Discovery House's facilitated cooking groups have expanded into its newest social enterprise to help with raising funds for subsidizing drug and alcohol recovery beds in the South Okanagan.
The recovery resource society is well known for their annual Soup Is Good Food fundraiser, which runs for six weeks with the help of local chefs and men in their house making the food.
After getting a head chef set up at the house for the first time this year, Discovery House has been able to look at expanding.
Shayna Shulman, formerly of Smuggler's Smokehouse, joined the team and will be creating soups, salads and sandwiches for Discovery Meals Co.
“What that means is that we're going to be cooking delicious food in our cooking groups. And then we're going to be selling it to the public and all of the profits go back into supporting Discovery House,” Shulman said.
The goal was to be using quality ingredients for healthy lunch at a reasonable price.
“On cooking group day, I can have four or five clients from Discovery House come down and I have them all set up and with recipes. And they grill things, they chop vegetables, and they just help put together the recipes.”
Once the client has finished their 90 Day program, if they're interested, they have the option to be a paid employee of Discovery Meals Co.
With 25 years of cooking experience and certification as a red seal chef, Shulman is extremely well prepared to help Discovery House’s kitchen program continue to grow.
“Honestly, it's the best job I've ever had. It is so rewarding, working with the clients of Discovery House and just helping them on their journey to recovery,” Shulman said.
“I've built what I feel are lifelong friendships with some of the guys in the house and some of the alumni, the guys that have moved on, and they're committed to their recovery. It’s not like cooking in a restaurant. There's actual feelings of appreciation and gratefulness.”
One of the clients of Discovery House has worked his way through the program and is now a sous chef with their newest venture.
“I enjoy cooking and it's a good working environment. It helped me get integrated into working again. So I'm doing this as my second job now,” Richard Thompson, sous chef at Discovery Meals Co., said.
It also helps Thompson keep connected to Discovery House after completing the program.
“We're well supported while we're in the house and after the house. So it keeps you connected, keeps you supported and helps us in a recovery.”
To the newer members going through their recovery and doing work in the cooking groups, Thompson tells them to give it a chance.
“It helped save my life. And if it works for me, it can work for them.”
The program will be running out of Orchard House, in their full commercial kitchen, which has been recertified with Interior Health and approved with a business license.
Discovery Meals Co. kicked off their soft launch with 100 meals on Friday, June 3. They will continue the following week on Fridays, fully open to the public.
Anybody can order through their website here, with orders needing to be placed each Wednesday by 3 p.m. for Friday delivery or pick up between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Check out the website here to place your order.
- Casey Richardson
Story from Castanet