Beginning March 24, Comal, the lunchtime eatery dubbed a "heritage food incubator" will enroll its second class of female entrepreneurs and extend its hours to include Fridays. Last October, Denver nonprofit, Focus Points Family Resource Center partnered with Zeppelin Development in a community outreach effort to bridge the gap between legacy and newer, trendier populations in the neighborhood.
The resulting Comal Heritage Food Incubator in the TAXI development at 3455 Ringsby Court, is a venue for female entrepreneurs from bordering Globeville, Elyria-Swanea to provide job training, culinary arts and language skills. The inaugural group of 15 Latina women cooked up made-from-scratch combo platters of El Salvadorian, Mexican and Peruvian cuisine.
Now, Comal is ready to accept its second class, which will include Syrian refugees who have been placed in Denver, and will be enrolled this month.
In addition to serving authentic, multicultural food, Comal, located in the former Fuel Café space, highlights the rich cultural traditions surrounding the intricate methods of cooking.hopes of rebuilding lives for themselves and their loved ones in the U.S.
Food has and always will transcend cultural boundaries," says Slavica Park, director of economic workforce and development at Focus Points. "We look forward to using food and cooking as a catalyst to integrate Syrian refugees into Denver, as well as providing the city with some of the most authentic middle-easter, home style cooking."
The new class will include four women, to be incubated for an eight-month period of time, preparing them to open their own businesses. Following a "learning while earning" model, the custom curriculum will instruct the participants on principles of marketing, financial literacy, computers and English, as well as cooking, of course.
The latest class of entrepreneurs include mother-daughter duos, Vian and Sara, as well as Omaima and her daughter Walaa, who fled Syria and took refuge in Egypt before arriving in Denver. Both families have been in the Denver area for six months, with the The Friday lunch menu will offer items including hummus, traditional meat dishes and salads. The menu will expand as the program progresses.
Disclosure: The editor is married to one of the developers behind Taxi, the development in which Comal resides.