FareStart: Our Partner in Caramel & Changer of Lives

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Ingredients used in the Theo + FareStart Kitchen Session

We were so busy creating savory caramels with FareStart students during our Theo+FareStart chef session (more about the project in THIS blog post!) that we didn’t get much chance to talk to students about FareStart. We wanted to hear more about their experience in the program and recently caught up with some of them.  

“I feel like society had given up on me, that I had given up on myself. And here I found a group of people that believed in me and showed me that I could do better, and showed the community that I was worth it. I started off as prep cook, and now I’m baker.” Kristi, graduate.

The culinary world is still a meritocracy, a place where if you work hard and grow your skills, you can go far. Sometimes though, getting started is half the battle. FareStart’s culinary job training program is a path to equal footing, providing both important experience for a resume and life training skills.


A FareStart student practices knife skills during the Theo Kitchen Session


The practicalities of getting a good job are important, like having a professional email address, writing cover letters, dressing for interviews, and more importantly, understanding what chefs may be looking for in candidates. “The details matter,” says Chef Lisa Nakamura of Allium on Orcas Island, “and the details are the killers (for people starting out).”

“People respect—restaurants respect—the FareStart name, and it makes it that much easier, gives you a leg up on your competition of which there’s a lot.” Eric, a graduate.

Ericka Burke, chef-owner of Volunteer Park Cafe agrees. "I admire what FareStart is doing, and show my support by doing a dinner every year. I've been impressed by the intention and skill of a few of the students in the past and encouraged them to call me once they graduated."   


Learning caramel techniques in the Theo kitchen 


The culinary job training program equips students with the tools to find meaningful work and take the next step in their lives. We are so proud to partner with FareStart as they celebrate their 20th year supporting and benefiting our community.

You can view the video FareStart produced for their anniversary, Stories from FareStart: 20 Years of Transforming Lives, HEREYou can purchase the Theo+FareStart 4-piece Mirepoix Caramel Collection in our factory store, online HERE or at the FareStart cafe. $1 from every box sold benefits FareStart.

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