula Café Hospitality Training program was founded by Interfaith Neighbors, Inc. in 2013. The program was designed as a social enterprise to address the high unemployment rate and lack of workforce training available in the Asbury Park area. With a booming restaurant scene on the east side of the city, the Kula Café program aims to provide the necessary training to help our community members compete in this growing job market.
Participants go through a comprehensive training program which combines classroom training with hands-on-work skills to prepare young adults for a career in the hospitality industry. Participants are trained to perform in all different positions in the cafe, allowing them to explore the different jobs available in the restaurant industry. The program offers participants the opportunity to earn an income while gaining valuable work experience.
#ImKula – Kula in the community
The word kula comes from Sanskrit, meaning “an intentional community”, a community of the heart where people strive together with a common vision. The Kula Café provides the building blocks – the physical location and spirit of opportunity – for the creation of an intentional community within the West Side neighborhood of Asbury Park.
Kula Cafe and Kula Urban Farm work together to offer Green Thumbs, an after school program that teaches kids about healthy eating and growing their own food.
Each week offers a different lesson: in Taste the Rainbow children try fruits in all colors of the rainbow, learning fun facts about each (there are 8,000 varieties of grapes!). In Let Us Eat Lettuce! the students harvest their own lettuce from the farm, bring it back to the cafe and make tasty wraps – using their fresh lettuce in place of a tortilla!
During healthy cooking lessons, the kids make enough of their healthy snack to bring home to share with their families.
We feel the need…the need…to FEED!
Every Monday afternoon Kula Cafe participants spend the early afternoon preparing food – soup in the fall and winter, light sandwiches in the spring and summer. They then set up shop in front of the cafe, offering a free meal to community members in need. Need to Feed begins at 3pm on Mondays, directly in front of the cafe.
Each Sunday neighborhood children and their families are invited to the cafe to enjoy a story book (or two!) and coloring time!
Children who participate in Story Time receive free pancakes and their parents enjoy free bottomless coffee!
Story Time begins at 12:30 each Sunday. Pancakes are served at 1pm.
Kula Cafe has partnered with KYDS – Konscious Youth Development & Service – to host their One Mic, One Soul open mic night one Saturday night of each month. Community members of all ages are encouraged to participate in a Mindful Meditation session in the Kula Farm greenhouse, followed by positive message songs and readings. The cafe kitchen is open throughout for light snacks to enjoy during the show! Follow Kula (or KYDS) on Facebook for dates!
View our video to learn more about the early days of Kula:
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