The Willowbank Café:
A Fantastic Idea in Action
Willowbank Building (off Main Entrance Lobby), 420 Holmes Street, Bellefonte
Open 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Monday thru Thursday except County Holidays
Lunches served from 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
With the support of the Centre County Commissioners and the wellness committee for Centre County Employees, Skills opened a café in the Willowbank Building in Bellefonte.
The Willowbank Café offers healthy menu selections including salads, soups, fruit salad and yogurt, and a variety of subs and wraps along with Daily Specials.
With the opening of the Café, Skills was able to hire two members from Opportunity Centre Clubhouse as permanent team members. A third position, through Skills Transitional Employment Placement (TEP) program, gives individuals the opportunity to try types of work and receive training in a safe, nonthreatening environment before seeking competitive employment.
The Café provides a unique opportunity for individuals served by Skills to work in a supportive, structured position as employees. These dedicated, hard-working, conscientiousness Café employees have experienced an amazing transformation — they have taken ownership of and become vested in the Café. The Café manager is experienced in supporting individuals with disabilities, which allows Café employees to function more effectively and provides them with a higher level of support than typically available in other working environments.
This endeavor would not have been possible without equipment donated by Sheetz, Inc. and the help of U.S. Foods. Sheetz donated industrial freezers, refrigerators, a three-compartment sink, soup warmers, and cabinets with a countertop. U.S. Foods provided free training for staff on portioning, food preparation, food presentation, safe food handling, and customer service.
Thank you to everyone who helped Skills with this venture!