Restaurant to serve as workforce training program in West Jackson

Refill Cafe' will be in the Kiononia Coffeehouse on South Adams Street.

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – It’s a new approach to workforce training, that might produce Jackson’s next top chef.

Refill Café hasn’t opened it’s doors just yet, but the soon-to-be non-profit’s mission is to empower youth by providing innovative and holistic job training. It’ll do this all while being a community hub and hot spot for Jackson foodies.

Chef and food advocate, Nick Wallace, is one of the many hands behind Refill Café. “It’s service. It’s agriculture. It’s the service skills of life, stewarding, culinary, pastry. It’s a little bit of everything,” Wallace said.

The café will provide non-traditional food industry training to it’s first class of about 20 to 30 people, and funnel it’s graduates into the growing Jackson restaurant industry. It’s being brought to life in the Koinonia Coffeehouse building on South Adams Street, in West Jackson. The coffeehouse served as a community melting pot, before the owner struggled to keep the doors open.

Refill Café is modeled after New Orleans restaurants Café Reconcile and Liberty Kitchen, and Café Climb on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

“It’s not just for kids. Homeless…it’s a big population you can really put in the workforce. It’s pretty close to Gateway. You know you’ve got Stewpot. I love this area,” Wallace said.

Before Refill Café can welcome it’s first class, organizers are campaigning for donations. Wallace says they need to raise about $250,000 for repairs, renovations, and bills. He hopes they’ll have the money raised in time to open doors and start changing lives by early 2018.

If you would like to give to the Refill Café project, click here.

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