Our experience volunteering for Welcome Table
Monday, June 22, and Wednesday, June 24, our employees at Nightbell and Cúrate cooked for and served the public at the Downtown Welcome Table. Welcome Table is a program at the Haywood Street Congregation in downtown Asheville. The staff and volunteers at the church serve a hot meal every Wednesday, free to the public. Instead of the standard soup kitchen setup, guests at Welcome Table are treated to a more restaurant-style experience with the addition of cloth napkins and servers.
Chefs at Welcome Table is a coalition of local restaurants which sign on to cook for one Wednesday every month, teaming up with other local establishments. It includes such eateries as Fig, French Broad Chocolate Lounge, Chestnut, Wicked Weed Brewing, and the list continues to grow. During the month before their meal, restaurant guests fill orange envelopes on the table with donations, vital to supporting this cause.
Getting together to prep on Monday, our day off, was a fun experience as everyone worked together to help the community. Servers cook, managers wash dishes, job roles become fluid as all work to a common goal.
Tortilla Española – Spanish potato and onion omelet
Spinach Salad – Baby spinach with diced apples, raisins, toasted pine nuts and a sherry vinaigrette.
Pollo Al Ajillo – Roasted chicken with a garlic, sherry and arbol chili sauce.
Esparagos Verdes – Grilled green asparagus with romesco sauce.
Oatmeal Berry Cookie Bars
Wednesday, the crew arrived at Haywood Congregation early in the morning to get ready for the meal. People were already lining up for the meal. Massage therapists, hair stylists and acupuncturists had also arrived, setting up to offer their services to the public. The meal had four seatings starting at 11 a.m., serving guests at large round tables.
After the meal, hundreds enjoyed the summer day on picnic tables near the community gardens out back. Families and friends visited and, in true Asheville form, the sound of drumming was in the air. It was incredible to see the numbers of community members who truly need and appreciate the services Haywood Street Congregation provides. Through the Chefs at Welcome Table program, Heirloom employees were able to see the impact of giving back to the community by doing what they love—creating and serving memorable meals.
Cúrate: Frank Muller, Matt Caudle, Chris Anderson, Nathan Lanham, Jessica Salyer, Annie Barclay, Michael Ellicott, Erin Looney, Whitney Richmond, Jeremy Rasik, Kaitlyn Brown, Mallory Steenstrup, Liz Button, Michael Weber, Ben Butler, Laith Inkidar, Brandon Wallace, Amy White, Tamsen Todisco
Nightbell: Chad Holmes, Lee and Emily Helms, Carmen Vaquera, Joe Minnich, Lisa Marie Lienberger, Allegra Grant, Andrew Buie, Brian Barker, Nate Sloan, Sean Fernandez (with Melissa and Judy Deckert), Tim Benton, Jay DiPaolo