A school-year leadership development program for young Detroiters that culminates in the design and launch of students’ own triple-bottom-line (people, planet, profit) food business. Through this process we surround our students with the experience, knowledge, and networks of support they need to achieve academically, thrive professionally, lead confidently, and live healthfully. Participants graduate with a foundation in business basics, culinary arts, food skills, financial literacy, and leadership; a polished values-based food product, a certificate in food and social entrepreneurship, a network of potential employers, and an opportunity to enter our summer employment program. The school year is split into two semesters:
Fall (“Mealshare”): Students gain experience in basic knife skills, nutrition fundamentals, smart grocery shopping, meal budgeting, culinary arts, and event planning in their effort to organize a community dinner for their family and friends. As part of this process, students develop cooking basics lessons to share with elementary and middle school students and their families. Fieldtrips include farm to fork explorations of the Detroit food community; workshops from local chefs, community leaders, and food professionals; and the opportunity to take, then lead, a smart shopping tour of a local grocery store. Each group is mentored throughout by a Detroit chef.
Spring (“Pop-up”): Students hone their craft by designing their own healthy, local food recipe in order to build a triple bottom line food business from the ground up. Throughout the semester, students participate in field trips, engage in workshops held by community leaders, and pilot their product by premiering their business at a ‘Market Day’ at their high school.