Critic's Notebook

FareStart Gets Big Boost from Amazon

And perhaps…from you.

By Kathryn Robinson February 21, 2017

New farestart coffee shop   low res lm8ora

FareStart's new coffee shop.

Image: FareStart

Last week’s news that Amazon is donating space and equipment for five new FareStart food businesses was an arresting headline. You know the Goliath online mercantile Amazon, of course, and you should know FareStart, the Seattle nonprofit dedicated to training low-skilled workers in hospitality industry jobs. Jobs like those which FareStart offers in its three cafes, the flagship of which sits across from Amazon on Virginia Street.

Amazon’s donation will enable FareStart to open five more food service businesses in the South Lake Union neighborhood—a full-service restaurant, a coffee shop, and three fast-casual cafes—along with a catering venue. In addition to serving the public, these eateries—along with a new paid apprenticeship program—will allow FareStart to double its reach and place trainees in higher-paid restaurant jobs.

All of which Amazon has made possible, by donating 25,000 feet of space and the equipment to fill it. Projected finish date: Late summer, 2017.

But beyond the headline—a bigger story emerges. In the next few months FareStart will launch a fundraising campaign to raise the $6 million needed to complete the expansion. Stay tuned for more on that good cause—but, in the meantime, click here to donate now, from a monetary gift to items off FareStart’s wish list.

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