Top News

Hope Blooms getting new kitchen on Brunswick Street in Halifax

Craig Cane, who is one of the first youths to be in Hope Blooms, is on his way to becoming a Red Seal Chef, certifying him as displaying excellent culinary skills that meet provincial standards.
Craig Cane, who is one of the first youths to be in Hope Blooms, is on his way to becoming a Red Seal Chef, certifying him as displaying excellent culinary skills that meet provincial standards. - Hana Sabah
HALIFAX, N.S. —

The province gave Hope Blooms $300,000 Friday to help expand its facilities and build their newest kitchen on Brunswick Street in Halifax.
 
The program teaches culinary skills to young people in the city's north end. Participants also create their own products to sell, and grow organic vegetables to be donated to communities in need. 

"Each one of these social enterprises is giving a hundred per cent of their proceeds back to this community," said Executive Director Jessie Jollymore.

Premier Stephen McNeil announced the funding at the site of the new kitchen, which was followed by a round of applause and cheers from the audience. 

“This is an investment in you. It’s an investment in your future. It’s an investment in your community,” he said. “This is a tremendous example of social innovation, but it’s really an example of human spirit.”

One of Hope Bloom’s enterprises, Hot Coco Boys, is trying to raise money to build their own basketball court.

“When you’re ready to build that basketball court, come into my office, because I think I can help you,” McNeil said.

Jollymore introduced Craig Cane to the small crowd. He was one of the founding youth of Hope Blooms. 

“We’ve been together since we put the first shovel into the ground, 12 years ago, when he was eight-years-old,” she said.

When he first joined Hope Blooms, Cane said they had to constantly relocate from place to place to find a suitable space for their work. “Now, this is here, is our home, and it’s going to be perfect,” he said.

The new kitchen will be able to hold everyone in Hope Blooms, instead of having to take shifts using the facility like their old kitchen. Cane said the new facility will have a stage to display the food they make, a much larger and high-tech oven, and a walk-in fridge. 

The facility also includes garage doors that open so the budding entrepreneurs can set up stands and display their products for customers during warmer days. The entire kitchen is still under construction and the hoped-for basketball court could be built outside, next to their greenhouse. 

“Having gone through the ins and outs, from space to space, and now having this here, and the potential it has for our youth is amazing,” Cane said. “Just having somewhere for them to come into, not just to cook or for programming, but to hang out, do their homework, or just to see each other, is incredible.” 

Recent Stories