Cafe with Soul
by Michele Roger
In 1994, The Friendship Circle was founded in West Bloomfield, Michigan. It paired teen volunteers with special needs teens, including those on the autism spectrum. The primary goal was to establish a support system for the young adults and develop friendships. The program, supported by the local community, grew into what is currently over 700 teens and adult volunteers serving the community and children with special needs. With all of their success, another issue became evident: Employment.
Soul Cafe and Soul Studio became the answer. In partnership with the Epicurean Group of Detroit, Soul Cafe serves up gourmet, Kosher, vegetarian breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday. Sundays, the Cafe offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner with highlights and specials from the chef. While many vegetarian and vegan restaurants have arrived on the Detroit food scene lately, Soul Cafe has been named number one for 2018. It also offers professional kitchen training for special needs adults. Trainees from the Soul Cafe work side by side with chefs and managers to learn the art of cooking and preparing food at the fine dining level. Trainees learn valuable skills otherwise taught in culinary school, from baking to sauces and plating to catering while earning their Serv Safe certificates … Read more in the Spring 2019 issue.