Mitzi Dean

Skookum food and coffee more than just a bistro

At-risk youth on the West Shore will soon be getting a hand up while handing out coffee.

At-risk youth on the West Shore will soon be getting a hand up while handing out coffee.

It shouldn’t take much longer until youth at Pacific Centre Family Services Association are serving up coffee and healthy snacks through its youth bistro program.

Skookum Food and Coffee is scheduled for a soft launch in September to test menu items at its location at the West Shore Child, Youth and Family Centre (345 Wale Rd.).

“It’s our general interpretation that skookum means something that is really cool and really neat. That’s what we are trying to do here,” Dean said. “We are excited and it makes sense we are doing this, the bistro has been sitting empty for years.”

The bistro will be open in full swing by mid-October, on Tuesdays and Thursdays to start, and open to the public.

“We hope to cater meetings here in the building and even deliver food to seniors,” Dean said.

All of the youth employees of Skookum Coffee will be referred through the association’s youth programs.The staff will not be paid hourly, but though an honorarium, which has yet to be determined.

The youth involved will span from 16 to 22 years old. Students at both West Shore Centre for Learning and Training and Pacific Secondary may be a part of the program and could use the experience in the bistro for credit.

“This isn’t just work experience, it’s about building relationship, self-esteem and confidence,” said Dean, explaining the youth will be working through mentorship as well. “It’s life skills just as much as it is employment skills.”

Nathalie Down, the program co-ordinator for the bistro, is a child and youth councillor and has 10 years of experience working in the hospitality industry.

She has bussed tables and bar tended and taken on many other positions in between.

“I left the restaurant industry because it wasn’t fulfilling at a community level,” Down said, adding this position can marry her two skills together.

She has a passion for working with at-risk youth and knows first hand hospitality jobs are an attainable goal for her clients.

Pacific Centre Family Services Association has been working hard to turn this dream into a reality and the association board is backing the project with more than $40,000.

The association has received some funding from Island Savings Credit Union and has other grants awaiting approval.

charla@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Saanich residents face higher sewer, water and garbage rates

Council is set to ratify an increase of 10.52 per cent for sewer

Saanich Police board chair supports department in case over fired officer, but key questions remain

Case involves former Saanich constable who was the subject of 15 separate misconduct allegations

Remember Spunky? Santa came out to Sidney to check on him

Red-tailed Hawk made headlines last year after being stolen, raised by eagles

MISSING: 59-year-old Pamela Fletcher

Fletcher was last seen in the area near Royal Jubilee Hospital on Dec. 10

Mainroad South Island reminds drivers to keep them in the loop

Call the hotlines for concerns on local provincial highways

Langford elementary school kids test their hand at entrepreneurship

Students sold their own products at a Young Entrepreneurs Fair Friday

POLL: Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?

The rain Vancouver Island is famous for is coming down in buckets,… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 11, 2018

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

‘I practically begged’: Kootenay woman with breast cancer denied referral to Calgary

Breast cancer patient left to fight disease alone after being denied referral to Calgary

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

21 detained before Paris protests as police deploy in force

There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare train station, where police in riot gear checked bags

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Most Read