What is Hugs Prep?

Hugs Prep provides a place to build social skills, learn food handling and at-home cooking skills, and, for the more advanced students, restaurant and hospitality skills in preparation for job placement. Food handling skills include topics such as (but are not limited to): Food borne disease, its causes and prevention, an introduction to food service facilities, personal hygiene and food handling practices and an overview of food safety issues, regulations, and techniques that will ensure you know how to maintain a safe environment.

About Our Classes

We currently offer three class times on Mondays at Hugs Cafe. Each class is limited to 6 students and the classes are held at Hugs Cafe on Mondays when the cafe is closed to the public. 

8:30am – 10:30am

11:00am – 1:00pm

and 1:30pm – 3:30pm

The cost is $120 per month due on the first Monday of the month. Scholarships are available.

The Hugs Cafe kitchen is set up to alleviate the physical barriers so that the students have access to all equipment. This allows the Hugs Prep students to learn culinary skills in a real commercial kitchen! The recipes and instructions are given with pictures and technical language is explained with care. Finally, the class is taught with a 1 to 2 ratio of instructor/volunteer to students to ensure each student has significant guidance and gentle encouragement as they build their skillset. 

Our Students

The students of Hugs Prep all have a desire to learn new skills and train in a workplace setting. We are able to identify the individual goals of each student to provide a path towards skills building and culinary independence. Many of our students have completed their food handler’s certification and some have gone on to employment in other businesses in the community. 

If you or your loved one is interested in enrolling in our Hugs Prep classes, please contact Stephanie Van Kirk at stephanie@hugscafe.org.

Click the button below to download our Hugs Prep Application.

Our Instructors

The current instructors for Hugs Prep are Yvonne Walters (with 20+ years of teaching experience in the special needs community), Marlene Faulker (professionally trained chef and caterer) and Stephanie Van Kirk (M.Div Princeton Theological Seminary). 

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