Stone Soup PDX is a non-profit foodservice training enterprise based in Portland, Oregon, providing life skills and hands-on culinary expertise to people who are at risk of homelessness.
A critical part of our program and the development of our participants comes from the ability to work together as a team. Our Life Skills module helps participants learn conflict resolution, budgeting, ethics and teamwork.
As part of the 12-week course, each participant works within the Life Skills Module to learn:
Working as a Team
Respect and Communication
Our Stone Soup team developed a 12-week basic Culinary Training Program, including a Food Handler Certification, as well as a separate, 16-hour program in Dining Room and Table Service Skills. Classes are small and offer individual coaching.
Students in our culinary program gain a basic understanding of kitchen safety, fundamental cooking methods and techniques, kitchen and restaurant dynamics and their roles in the food preparation process. Our executive chef trainer designs projects that trainees can accomplish to build self-confidence while s/he evaluates their strengths and guides them in improving on perceived weaknesses. We also partner with other restaurants and catering facilities to offer additional training opportunities.
At Stone Soup, we guarantee our clients have an enjoyable experience from the moment they enter our space. We strive to take care of every need, anticipating what our clients want, so we’re ready to serve before the request is made. These are the principals we teach in the Customer Service module.
Program participants are guided through the pillars of customer service in the restaurant and hospitality industry. They learn how to consistently offer quality service in a genuine way. This involves treating both guests and fellow employees with respect and dignity. The end result is fostering customer loyalty in any business which they choose to work.
JOB PLACEMENT NETWORK
After finishing our 12 week program, all graduates enter the job placement network, an informal cooperative of Portland area caterers and restaurants. This network ensures our program participants will have ample opportunities for job interviews and job placements. Our staff continues to be in touch with all graduates, bringing them back to speak with current classes. This alumni network then ensures participants all have active mentors to help them through any challenges.
We also network with local restaurant groups and catering operations to identify employment opportunities with the potential for more sustainable employment than corporate food service might initially offer.