Kindred Kitchen serves training with kindness
Inside the Kindred Kitchen restaurant on its grand opening Friday, Dec. 13.
EVERETT — Maybe have a “BLAST” — a new twist on bacon lettuce and tomato, with havarti and avocado and dijonnaise sauce, on focaccia, with thick-cut bacon and crisp romaine.
Dance on elegant concrete flooring with jazz playing in the background — the space is not officially a dance spot, but it was for a moment, and it could be again. It may host poetry readings. Today it will host local musicians. Engage Everett, a business networking group, had its meeting here recently.
It is Kindred Kitchen at 3315 Broadway: a cafe and catering business that celebrated its grand opening Dec. 13 inside Hopeworks Station II. The menu offers hot sandwiches and fresh salads and soups, espresso drinks, all-day breakfast options and a kids’ menu. Doors have been open since early November, and the menu has been rehearsed, reaching Dec. 13 with only minor tweaks, said Kristin Kosidowski, director of food service and training at Hopeworks.
“Everything you see here today is a moment of our paid professional staff,” Kosidowski said.
Culinary professionals are running the café, and in two weeks interns begin jobs here. The 12-week program prepares them for hospitality teaches soft skills, such as being on time, and interpersonal skills, such as dealing with conflicts. The hard skills circle around the alchemies of culinary artistry and hospitality.
Preparation on the way to the grand opening included fine-tuning, so that when the interns begin, the process is already smoothed out.
“Everyone’s a mentor. Everyone’s a coach. Everyone’s a leader here,” she said.
One is Makenna Chapman, lead barista at Kindred Kitchen. When interns arrive in two weeks, she will help with the training. Chapman scanned the roomful on grand opening day and said: “this is five times what it normally is. I’m hoping it continues this way.”
By noon, seating required a search. Customers mingled. The clink of a spoon stirring sugar into black coffee was backed by the hum of conversation and the whistle of milk being steamed for espresso drinks. The café serves Thruline coffee, a Kirkland-based company that roasts onsite and delivers to Kindred Kitchen, while fresh. Thruline owners are two of the professionals working the café.
A coconut-milk latte with vanilla is served in a ceramic tall coffee cup with a triangular latte-art adornment: it is smooth and balanced and just sweet enough. The skill in-process here will be passed on when the interns training as culinary artists continue their journey here.
“White chocolate?” Chapman asked, as 4-year-old Riley hefts a 46-ounce pickle jar to the counter. It is full of change and a few bills. He is accompanied by his dad, Andrew Pliss, who awaits a mocha and Riley readies for a hot cocoa. Pliss likes it that he can walk downstairs to the café, with his son. Pliss pays for his mocha with a debit card. It appears Riley wants to pay for his cocoa, with bills and coins inside the jar.
“That’s my swear jar,” Pliss said.
Asked how Hopeworks has helped him, he said: “I never had my own place.” Riley is handed his cocoa, and Pliss turns to his son, “What do you say?” but Riley is shy. He surrounds his cocoa-cup with both hands, and finds his way underneath the counter to squat to the floor and peek upward. Pliss said Riley gets less shy as he gets to know people.
Pliss is a single dad and just got his son back after going through addiction recovery.
Pliss chats with a peripheral view on a busy Riley, who eventually heads outside with his dad following. Riley swings on a yellow ring just outside the door; it is a decorative kids’ toy painted bright yellow and red, placed in front of the building.
Newly sworn in Snohomish City Councilmember Judith Kuleta arrived for an early lunch. She had the Three Cheese Melt, with Tillamook sharp cheddar, smoked gouda and havarti with sun dried tomato spread. Kuleta said she “came here to support the efforts of Kindred Kitchen and welcome them to the business community in Everett.”
A glass of Passion Palmemousse tea sits atop a table with its feet on concrete flooring in cocoa-with-fleck design. Seating includes cushioned seats. There’s WiFi onsite.
The site is close to transit and a short walk from a visitor parking lot. It sits on the same block, next to RenewWorks Furniture: a second site for job training. The businesses are part of a bigger plan to create a path forward.
The café architecture has a Seattle-industrial aesthetic, planned by GGLO Design, one of the partners for Hopeworks Station II. Many hands went into the creation of the concept site, which has 65 residential units for people transitioning out of homelessness and the challenges that led to it.
By lunchtime, seating was filled. Some searched for a spot and others stood. Dana Daniel, chef at Kindred Kitchen, is looking forward to the training that begins in a couple of weeks. The site has a community room that can be rented for $25 per hour for meetings; the cost is waived for nonprofits. Interns will learn to serve a group, Daniel said, which includes greeting, taking people’s coats, and other steps lending to the dining experience. She said mentorship teaches work ethics such as attendance, respect in the workplace, and how to keep a workplace “drama free.”
Teens living at the site will have a chance to learn meal-planning on a budget. Daniel is ready to teach them how to make “something so easy as how to make a pizza, so when they get to college” they’ll have the skills to keep their food budget in check.
“This is a wonderful safe place to live, in a wonderful safe supportive environment,” Daniel said.
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