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Downtown Mission Opens Do Good Deli

Monday, March 20, 2017


Published on: March 20, 2017 | Last Updated: March 20, 2017 6:21 PM EDT

There’s a new deli on Ouellette Avenue that’s serving up soup, sandwiches and a big helping of hope.

The Do Good Deli is a social enterprise venture of the Downtown Mission located in its Wellness Centre.

The folks running the deli are taking part in a mission-driven training program to teach transferable skills that can lead to job opportunities.

“The enterprise program builds on the strengths of each participant and allows them to develop to the best of their abilities,” said mission CEO Ron Dunn.

Sadia Munmun is learning hospitality skills through the program in hopes of finding work in a hospital or long-term care facility.

Munmun and her husband came to Canada from Bangladesh in 2000.

“I have not gotten a job opportunity,” Munmun said. “I need employable skills and hands-on training. This program will help me find a job. I want to run my own business one day in the future.”

Munmun saw a poster about the enterprise program at city hall and went to the mission to learn more about it.

She is one of 11 participants in the program’s second session.

Dunn said participants can get on-the-job training in the mission’s kitchen, deli or Chari-Tee’s business, which makes custom products, including T-shirts.

“Sadia has some skills but no work experience,” Dunn said. “Everyone in the enterprise program is learning a point of sale system that’s top-notch in terms of technology.”

Once participants have completed the 40-day program, Downtown Mission staff help arrange job interviews and any necessary follow-up training.

The deli came together through the sponsorship of Ground Effects, International Seating & Décor and the Scott Family Foundation — all headed by Jim Scott. His team designed the deli’s layout and provided the countertops, cupboards, tables and chairs.

“This is way better than what I have at home,” quipped Dunn.

On hand for the ceremonial ribbon cutting, Scott handed over another cheque for $15,000 to Dunn.

Dunn noted all proceeds from the deli and Chari-Tee’s goes to support the mission’s programs.

The deli, which had a soft opening last month, operates 7 a.m. – 3 p.m., Monday through Saturday.