The eateries, in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, will provide training opportunities for FareStart’s Foodservice Apprenticeship Program, a new initiative to help train entry-level employees in food services. The goal of the program is to assist low-income food-service employees into higher-paying jobs in the restaurant industry.
Earlier this year, Amazon donated equipment and 25,000 square feet of space to the nonprofit for the restaurants, which will be open to the public.
The venues will include Maslow’s, described as a full-service casual restaurant and bar with regionally-sourced ingredients; Community Table, offering “a market-like dining experience” that will be home to three casual eateries — one serving BBQ, one featuring made-to-order salads and another offering seasonal vegetables served in bowls with grains; and Rise, an Italian-themed coffee shop with pastries and sandwiches.
Founded 30 years ago, FareStart provides food for those in need and offers training in food-service and barista jobs for people who struggle to find employment because of homelessness, poverty and other challenges. The nonprofit reports that 90 percent of adults who graduate from their training program find work within three months.
“The new eateries will provide greater dining options in the growing South Lake Union neighborhood while advancing the skills of entry-level food-service workers and providing pathways to living wage jobs,” said Wayne Johnson, FareStart’s corporate executive chef. “We look forward to inviting the entire community to join us as we transform lives.”
The partnership with FareStart aligns with multiple efforts by Amazon to support homeless people in the Seattle area. Last month the online retail and cloud services giant announced that it would open a homeless transitional shelter inside one of its new Seattle HQ buildings. The 47,000 square-foot shelter will give 65 families a place to stay while seeking permanent housing. The facility will open in early 2020 and be run by Mary’s Place, a nonprofit that supports homeless families. Mary’s Place is currently operating a temporary shelter in an Amazon-owned building that is slated for demolition.
Maslow’s will be located at 380 Boren Ave N. in Seattle while Community Table and Rise will open in Amazon’s Houdini North building at 399 Fairview Ave N.