B Social Dufferin Enterprises – Making a Difference One Bite at a Time

This year Community Living Dufferin (CLD) very proudly launched Social Enterprise (SE) initiatives within our community.

This SE initiative, now named B Social Dufferin Enterprises provides job training to those looking to enter or re-enter the workforce in an environment suited to their needs. This means if a person who due to physical or emotional restraints cannot work a traditional 8 hour shift, we can schedule to suit their needs; likewise if someone needs additional support in the workplace to be successful we can help with that!
This is a partnership between three agencies; CLD supports adults who have intellectual disabilities, Family Transition Place (FTP) dedicated to supporting women and their children who have experienced abuse and unhealthy relationships and Dufferin Child and Family Services (DCAFS) a multiservice agency providing 22 programs under three main areas of service: child & youth mental health; developmental support and child welfare; to ensure that the marginalized populations that we each support are given equal opportunity to secure paid employment while providing them with an opportunity to acquire needed training and stamina to eventually move into a community job if and when they are ready to do so.

We are presently operating four cafeterias; “Grizzlies Grub” opened in the spring at the Orangeville Georgian College campus providing breakfast and lunch to students and staff, next to open in July was the County of Dufferin Courthouse B Social café, the former cafe closed two years ago and we were honored to be asked to assume this operation. The B Social café offers breakfast, lunch and snacks to county & courthouse staff, local police services and visitors to the courthouse. The last two ventures to open in September were the B Social Snack Bars located in the Alder Recreational Centre and Tony Rose Sports Centre. These spots provide food to arena visitors attending recreational programs as well as the Humber College students located at Alder Arena. Conveniently located beside our two local high schools we also provide lunch to students who are looking for choices outside of their school cafeterias.

This Social Enterprise initiative provides an employment stepping stone to growth, to the building of self-confidence and pride in themselves and their contributions.

Traditional job placements have not always been successful for some people who truly do wish to work but are held back or passed over due to their limitations. Our model will provide the support they need to grow and be successful. These businesses will provide over 22,000 hours of employment to people who have struggled to find employment elsewhere.

This CLD initiative came about as a result of the governments’ closure of sheltered workshops which resulted in the unemployment of more than 40 people. Recognizing that change was inevitable, representatives from the aforementioned agencies led by CLD worked together to create an employment model that was geared to the employees rather than the employer. B Social staff receives all the necessary training to successfully do their jobs. Any profit that comes from the four operations will go back into growing the program and thereby accommodating more employment opportunities. It is our future goal to provide small capital loans to people who are interested in starting up their own businesses outside of the food industry.

We recruited a dynamic board of directors who have provided us with their insight and their years of experience to set up these businesses as this process was outside of the realm of social services.
The community has embraced our initiatives with open arms and we are so very proud of the accomplishments made so far.

We look forward to a brighter future of employment opportunities for people who just need that little bit of extra support to secure employment they can be proud of and become a contributing member of their community. It’s what everyone deserves and wants.