Regina catering firm dishes out alternatives for these with cognitive disabilities

Regina catering firm dishes out alternatives for these with cognitive disabilities

A Regina catering firm that employs folks with cognitive disabilities is cooking up a café and cellular meals cart because it expands its non-profit social enterprise.

Munch Catering’s mission is to coach its workers to work within the restaurant trade and the meals trade with catering jobs which are above minimal wage.

Emily Tarr and Gwen Herman based Munch Catering in 2016 after they noticed a necessity for coaching the place folks with disabilities are paid for his or her work.

“There was this factor the place folks did not assume they needed to pay correct wages to folks if they’d a incapacity, and they also wished to pay an precise correct wage. And so we do. We’ve ever since,” mentioned Rick Morrell, govt director of Munch Catering.

Statistics Canada reported that in 2017, 59 per cent of working-age Canadians who recognized as having a incapacity have been employed. Munch Catering is attempting to vary that.

“The profit for the employer is that they find yourself with somebody who’s utterly competent doing their job, utterly dependable, and is not going to go away as a result of, you already know, as soon as somebody who has been denied entry to the labour market finds their place, they are going to keep,” Morrell mentioned.

WATCH| Catering firm that hires folks with cognitive disabilities trying to broaden its non-profit:

Catering firm that hires folks with cognitive disabilities trying to broaden its non-profit

In response to Statistics Canada in 2017, solely 59 per cent of working-age Canadians who recognized as having a incapacity have been employed. Regina’s Munch Catering is attempting to vary that.

New area, new alternatives

Munch Catering moved into the SaskAbilities workplace constructing in January.

Morrell mentioned that whereas the previous location had the tools wanted for catering and versatile lease phrases, the kitchen was a shared area in a basement, which made it harder to load up autos for occasions. 

Having an area of their very own and a seating space affords a chance to broaden. 

Morrell is trying to rent new workers as he plans to open a café for SaskAbilities shoppers and employees, and have a meals cart for summer time occasions.

The registered charity already caters conferences and occasions and has drive-thru pickups the place folks can order upfront and choose up meals.

Two people dressed in blue shirts stand in front of mixing bowls, one holding an electric mixer and the other holds a cup of flour and gives a thumb up.
Kaitlyn LeBlanc and Lydia Orlic combine bowls as they prep meals for the Double Impression program at Munch Catering, the place the meals is donated to a local people group. (Submitted by Jessica Burns)

Munch Catering additionally has the Double Impression program, the place two contracted employees with cognitive disabilities join a six-week coaching course and make meals that’s donated to group organizations such because the Rainbow Youth Centre and North Central Household Centre.

Confidence grows with abilities coaching

Going out for deliveries and catering occasions is without doubt one of the greatest elements of the job, in accordance with Lisa Gelsinger, one in all 4 catering assistants. 

“It will get you out and stuff. So yeah, it is truly type of cool,” mentioned Gelsinger.

Constructing on a love of baking together with her grandma, Gelsinger began working at Munch Catering in October. Her favorite meals to make are cookies, cupcakes and different baked items.

A woman in a white apron leans over a large black plastic plate full of cupcakes as she places a clear plastic lid overtop of the plate.
Lisa Gelsinger packages trays of dainties for a catering occasion. (Samanda Brace/CBC Information)

Morrell, who began his place at Munch Catering in January, mentioned he is seen Gelsinger and others construct confidence whereas mingling at catering occasions.

“I’ve solely been right here a month and a half myself, however already in that point I’ve seen superb progress in a number of of our folks,” Morrell mentioned.

“It simply touches me. I am new, proper? So it simply actually strikes me to consider the expansion that I’ve seen already and the tales that I’ve heard.”

Success after Munch

Gelsinger mentioned she is not certain what she’d like her subsequent job to be, however she is aware of Munch Catering’s job developer Jessica Burns will assist her.

Burns helps workers uncover what they take pleasure in most. She finds them jobs largely within the meals trade, however not in the event that they’d relatively work exterior a kitchen.

A woman wearing a hair net and mask stands in front of baking trays with her arms crossed.
One of many Munch assistant caterers who went on to work at Koko Patisserie was Sydney Kiddler. (Submitted by Jessica Burns)

Burns mentioned 25 folks have gone on to different jobs after Munch, together with one who went to On a regular basis Kitchen and two who went to Koko Patisserie.

Constructing confidence

Taking a break from prepping taco salads and washing dishes, catering supervisor Bonnie Maystruck mirrored again on her six years at Munch Catering, which started when she began as a volunteer.. 

She mentioned the largest problem was adapting throughout the COVID-19 pandemic when occasions have been cancelled, however with the help of the group, the enterprise persevered.

Maystruck mentioned that group help and serving to the assistant caterers be taught new abilities makes the job “close to and expensive” to her coronary heart.

“Confidence of their capability to discover a job and to achieve success, that is what it is all about,” she mentioned.