Jen Shaw has created
Jen Shaw has created "Emerge" a social impact catering business dedicated youth space for disadvantaged and at-risk youth. November 2017 Bev Lacey

Social enterprise hopes to buy site of now-closed business

>>RELATED: Emerging into a better future

EMERGE Toowoomba, a social enterprise organisation for youth, is in pursuit of purchasing the existing Sauce Kitchen in Station St, with plans to create a café, catering and co-workable food hub for hospitality businesses in the Toowoomba region.

The project will provide training and employment to young people experiencing homelessness or disadvantage in our community with all profits supporting the engagement and training of youth doing it tough.

The café, located next door to Emerge's youth drop-in space is the perfect next step to the social enterprise's vision; expanding their current mentorship program "Box off the Streets", while delivering hospitality training programs and a drop-in style youth hub.

Emerge is currently crowdfunding the remaining funds for the project online here after a successful fundraiser by the Red Rose Fund of $30,000 and contributions from Toowoomba businesses such as Liebke Tyres ($3500) Briese Lawyers ($2000) and TJM Toowoomba ($1500).

The organisation has a $50,000 target. 

Emerge founder Jen Shaw said the project was an innovative response to a growing problem for youth in Toowoomba and the region.

"Youth homelessness, youth crime and unemployment is rising, and we need the support of the entire community to provide a more positive solution," she said. 

Emerge has graduated 12 young people since opening 18 months ago and plans to provide up to 30 traineeships in the first 18 months of the new café.

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