Liberty’s Kitchen Now Open, Serving Customers and Community
22 August 2014
Designed and built by Woodward, the new location of Liberty’s Kitchen is now open at 300 North Broad Street. In their new space, the nonprofit serves up lunch in its dine-in space, prepares local schools with healthy lunches, and provides culinary and life skills training for out-of-school, out-of-work young adults.
Liberty's Kitchen, Now Open on Broad Street, Satisfies Customer's Hunger and the Community's Needs
NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
22 August 2014
Outwardly, the Liberty’s Kitchen cafe, which opened Aug. 4 in Broad Street’s ReFresh Project, follows a familiar formula.
The airy space is lined with gleaming white subway tiles. In the morning, the cases are filled with freshly baked scones and bagels. Baristas make cappuccinos and espressos with Starbucks beans. At lunch, you can order soups, salads and sandwiches (along with the MVB Burger from New Orleans’ original pop-up restaurant).
This cafe, however, is also a classroom. The workers preparing your lunch are likely learning skills that will transform their lives. The cafe at Liberty’s Kitchen is one part of a program that provides youth aged 16 to 24 with life and employment skills.
“They’re out of school and out of work,” said David Emond, executive director of Liberty’s Kitchen.
Liberty’s Kitchen was originally located in a smaller building on Broad Street near Tulane Avenue. The new 10,000-square-foot location will allow the non-profit organization to enroll more students in its full-time, 12-week program.
“The outcomes have been strong,” Emond said. “Historically I would say 60 percent of the students have been able to complete the program.”
Many of the students find jobs in the hospitality sector.
“We want to send our students out with a willing attitude, showing up on time, working hard, dressing for success,” Emond said. “Every chef has told us, ‘Just give me a kid with a great attitude and we’ll do the rest.’”
The Liberty’s Kitchen cafe also supports the operations of the training program. Of the organization’s $3 million budget, a third comes from donations, a third from meals sold to local charter schools and a third from the cafe and catering sales. Eventually, Emond hopes Liberty’s Kitchen will be entirely funded by the food it makes.
The students got their first look at the new cafe, kitchen and classrooms on Monday (Aug. 18).
“They’re blown away by it, as are we,” Emond said. “We wanted to provide our young people with a facility that was worthy of them. They deserve this.”
On Tuesday, Aug. 26, Liberty’s Kitchen will hold a grand opening ceremony at 9 a.m. Samples of coffee and baked goods will be offered, and the community is invited to tour the facility.
The cafe is currently open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m–3 p.m.
Liberty’s Kitchen: 300 N. Broad St., New Orleans, 504.822.4011