Parrainage civique les Marronniers / Jarry Deuxième café bistro

April 2014

A year ago, Parrainage civique les Marronniers (PCM) took the gamble of investing in the potential of youth with intellectual disabilities and breaking down prejudice... through people's taste buds.

Behind its appearance of a trendy neighbourhood restaurant, the Jarry Deuxième café bistro is actually PCM's restaurant school, which gives impaired individuals aged 18 to 35 an opportunity to train and practise in a real work environment. One year later, it has become a true success: 27 young people have taken PCM's 450 hours of training, and the Jarry Deuxième café bistro already has 600 monthly patrons.

In addition to its daily fare, every month the establishment offers a highly appreciated five-course gourmet menu created by a prominent guest chef and the Jarry Deuxième trainees.

The magic of the Jarry Deuxième café bistro is definitely in the element of surprise. Delighted by the quality of the food, many new customers don't know that the dishes are made by someone with an intellectual disability. When they do find out, they eventually see beyond their prejudices and come to understand the potential of this normally stigmatized population.

With such a positive response to their work, the young chefs-in-training gain in confidence. Little by little, they come out of their shells and develop tools that will help them in all aspects of their lives: independence, initiative, work organization, and an ability to take on responsibility. Thanks to this amazing experience, they also learn to manage the stress of dealing with the unpredictability of the restaurant business.

Their victories both large and small and the bonds they create with others mean that these young people finish their training with a new-found sense of worth and the belief that they too have the skills they need to become active citizens in their communities.

Centraide has supported Parrainage civique les Marronniers since 2012.

Parrainage civique les Marroniers / Jarry Deuxième café bistro is the winner of the Solidaires Empowerment 2014.