Gastronomic upgrade to club’s kitchen
Cornwall’s next generation of chefs may very well be learning how to chop, sauté and bake at Boys and Girls Club, now that their clubhouse on Henry Street has a brand new kitchen with modern appliances.
The kitchen was unveiled at a ceremony held on Thursday afternoon in front of a gathering of the club’s young members, media and representative from GoEasy, which paid for the renovation.
The club’s executive director, Jacquie Richards, said the new kitchen is a giant improvement over what their longtime clubhouse had before.
“There was a shell of a kitchen here before, which didn’t even have stove – which makes doing things difficult. All we had was a fridge, a sink and a little bit of cabinetry,” said Richards. “It really limited us.
“We could not run cooking programs here because you had to cook food and bring it here.”
This was a big problem for two reasons. One is the Cornwall chapter of the club provides food to 400 children every day at its eight different locations around the city during the school year. Now more of that food can be cooked onsite. The second reason is cooking classes have been the most highly requested new program from kids and parents at the Boys and Girls Club for the past few years.
“The kitchen opens up a whole new realm of possibilities for us,” said Richards. “Life skills is a big one; speciality cooking programs will be able to operate on weekends … This allows us to become a teaching kitchen and bring kids in to plan a menu, make it and eat it. The possibilities are endless.”
With the renovations completed, the clubhouse now has an induction range with ventilation, a new fridge, plenty of cabinets, a backsplash, microwave, and so much counter space it can have stools along it to use as a table.
The new kitchen was built over the course of four or five days and was paid for entirely by GoEasy as part of their EasyBites initiative— the goal of which is to renovate 100 kitchens at Canadian Boys and Girls Clubs by 2023 – the Henry Street clubhouse was number 17.
Phil Thomas is the manager of the GoEasy store on Pitt Street and says he is proud to see the company he works for taking on this initiative.
“This project is going to cost $2.5 million across Canada, and what I like to see about it is that it’s in my community,” said Thomas. “It’s nice to see it come to a small town like Cornwall.”
Members of the Cornwall Boys and Girls Club check out their new kitchen, which was unveiled at the Henry Street clubhouse on Thursday.