What is a Peer-Run Business
Social Enterprises (Consumer-Operated Businesses)
Wellness Connections is developing Social Enterprises in three communities, designed to provide participants with opportunities for hands-on job training and real-world work experience.
In a Peer-Run business (also known as Consumer-Operated Business), peer members are involved in every aspect of running the business. The businesses provide a mechanism for skills training that enhance a member’s employability, such as customer service, time and money management, working and getting along with others, and workplace safety.
Revenue generated from these activities are reinvested in supporting the organization’s non-profit mission, and sustaining and growing the programs.
Sierra Vista: Garden Café to Go – Culinary Training & Catering
Safford: Appliance Connections
Douglas: Juice Bar
The Garden Café to Go
The Garden Café to Go at our Sierra Vista location features culinary training and catering for all occasions. Participants in the culinary training program have an opportunity to obtain their ServeSafe food handler’s certificate, and from there have the option of participating in a 12-week culinary training with Cordon Bleu-trained Chef, Sean Crosby. Members completing their food handler’s certificate are assisted with finding gainful employment in the food service industry. (Please note, while catering is limited to Sierra Vista, the ServeSafe Food Handler’s training is offered at ALL our program sites).
The Garden Café To Go catering program is closely integrated with our Garden Club, which grows seasonal vegetables and herbs that are used in our catering and meal programs. Basil grown in our garden at the Sierra Vista site is made into pesto, which is used in a number of our recipes and sold at local Farmer’s Markets.
Appliance Connections is located in the historic district on Main Street in Safford. The appliance repair and resale program provides hands-on job skills training. Appliance units are acquired through donations, and are assessed, inventoried, deep cleaned and repaired by our members before going on sale. Machines and parts that cannot be repaired are recycled, and therefore diverted from landfills. Appliance Connections is the only appliance resale store in Graham County, offering the benefit of appliances at a low cost to the local community. Donations of washers, dryers, refrigerators, freezers and stoves are welcomed.
The first phase of the Juice Bar in Douglas was completed under a grant from the Legacy Foundation of Southeast Arizona. Construction of the commercial kitchen has been completed, and juice bar equipment has been acquired and installed. The juice bar is a complement to the fitness center located in the same building (the fitness center is accessible at no cost to seniors and persons with disabilities in the community, through an agreement with our landlord, The City of Douglas). Peer members will be involved in every aspect of production and juice bar sales. We look forward to launching this new business in coming months!