Easter Seals’ new commercial kitchen features wide
aisles, allowing classes to observe techniques while
training, as well as to give people in wheelchairs
easy access to the stations.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff
- The shiny new commercial kitchen inside Easter Seals
Southeast Wisconsin’s Northview Road location is a
source of pride for those who helped create it and for
the many who will benefit from its use as a training
facility and revenue source.
Monday was the
first day the kitchen was put into service as workers at Easter
Seals catered lunch for the Waukesha Noon Rotary Club.
“I think of it
as great food, then great service and for a great cause,” said
Easter Seals CEO Bob Glowacki.
foremost, Glowacki said he wants the Easter Seals’ catering
service to be known for its delicious food, then for the
Easter Seals helps individuals with disabilities and special
needs and their families live better lives by providing child
development centers, physical rehabilitation and job training.
provides hands-on learning in the food and hospitality industry.
The trainees learn everything from food purchasing and meal
preparation to service and food safety. Some of the program
participants have found jobs at Rochester Deli, Bonefish Grill
T. J. King prepares herbs for a recipe in Easter
Seals' new commercial kitchen Tuesday. The large
kitchen will be used to teach job skills to program
participants like King, as well as to prepare food
for Easter Seals' catering operation.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff
experience Patrick Cvetan has gained from working in the
kitchen at Easter Seals helped him land a job at
Culver’s, where he takes orders to tables and removes
Cvetan said he
really likes his boss and getting a paycheck. When asked what he
does with the money he earns, he proudly said he saves it.
The hope is to
double the amount of catering jobs Easter Seals gets to do each
month, said Workforce Development Director Beth Lohmann. That
would mean going from about five to 10 per month to 10 to 20.
rent out space as well
and surrounding space have been set up not only to benefit those
who receive services and training from Easter Seals, but with
the public in mind. Next to the kitchen, which is about five
times the size of the previous kitchen in downtown Waukesha, is
a banquet room. In an expanded portion of the hallway is a
chef’s demonstration area.
vice president of community engagement, said a group could rent
out the space and bring in a celebrity chef to do a
demonstration. There will be TVs above the station displaying
video shot by a camera on the chef’s hand. If the video is being
shot for training purposes, it could be posted online.
“We want the
community to use the facility and see what we do,” Russell said.
rooms off of the kitchen, a space has been created for local
food entrepreneurs to package products. Easter Seals plans to
rent out the kitchen for these small businesses.
During a tour
of the facility Tuesday afternoon, Commercial Catering
Supervisor Larry Millard said he is “like a kid in a candy shop”
at the new facility. He said they are still figuring out where
everything is after the move.
In addition to
restaurant-quality equipment, Easter Seals’ kitchen offers
double-wide aisles to provide space for people in wheelchairs.
Tables will also be lowered for easier access.
To raise money
for the kitchen and culinary features, naming rights were
offered for donations. The kitchen will be known as Nana’s
Kitchen, a name selected by the lead donor, Ziemann Foundation.
There are still more naming opportunities available, Russell
said, and fundraising continues.
The kitchen is
generally in use from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday,
Lohmann said. Trainees also learn how to work in other places
through the catering program, which often involves preparing
food offsite, as well as providing customer service.
excited to share with the community what Easter Seals’ catering
service can offer and to provide more opportunities for people
to learn in the expanded space. To learn more about reserving
Easter Seals’ catering service or to donate, call 262-547-6821.