The Bon Appétit team at Best Buy in Minneapolis has been enjoying a partnership with Minnesota Life College (MLC) that has changed many lives in both organizations.
MLC is a three-year life skills training program located in Richfield, MN, for young adults with autism spectrum disorder or other learning differences. An old contact of Bon Appétit CEO Fedele Bauccio’s connected the two entities, and soon MLC’s Executive Director Amy Gudmestad was meeting with Bon Appétit Regional Vice President Mark Lachance. Not long after, the Best Buy team hired Nick Wright, its first MLC graduate, for a kitchen utility position and quickly added others.
The Best Buy team is proud of its four hard-working MLC graduates, who are thriving as they master their new roles. Even better, they look forward to coming to work every day and display genuine gratitude for the opportunities they’ve been given.
Recently, MLC Job Developer and Life Coach Jeff Myhre asked if the partnership could go further still, from employment to training. Yes, it turned out they could! The Best Buy team committed to providing practical experience for MLC’s culinary and hospitality curriculums. Executive Chef Christian Pieper has begun teaching knife skills and basic cooking techniques, while General Manager Susan Davis walks students through the ins and outs of catering and dining room service standards.
Teaching has its own intrinsic rewards, but the chance to train potential new hires is certainly a benefit to Bon Appétit as well. The program gives the team an opportunity to get to know each student well, to best match them to open positions, as it recently did when Best Buy sent one of the graduates to provide support to Bon Appétiters at nearby St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. One good idea can truly create life-changing opportunities.
Submitted by Christian Pieper, Executive Chef