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Center for Great Neighborhoods fellowship program graduates diverse group of food entrepreneurs

The Center for Great Neighborhoods in Covington has announced its second group of students from the FreshLo Chef Fellowship Program will graduate Monday, June 17 at 5 p.m.

Funded through the Kresge Foundation, this program aims to give a hand up and a push forward to home cooks with the dream of creating a food-based business or those already in the food industry who need support to take it to the next level.

The program also focuses on those creating cultural-inspired and/or healthy food and extends a welcome to immigrants and refugees and others with barriers to succeeding in the local food industry.

This spring, the second cohort of 7 individuals began Phase I of the program which includes classroom time at the Hellman Creative Center learning skills. this included business finances 101 and Health Dept. permitting, and kitchen time at Trinity Episcopal Church in Covington with hands-on instruction on  professional culinary skills.

The program has been well-supported by the local food industry with participation from a number of leaders in the local food scene.

Instructors included Justin Dean (Madhouse Vinegar and Food Industry Consultant), Renee Schuler (owner/chef of Eatwell Celebrations & Feasts), and Megan Ketover (head pastry chef of Boca Group).

Professional kitchen space has been provided by Tess and Chris Burns of Commonwealth Bistro, and Nate Chambers of Pepe Cucina. Guest panels have included Gary Leybman of the The Pickled Pig, Jana Douglass of Happy Chicks Bakery, and Anne-Marie Herrera & Louis Laya of FireLab.

The diverse cohort includes an immigrant from Cameroon who envisions opening a full-service event space, two immigrants from Venezuela who each want to start a restaurant, a Filipino who wants to expand his catering business. Also included are an Appalachian woman who bakes traditional Appalachian desserts, a young African American woman who wants to start a juicing business using local produce from black farmers, and another African American woman who would like to start a food truck serving healthy fusion soul food.

The FreshLo Chef Fellowship Program will continue to share updates as the program moves into Phase II where each member gets to execute a pilot program whether that’s helping them to develop retail food packaging or a restaurant take-over.

Center for Great Neighborhoods

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One Comment

  1. Stop the insanity says:

    Hellmann has two n’s.

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