|The Enterprising Kitchen is a non-profit business created to provide employment and life skills training to women who are working towards self-sufficiency and independence.|
Who We Are
Festive and Fragrant
Warm and Wintry
The Perfect Gift
Sudsy Soap Balls
In the era of welfare reform, The Enterprising Kitchen, a non-profit micro-enterprise, strives to address the needs of those women whose difficult personal histories, often including substance abuse and homelessness, would otherwise make them among the least likely to find work and achieve independence. The unique combination of a small business and experiential job training and life skills development supports the efforts of chronically unemployed women toward self-sufficiency and permanent employment.
Profile: TEK Employee Barbara James.
Barbara James distinctly remembers May 17, 1999. It was the day, she recalls,
her life took a dramatic turn, the day she was hired by The Enterprising Kitchen.
Barbara, a 59-year-old mother of six grown children, had not been employed for
many years. The thought of returning to work after this lengthy absence seemed
overwhelming. Her fear was compounded by her struggle with clinical depression.
The Enterprising Kitchen provided the support and encouragement she needed to,
in her words, "reclaim my sense of self. It has given me a reason to get up in
the morning and has created a sense of responsibility for the contribution I
make to being a positive role model to those around me." Barbara has grown into her role as a mentor to new program participants.
She takes time out of her own work to instruct others and has a gift for
communicating with the program participants who speak limited English.
Barbara has also discovered her own voice. In her words, " I am able to
speak up and say what I feel without fear of repercussion and to give others
permission to do so." Barbara's progress is reflected in practical terms as well. After some
years of dependency on her children for housing and basic needs, she recently
signed a lease on a new apartment. She credits her independence to the savings
plan she developed with the help of the staff financial planner. To all that know her, Barbara exemplifies the philosophy that profound personal
growth is possible despite age or difficult life circumstances. The challenge as
Barbara sees it is to believe in yourself. Her growing sense of self-worth and
her commitment to the program has inspired all of us to stretch ourselves in reach
of our goals.