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Working Test Kitchen

Shovel Ready at City Aud: A New Space for Tasty Treats

The Colorado Springs community continues to innovate in the social enterprise space.

The Colorado Springs restaurant community is tight-knit and became even more so after businesses and families were impacted in the 2020 closures due to impacts from COVID-19. As part of the recovery process from those closures, a government grant was awarded to impact COVID recovery to create immediate employment opportunities. This culinary arts program is just one piece of the larger picture in realizing those goals.

Working Test Kitchen

Shovel Ready at City Aud is a capstone culinary program that gives forward-facing and immediate front and back of house restaurant experience to students in the form of a working test kitchen. Participants can be of all ages and walks of life. They will not only develop and learn to cook a menu, they will network and learn how to locally source and purchase the ingredients for said menu items.

Mentorship is provided by some well-known restaurant industry professionals in our area: Brother Luck, Jay Gust and Justin Miller, to name a few. This six-week program is an earn-and-learn opportunity for participants to gain real-time experience and focus on transitioning directly into employment as soon as their time is up.

What does that mean for the larger Colorado Springs community?  It means a new space for tasty treats that are shovel-in-your-mouth good, all while supporting a great cause. Shovel Ready is located at one of the four kiosks at The Well downtown. Plan to visit often as the menu will change monthly and the chefs-in-training will change almost as often. Check out the website below for current menu offerings.  

Community Cultural Hub

Shovel Ready at City Aud is one of four programs that are being incubated by Community Cultural Collective and partners as part of a larger historic adaptive reuse program. They are a local 501(c)(3) who are taking the building’s motto “Usui Civium Decori Urbis” translated to “For the use of the people and the glory of the city” and applying it literally in their efforts to restore and revitalize this historic building to foster a community cultural hub.

In an effort to bring awareness to the project, the on-site event series “Elevate City Aud” will be hosted for regional and community corporate, business and foundation partners from April through December 2023, culminating in a 100-year birthday celebration on New Year’s Eve.

Facebook: @shovelreadyatcityaud
Instagram: @shovelreadycityaud