Freedom a la Cart Opening First Cafe + Bakery

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Nonprofit catering company Freedom a la Cart is expanding with plans to open its first Cafe + Bakery at 123 E. Spring St. Downtown.

“In less than ten years, we’ve seen Freedom a la Cart evolve from a food cart to a successful catering operation, and now, a full-service cafe,” said Paula Haines, executive director of Freedom a la Cart.

Despite changes, one thing has remained constant: its mission to support survivors of human trafficking on the road to freedom and self-sufficiency through workforce training programs.

The Freedom a la Cart Cafe + Bakery will employ about 20 human trafficking survivors, doubling the capacity of the nonprofit’s current workforce training program. While the organization has been focused on catering, the cafe will create a new opportunity for survivors to learn valuable front-of-house job skills like point of sale operation, customer service education and barista training.

The flagship will cafe will serve up breakfast and lunch to Downtown diners, operating from 7a.m. – 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Fresh-baked pastries, scratch-made meals and locally-roasted coffee will be on the menu. The eats will feature favorites from Freedom a la Cart’s catering menu, as well as new dishes created under the direction of Consulting Chef BJ Lieberman.

Freedom a la Cart will continue its catering operation as well, moving everything under the same Spring Street roof where catering and cafe will share a kitchen.

The new space will not only allow Freedom a la Cart to employ more survivors, but the organization will utilize the building’s second floor to create a survivor resource center. The space will include a lounge area, an area for group gatherings, a computer station for job searching and educational assistance, and a trauma counseling office.

“The Freedom Cafe + Bakery will not only allow us to share Freedom a la Cart’s delicious menu offerings with more of the community, but will also broaden our outreach and advocacy efforts for human trafficking survivors throughout Columbus,” Haines says.

The nonprofit was recognized earlier this year for its work to support survivors of human trafficking. Freedom a la Cart was awarded The Metropreneur’s Social Enterprise of the Year Award for its life-changing impact, resilience and work to build public awareness around human trafficking in Central Ohio.

The Freedom a la Cart Cafe + Bakery is slated for a summer 2020 opening.

For more information, visit freedomalacart.org.

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