Our MISSION AND VISION
Our mission: Transforming lives through culinary arts.
Our vision: A San Diego where everyone has access to a quality job.
WHO WE ARE
Kitchens for Good is San Diego-based organization founded in 2014 with a simple yet powerful idea: food has the power to change lives.
In 2016, Kitchens for Good launched our Culinary Apprenticeship program, the first of its kind certified by the State of California to serve individuals with barriers to employment.
Since then, we have expanded our programs to include Baking and Hospitality Apprenticeship programs and a group of social enterprises supporting sustainable employment. All our efforts have the goal of breaking the cycle of poverty and creating equitable communities where all job seekers thrive.
Barriers to employment can take many forms: justice system involvement, a history of foster care, mental health or substance use challenges, or unsheltered living. But at Kitchens for Good, we believe all people have the potential to succeed in a rewarding career.
Our programs have equipped 700+ individuals with culinary, baking, and hospitality training, as well as the skills and support they need to secure meaningful employment. Their successful careers build a better future for themselves and their families, creating a more equitable and just society for all.
Our apprenticeship programs are designed to support the whole individual, providing tuition-free training and a range of support services to help students succeed. These services include:
- Stipends to help cover living expenses during training
- Daily meals to ensure students have access to healthy food
- Transportation support to help students get to and from training
- Job placement services to help students find meaningful employment
- HR support to help students navigate workplace challenges and succeed in their new roles
In addition to our apprenticeship programs, we are also committed to social entrepreneurship. We believe that businesses can be a force for good in the world, and we have created several social enterprises that help us achieve our mission. These enterprises include:
WORKS: An alternative staffing agency that provides employment placement and supportive services leading to living wage jobs. WORKS is committed to improving the quality and dignity of hospitality industry work by paying good wages, promoting safety standards, and equipping candidates for long-term success through life coaching and soft skills training.
SHOP: A pre-loved cookware and decor resale shop that helps people of all income levels stock their kitchens. SHOP is committed to reducing waste and promoting sustainability by giving new life to gently used kitchenware. SHOP also features specialty products from local entrepreneurs and Kitchens for Good apprentices.
Concessions for The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park: A food service operation that serves soups, sides, and sweets while providing front-of-house training opportunities for hospitality apprentices. Kitchens for Good Concessions at The Rady Shell provide high-quality food and service while also creating opportunities for our apprentices to gain real-world experience.
By combining our culinary expertise with our commitment to social entrepreneurship, we create innovative solutions that break the cycle of poverty and help our community thrive.
In just eight years, Kitchens for Good has become one of San Diego’s most innovative and successful examples of an organization focused on developing sustainable solutions that positively impact our economy, our society, and our environment.
Kitchens for Good began leasing a boutique commercial bakery in Old Town. A dedicated space to provide training to baking apprentices. This increases capacity for enrolling aspiring cooks and food service managers at our Door of Hope campus.
Kitchens for Good SHOP had its grand opening in Pacific Beach which sells donated kitchenware, diverting them from landfills, and reinvests any profits to support core programs. Kitchens for Good also successfully launched WORKS its temp-to-hire staffing agency and employment social enterprise.
Kitchens for Good moved onto the Salvation Army Door of Hope campus fully operationalizing the baking and hospitality apprenticeship programs to attract more enrollees and meet the labor demand caused by the pandemic. The organization enhanced many Project Launch offerings including its food service operations at The Rady Shell to help apprentices gain customer service skills.
Kitchens for Good’s Project Launch was approved to add a Hospitality apprenticeship program to train customer-facing roles complimenting the back-of-house focused culinary occupations. When the pandemic hit in March, Kitchens for Good quickly pivoted to meet the growing need for food assistance and scaled its existing hunger relief production from 2,000 meals pre-pandemic to over 15,000 meals a week by May.
In 2019, Kitchens for Good expanded its reach to North County San Diego by assuming operations of the kitchen and restaurant at the Moonlight Amphitheatre in Vista.
Kitchens for Good was awarded a California Apprenticeship Initiative grant to launch a certified Baking apprenticeship program using its Project Launch culinary model to meet San Diego’s Accommodations and Food Service industry’s growing employment needs for bakers.
In March 2017, Kitchens for Good’s Project Launch program became California’s first certified culinary apprenticeship program and one of the only models specifically designed for individuals with barriers to employment.
By January 2016, Kitchens for Good was operating an award-winning catering enterprise alongside a culinary job training, food rescue, and healthy meal production programs from the Jacob Center in the heart of the San Diego Promise Zone.
In September Kitchens for Good launched its first social enterprise training kitchen at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation in Southeast San Diego taking over operations of a robust catering company, acquiring its 36 staff, hundreds of catering clients and 25,000 square foot kitchen and venue space.
Kitchens for Good (formerly known as Phoenix Foods, USA, Inc.) was founded by forward-thinking individuals dedicated to resolving food insecurity by ending food waste and developing a workforce training program that would lead to living-wage jobs for people negatively impacted by the justice system, housing inequities, or substance and mental health challenges.
We invite you to join us in our mission of transforming lives through culinary arts. Whether you are interested in becoming an apprentice, referring a client, donating funds or kitchenware, or hiring an apprentice, we have opportunities for you to get involved.