Oregon Convention Center opens cafe with a mission
By Christina Williams
Editor, Sustainable Business Oregon
Oregon Convention Center and partner Aramark/Giacometti Partners Ltd. open a cafe with a mission.
The Oregon Convention Center, along with its food and beverage partner Aramark/Giacometti Partners Ltd., is debuting a new cafe Tuesday that has an eye on the triple bottom line: people, planet and profit.
The Hoyt Street Station Community Cafe is nestled in the building that holds the offices of Metro, which manages the convention center. Its profit will come from serving planet-friendly, locally sourced salads and sandwiches and the people staffing the cafe will include aspiring food entrepreneurs from underserved communities.
Two paid 18-month internships through Aramark will train cafe managers who are interested in a career in culinary management but who might otherwise face barriers to getting in the door.
Jeff Blosser, executive director of the Oregon Convention Center, said he also hopes to start a grant program using profits from the cafe to help intern graduates fund the next step in their professional development.
"The grant would be enough to get a permit, or get a business plan together," Blosser said. "We hope we can generate enough to fund that."
Instructions to apply for the internship are available on the Oregon Convention Center website.
The cafe, named for the Hoyt Street Station streetcar stop that is currently planned as part of the Portland Streetcar expansion to the east side of the city, also made use of recycled materials in its interior construction including reclaimed wood from the ReBuilding Center for the table tops and a former classroom chalkboard for the menu display.
The new cafe follows the Oregon Convention Center's announcement earlier this month that they would ditch coffee giant Starbucks in favor of Portland-based supplier Portland Roasting Company.
"(Portland Roasting) fit with what we wanted to do as far as sustainability and local sourcing and what type of business we wanted to have in there," Blosser said.
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