Before there was Po’Shines, there was Friday’s Espresso…
In 1990 E.D. Mondainé, Senior Pastor of Celebration Tabernacle Inc., had a vision to create opportunities for individuals in his congregation and the local community who were on welfare but possessed extremely great talent. Most of them needed the discipline to develop the proper gifting within to experience success, but were defeated by depression, low self-esteem and physical and mental abuse. E.D. Mondainé launched Girl & Guy Fridays, a copying secretarial service with cafe. This provided the opportunity for empowerment. After several years, Girl & Guys Fridays became Fridays Espresso and concentrated its efforts on selling fine coffee and antiques.
CT, an innovative non-profit church founded by ED Mondainé, the Senior Pastor, who developed a youth workforce organization called Teach Me To Fish (“TMTF”); “Give me a fish and I will eat tonight. Teach me to fish and I will eat for the rest of my life.” The TMTF program is a comprehensive culinary education initiative designed specifically for the Celebration Tabernacle neighborhood citizens. In the development of this wonderful program we implemented some of the ideas from other programs within a sister church in St. Louis, Missouri. Classes and training will be provided in a well-structured environment that will teach not only culinary job skills, but also life skills that are necessary for success, including (but not limited to) confidence building, discipline, and emotion management.
Cecil Wooden aka Po’Shine
Po’ Shines was inspired by a wonderful man named Cecil Wooden, nicknamed Po’ Shine by the Mayor of Los Angeles, Mr. Tom Bradley. One of Cecil’s desires was to be able to get fried fish from a local restaurant that had a purpose and provided an excellent product.
CT launched Po’ Shines to be a catalyst for underprivileged and disadvantaged youth who need a second chance at life. Located in the heart of Kenton, Po’ Shines stands as a city on a hill. CT developed its work readiness and culinary arts programs out of the need to provide job skills to meet the demands of today’s economic challenges.
CT has a select number of high performing graduates from various colleges and culinary arts training programs to prepare and serve its offerings. The management reports to the board of CT for project approval, and strategic planning to successfully run a restaurant, concession and catering business. Through a successful pilot, TMTF & Po’ Shines discovered real interest and commitment on the part of the students for employment in the restaurant business and a demand for its products.