Seasoned With Hope
A community eatery and gathering place that helps local youth develop transferrable skills for application in the hospitality industry.
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.
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.
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