Photo above: Chef Matt Wangler with Bridgeway food truck.
A food truck run by Bridgeway Recovery Services is seeking someone in recovery to come on board as a part-time line cook.
“When you get labeled as someone in recovery,” says John Simmons, Culinary Facility Manager for Bridgeway, “often people don’t want to give you a second chance because of the stigma. It shouldn’t be that way.”
With the motto, “Grab a bite, Change a life,” the Rolling Bridgeway Café aims to address this problem by intentionally employing people in recovery. The truck travels to several Salem locations on weekdays and sells gourmet sandwiches made from scratch – such as BBQ brisket with peach coleslaw, grilled red onions and horseradish aioli on baguette, or Mayan Chicken or a vegetarian sandwich with black bean patty, chutney, Swiss cheese, avocado and fresh basil mayo on a buttery brioche.
Salads, sides and beverages are also offered, and the line cook will learn to make every item, as well as be asked to interact with the public and handle money.
“It’s a unique job model,” says Sarah Perrota, recruitment specialist for Bridgeway. She notes that, “Though our goal is to hire people involved in recovery, applicants are not required to be clients of Bridgeway.”
Bridgeway Recovery is a Marion County nonprofit drug rehab center. Staff there know that people completing treatment can face many challenges, including finding employers willing to take a chance on them and having access to resources that will support the transition. The Rolling Café offers all this.
A job on the Bridgeway truck provides a safe, drug-free work environment and the opportunity to learn job skills “so afterwards they might be able to go out and get a job in the community,” Perrota says.
Line cook positions lasts six months and no experience is required to apply. “We’re just looking for people who are dependable and willing to work hard,” says Executive Chef Matt Wangler. “Day to day they will prep from scratch and learn scratch technique. They will also learn how to work in an industrial kitchen.”
Simmons put the first menu together and, with Wangler, taste-tested and perfected every item. “Then Matt took it and ran with it,” he says, “and it’s been an extreme success.”
The line cook will be trained in preparing delicious food from basic quality ingredients. “Our product is extremely fresh,” Simmons says. “It’s not your standard fare. We’ve got flavors you aren’t going to get anywhere else.”
The best way for interested people to learn more is to go on the Bridgeway website and connect to the Career page for the posting and application.