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HoodFellas Bistro providing valuable job training to Baltimore kids

Hood Fellas restaurant
Posted at 4:11 PM, Aug 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-16 19:20:15-04

BALTIMORE — Working in a kitchen is tough, long hours, hot stoves, and hungry customers.

At HoodFellas Bistro it also teaches valuable lessons about work ethic and the joy of a job done well.

For Antonio Chase, he started out not knowing how to cook.

"My first meal I learned how to cook was a chicken quesadilla, from there I went to a shrimp quesadilla. I was getting more into quesadillas, I learned how to chop lettuce, tomatoes and onions faster," said Chase.

Navaeh Harris started working temporarily through Youthworks.

"It really helped me bring out my personality and who I am because normally I would stay to myself cause I'm a shy kind of person but here, there's a vibe with the customers and the staff and they're friendly and it's nice," said the 17-year-old Harris.

Now, she's here full time learning how to manage the challenges of dealing with customers.

"Some people can be impatient, but you gotta work with it and try to work with them to try to get the issue resolved in the calmest manner possible," said Harris.

For the owners here, giving kids an opportunity to work and succeed is important.

They were born in West Baltimore and the restaurant started with Ben Thompson selling food out of his house.

"So many kids out here that are already entrepreneurs and they don't even know it and our job is to let them know that there's opportunities because we started how they started," said HoodFellas owner Ben Thompson.

Now, the owners are giving back by mentoring the next generation.