Welcome to Beresford Street Kitchen (BSK), a new social enterprise in Jersey, founded in 2016, which provides training and employment for people with learning disabilities and autism.
One of my best friends’ daughters, Takara, has learning difficulties and I have spent the last 9 years having the absolute pleasure and privilege of watching her grow up and develop. She has an attitude to rival mine (yep, it’s possible!) and is the biggest flirt I know … and I love her to pieces for it.
If you ever need sunglasses advice, Takara has got you covered, we can no longer count how many pairs she owns, and she rocks them all!
Most importantly though, Takara is a lady, just like us. Unfortunately, some people often forget this, because they don’t understand her, and people are often afraid of what they don’t understand.
This is where BSK comes in. They provide a workplace for people with learning difficulties, giving them the opportunity to develop their skills in a range of roles in the workplace as well as their interaction with the community, whilst always being in a safe and supportive environment.
The BSK website gives a deeper insight into their mission, explaining that, “We provide both pre-employment work placements, traineeships and an apprenticeship scheme. The pre-employment service provides placements in our training kitchen and printing and production workshops. We aim to provide approximately twenty trainee and apprentice placements where people with learning disabilities will gain practical experience in a whole range of catering and hospitality operations including customer service skills, barista skills, food preparation. Each apprentice will also take part in a number of relevant courses and, where suitable, gain qualifications.”
If the mission of BSK itself wasn’t enough to entice you in, then keep reading for even more reasons to visit.
First of all, the menu is simple, classic and caters for all tastes. Not to mention, incredibly reasonably priced. Their main dishes are currently just £7.95, and the portions are ginormous! You should also know that every penny they generate through sales, goes back to Aspire Charitable Trust, and helps to provide even more positions and training at BSK.
So basically, you can enrich your life meeting the incredibly friendly team at BSK, whilst indulging in your favourite food and also giving back to charity. There is literally no down side!
I opted for the lasagne, which was absolutely the best lasagne I have had in a long time, better even than my own, and I rarely admit that! Unfortunately, I couldn’t finish as the portions are so big, Takara had no problem though and put me to shame!
Takara’s mummy enjoyed the scampi, which was equally as generous and equally as tasty apparently.
If you don’t fancy dining and would like a cosy corner to just relax with a coffee and a book, then follow me upstairs…
You’ll find a bright and airy space overlooking Beresford Street, a fully stocked bookcase and even comfy sofas to relax in. The perfect place to relax and slip away into a good book on your lunch break.
At some point, I’m afraid you will have to leave BSK, but don’t worry, they have souvenirs you can take with you! You can’t miss them on your way out.
Jars of sweeties wrapped in the most adorable BSK pink branding and shelves full of gifts and kitchen goodies, are bound to catch your eye on departure.
Most of these products are also produced within the BSK in-house workshops and some products have been sourced from other charities and social enterprises. They have a range of homemade food gift jars including jams, chutneys, granola, cookie mix and sweets and they can also make up hampers while you wait.
In the words of BSK, it is, “The perfect place to purchase a present with a conscience!” With Mother’s Day coming up this weekend, I certainly hope you will consider a little gift from them!
The service and food here is genuinely right up there with the best in Jersey and this social enterprise is really paving the way for future employers. I encourage you all to visit, support and spread the word about this amazing venture.
If you don’t have time to pop in and support them anytime soon, you could also support their current fundraising effort to purchase a van and enable them to deliver to you and raise even more money for their cause. Click here to make a donation – you won’t regret it when they are delivering your lunch!
*Appreciating the sensitive nature of this post, the Jersey Girl blog obtained the approval of Takara’s parent and BSK prior to posting this blog.