A Letter from our CEO
Dear FareStart community,
FareStart has always been about more than its restaurants, cafes and catering. Everything we do is centered around our mission of transforming lives through food, life skills and job training.
With this in mind, we have made the difficult decision to close our restaurant Maslow’s located in South Lake Union. Its last day of service will be Friday, January 31. We will retain the kitchen, provided by Amazon, to support our successful and growing catering services. This change enables us to expand advanced training opportunities within our other locations, increase catering capacity and ensure FareStart students and apprentices continue to gain skills necessary for stable employment.
FareStart remains committed to providing advanced training opportunities for students who want to advance their careers within the foodservice industry. Less than three years from program launch, graduated apprentices report an average 34% increase in their wages. Apprentices currently housed at Maslow’s will resume training within FareStart Catering and the FareStart Restaurant.
We will continue to operate our café on Amazon’s campus, and beginning in February, it will house our Youth & Young Adult Barista Program. We will also continue to operate the FareStart Restaurant, FareStart Café in Beacon Hill, FareStart Catering and the Community & School Meals Program – all serve as the classrooms for our job training programs.
When we expanded our footprint into SLU a couple of years ago, we made the commitment that in 10 years we would double annual enrollment across our programs to support more adults and youth. I’m proud to say that we’re still on track to meet that goal with these changes. We are grateful to Amazon, which donated restaurant space, a classroom and equipment, so donor dollars could be focused on program design and training, organizational capacity building and other ongoing needs.
These changes were made with one of FareStart’s core values in mind: accountability. We are responsible to each other, to our community and to ourselves. We are committed to rigorous evaluation and making fiscally responsible decisions that align with our mission. These decisions are made with you, our students and mission in mind.
As homelessness and poverty continue to grow in our community, FareStart’s work is more relevant than ever. These changes enable us to support more people and to double down on job training and wraparound support services such as housing, mental health counseling, transportation, clothing and other basic needs.
We cannot do our work without all of you. Thank you for all you do to support our mission and your commitment to transforming lives.