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Corporate Teams Feed Creativity at SKETCH!

By Dale Roy

When you think of staff team-building activities, you might think trust falls, rope climbing, or expensive offsite retreats.

But what about baking a good focaccia? Or making homemade pasta? Can’t you teambuild while icing a vanilla-pear-ginger loaf?

Food making-as-team building is at the core of Nourish, SKETCH’s corporate-engagement program where workmates become cooks-for-a-day and prepare nutritious meals for youth.

serving food

Young people getting nourished, thanks to Nourish

About 1300 homeless and marginalized young people come to SKETCH each year to channel their creative energies into new artwork and performances, projects for social change, or their own creative enterprise. It’s often access to the free nutritious lunches and dinners made in-house that helps youth commit to SKETCH long term. In many ways, these meals are the gatecrasher to our programs.

Nourish, now in its second year, invites companies to play a crucial role in that food making so they can help feed creativity at SKETCH.

SKETCH’s Culinary Arts Specialist Quina Gutierrez leads corporate guests through an afternoon of learning new culinary tricks and processes, fun staff food-prep competitions, and the ins and outs of working in an industrial kitchen. The outcome: over 100 meals created for youth, served on the next day of programming.

Zero Gravity Labs staff suits up for food prep

Quina says a big part of the program’s success are the guests own transformation. “People come to Nourish and they don’t know what to expect. They’ll often say, ‘I don’t have cooking skills’ or ‘I won’t know what to do!’ But once they get the hang of it and they see the volume of great food they’re creating, you see a pride emerge from their hard work and new cooking skills.”

Companies like Telus, Salesforce, Apple, and FORREC have sent staff to Nourish at SKETCH. Quina and our culinary artists always align the theme of the afternoon’s activities with the visiting organization’s product, service or brand. For example, the staff from Apple Store Eaton Centre moulded pie dough into unique-looking app logos atop of the apple pies they were baking.

Salesforce gets busy in the kitchen

At the end of Nourish, everyone gets to taste a hearty sampling of their hard work. It’s often at this stage that guests start to marvel at the volume of food they created together and the real impact it will have on a young person’s day at SKETCH.

“Our team did a Nourish last October,” says  Alex Chepovetsky, Chief Digital Officer of Havas Canada, “We loved the work space, the staff engagement and the food making. But the dishes we all made together–baked meatballs, roasted cauliflower and beans, casserole and salads–fed over 125 young people! It was the best feeling.”

meatballs with salad

Havas’ meatball dish

Does your staff or group want to get Nourished? SKETCH has the following Fall dates are now open for bookings: Sept 27, Oct 4, Oct 18, Oct 25, Nov 22 and Nov 29. Contact dale@sketch.ca for details today.

-By Dale Roy, Resource Development & Marketing Associate