Providence Restaurant offers jobs and food to the Forsyth County community

Providence Restaurant offers jobs and food to the Forsyth County community
October 15
00:00 2015

By Mayeesa Mitchell

For The Chronicle

Providence Restaurant and Catering, a dream 10 years in the making, has opened its doors to the community offering breakfast, lunch and dinner selections at a reasonable price.

Although Providence Restaurant features fresh, local ingredients, it is the mission of the restaurant that truly sets it apart from its competition.

“It was time for that next big step to take a leap of faith into something new that’s never been done before,” said Chef Jeff Bacon, executive director of the Triad Community Kitchen (TCK), a program of Second Harvest Food Bank and visionary of the Providence Restaurant.

The 70-seat restaurant, which opened on Oct. 8 in the new DoubleTree hotel at 5790 University Parkway in Winston-Salem, will act as a graduate program for TCK alumni and will venture to make the TCK a self-sufficient nonprofit.

Through the Hospitality Residency Program and management positions, about 90 percent of Providence Restaurant’s staff will be alumni of the TCK program.

One such alumna is Natasha Lawrence who graduated from the 13-week TCK culinary program in July 2015.

“It is better than any program you can go through for culinary because of the exposure and the people who are willing to take the time to lead and guide you,” said Lawrence.

Although Lawrence felt a bit anxious at the beginning of the program, she graduated with sharper skills in food presentation, preparation and terminology.

Now, Lawrence is a member of the first class to go through the Hospitality Residency Program.

“They will rotate through all the areas of the operation and after 24 months will be able to get that smoking, high-level leadership job somewhere else,” said Bacon when describing the Residency Program. “We aren’t going to keep these people. We’re going to send them out so we can have productive, seasoned professionals going into the workforce.”

Lawrence will begin her first four months in the program learning how to work the front-of-the-house. Throughout the 24 months, she will rotate through frontline, catering, service, beverages, maintenance, management and many other areas to learn all operations of the restaurant.

She is looking forward to this new experience with Providence Restaurant.

“TCK and Providence is a family,” said Lawrence. “They always want you to know that this is a family and you are always welcomed back.”


Another TCK alumni, William Webster knows all about the program’s family atmosphere.

“This is it, this is what I’m supposed to do,” recounted Webster about his reaction when he first heard about the TCK program in 2007.

Webster graduated in May 2008 and hasn’t left TCK since then.

After completing the program, he worked as the first Catering Chef for Providence Catering, a venture that began in 2009 and will continue at the new location.

Webster has been in the loop since day one, helping Bacon put together the proposal to open Providence Restaurant and visiting possible sites for the restaurant.

“I see it and I believe in the vision,” said Webster.

Providence Restaurant’s Kickstarter campaign, which began on Sept. 2 and ended on Oct. 2, raised over its goal of $30,000 with donations from 113 backers who also believed in the vision.

The money will be used to fund the restaurant’s initial expenses, such as payroll and food orders.

Providence Restaurant and Catering is a direct product of its community with a focus on giving back to Forsyth County.

“The community will get an outstanding product,” said Webster. “We use state and local ingredients and we also help with employment. We give people an opportunity to change their life and have a second chance. “

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