Social Crust is a social enterprise, operated through Coast Mental Health. The café and catering services are located in Pacific Coast Apartment’s commercial space in Downtown Vancouver.
Your business helps support young adults with barriers to employment, providing them an opportunity to gain experience, confidence, connection and build foundational employment skills.
Coast Mental Health also offer's Culinary 101 Camps for young adults to gain tangible job skills, which is just the beginning of its impact. In a supportive and caring environment, these young adults learn team-building, collaboration and how to continue to manage their mental health when they enter the workforce.
There are many ways you can support us:
Come grab coffee, breakfast, or lunch at the café. Order drop and go catering for your next gathering. We also have gift cards for purchase. Your support directly impacts the lives of young adults facing employment barriers.
Sam Axelson first learned about Coast’s Culinary Skills Training program from a social worker who knew he enjoyed cooking. When he started class, Sam says “I just really loved the fact that I’d be able to cook my heart out without anybody holding me back.”
He quickly discovered the boost to his well-being that came with the program. “The program has so much to offer beyond cooking,” he reflects. “The teachers: all of them are next level teachers. Not only do they teach well, but the way that they show their care for their students made me want to show up every single day. And it also made me want to cook more.”
At the start of his studies, Sam lacked the confidence to prepare a meal even for himself. With support, Sam learned to trust himself and his skills. Today, he is head produce manager at a boutique grocery store. Your generosity provides supportive training programs for young people like Sam so they can learn how to manage their symptoms in a work environment, grow their confidence, and find meaningful work that supports their recovery.
COAST MENTAL HEALTH'S
ANNUAL REPORT 2021 - 2022
CREATIVITY ALLOWS SOCIAL CRUST CAFÉ TO SURVIVE THE PANDEMIC
The Culinary Skills Program provides youth recovering from mental illness or with other barriers to employment with training, coaching, and work experience in Coast’s Social Crust Café, so that they can enter the labour force or continue further culinary schooling.
The Program is only made available because of generous donors to Coast Mental Health Foundation. Many graduates from the Program go on to work at the Café. “Because of the pandemic the Culinary Program needed to change direction. We stayed connected with the students who were just finishing their training by Zoom, offering home-cooking challenges,” said Adriana. “They came back in June for a few months for their work practicums. It was an immediate work experience for them as we couldn’t offer classroom-style training.” Today, the Café employs five workers, three part-time and two full-time.
Kelsey started working there in July 2021. “My case worker told me about the Café, and it really boosted my confidence when I was hired,” she said. “It gives me a sense of community and it’s a place where I can learn and grow. It gives me purpose. It also gives me a chance to work on my mental health. I have complex PTSD and anxiety, so being around people can be hard. But I know in the Café I’m in a safe place. This is the longest I’ve ever worked at a job.” The future looks bright. Chef Margaret is planning a series of Culinary Summer Training sessions and she and Adriana are excited about growing the Café social enterprise. They are also considering attending farmers’ markets and relaunching Guest Chef Nights once they rebuild the team. “Things are still a bit bare bones, but the Café has a solid customer base that is aligned with our vision,” said Director of Community Services Tracy Rapanos. “These have been the Café’s most challenging years and it’s amazing that we could pivot so quickly,” added Deborah Maynard, who chairs Coast’s Social Enterprise’s Board of Directors. “It’s a testament to the creativity and dedication of Coast staff and clients.”