Pride beams off of Sandra Roberson’s face as she tells us how far the teen job program her family’s restaurant, Fresh Soul, has come in just six months since opening last July. She explains that growing the program hasn’t just involved building up the kids in the program, but also their families. She has found by involving the families, they are helping to build strong foundations to help the kids succeed long term. Sandra states, “I’ve had to explain to parents the kids have to be on time, don’t just show up on time, always show up early.”
Fresh Soul Job Training program
The job training program run by Fresh Soul is a 16-week program that provides local kids from underserved Spokane communities with real-life skills and job
training both in the restaurant and out. The program works hand in hand with Spokane Eastside Reunion Association (SERA) youth recreation and tutoring center. Sandra tells us that the kids in the program are required to go to the tutoring center as a part of the restaurant training program. Micheal Brown, GM of Fresh Soul, chimes in that anyone who wants to work in the restaurant must be in the tutoring program for at least one year before applying. He also adds with great pride, “Anyone that completes the tutoring program for their freshman, sophomore, junior and senior year receive a $2,000 scholarship to college regardless of if they are a part of the restaurant training program.”
While it might be enough for some to either serve the community or simply serve delicious food, Fresh Soul is serving up both in Spokane. Offering all the staples: ribs, fried chicken, cornbread, jambalaya, gumbo, and a rotating menu of homemade desserts fresh Soul is clearly the best soul food in Spokane. However, it’s what isn’t on the menu that is the most important: job skills, family building, and serving up hope to our youth that really sets Fresh Soul apart.
What do you think of Fresh Soul, have you tried the food yet? Let us know in the comments where we should eat next!