Success Story: Manna on Main Street

Success Story: Manna on Main Street, Common Grounds Cafe
Lansdale, PA

Manna on Main Street is committed to ending hunger and the joblessness that fuels this instability. The Common Grounds Food Service Training to Employment Program is a free, 12-week training program that utilizes the national, evidence-based Catalyst Kitchens model. Trainees engage in experiential learning, contributing to food production in Manna’s mission-driven kitchen and service of Manna’s Common Grounds Café and Common Grounds Catering Program.


Trainee Population: Adults in the community living in poverty or with other barriers to employment 

Enterprises Run: Common Grounds Cafe, Common Grounds Catering, Manna's Kitchen, Manna's Market 

Challenge: Programs across several kitchens and enterprises are growing, need exists to create synergy and consistency in how program and operational staff interact with trainees. 

Solution: In-person training provided by Catalyst Kitchens on instructional techniques, including the Coaching Champions classes, which present best practices from FareStart and around the Catalyst Kitchens network. 

Services Provided: Analysis of programs, social enterprise expansion best practices, and action planning, Coaching Champions four hour course, including modules on teaching diverse learners and building common coaching language and techniques across departments. 


100% graduation rate in 2016 


Consistency of approach with students. Tools to make all kitchen experiences and staff interactions learning and coaching-centric. 


Review of program standards, common language, and evaluation systems with full participation among operations and training staff. 

Kristyn DiDominick, Program Director

"The training built a shared language amongst us and a strengths-based orientation to instruction and staff leadership. It helped us all gain knowledge together and build a cohesive team prepared to instruct and support adult vulnerable populations."