Meet Abbie and Claudia, New City Cafe’s 9th grade Bakery Managers this summer! Both Abbie and Claudia are bakery veterans, having been part of the program all three years of middle school. Abbie grew up coming to New City Neighbors and is always excited to use her gifts and skills to help out in any way she can. She’s eager to work with the younger students and to teach them how to bake. She’s also looking forward to enjoying great laughs, sharing amazing experiences, and learning more about leadership and God’s word. Claudia is a strong, consistent and dedicated presence in the kitchen. Over the past three years she’s grown greatly in her passion for baking and in confidence of her baking abilities which she’s able to pass onto the new students. She’s excited to work with the farm student staff as well as about gaining more leadership skills. We are thrilled to have them leading our middle school team this summer.

So, what will the bakery look like this summer? First, I want to share a bit about how we’ve changed our thinking in regards to our middle school summer program. One of my favorite days last summer was a day that instead of going on a field trip, our middle school students stayed to help out with Breaktime (our elementary summer day camp). I was so encouraged by how the middle schoolers jumped in to play games, do activities, and tutor the younger students. So, this summer, we’re switching it up! The majority of our middle school students will be baking for the cafe on Thursdays, but they’ll also be tutoring Breaktime students on a regular basis as well as doing some work on the farm. We also have two students who will be dedicated to leading in Breaktime. Our hope is that middle schoolers will grow in their own leadership while learning what it’s like to work in the kitchen, on the farm, and with younger students. By the time they are entering high school we hope they’ll know what job they want to apply for as they continue to be empowered to use the gifts and skills God has given them. 

The middle school students started on Monday and will have baked goods available at New City Cafe on Thursday afternoons, 12:00-6:30pm. We’re aiming to have the full cafe open in the weeks ahead- with pizza, soups, and salads made by our farm high school staff. The baked goods we’ll have available and our menu will be different than past years (see below) as we work towards creating a cafe experience for our customers and our community.  We hope you’ll stop by and check out what the students are up to, what the cafe is offering, and that you’ll use the space to spend time with friends and neighbors! We are excited about the opportunities for youth development through this new social enterprise, but we are also excited about the new community gathering space the cafe has created.