LuLu’s KITCHEN Grand Opening Celebrated with Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
St. Matthew’s House donors and friends gathered at the St. Matthew’s House campus on Wednesday, October 21 to commemorate the official opening of LuLu’s KITCHEN with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The 8,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility brings all of the St. Matthew’s House culinary operations under one roof.
The facility includes a state-of-the-art commercial kitchen, open-to-the-public Fresh Start Café that seats 65 diners for breakfast and lunch service, and a drive-thru window serving hand-crafted coffees and limited food selections. In addition, it houses the St. Matthew’s House Delicious by Design catering operation and Culinary Training Institute of Southwest Florida.
LuLu’s KITCHEN was made possible by a major gift from long-time St. Matthew’s House supporter, The Holecek Family Foundation. “Lulu’s KITCHEN is a dream realized. This generous gift is the answer to prayers,” says St. Matthew’s House President and CEO Vann Ellison.
Fresh Start Café and drive-thru window are open Monday through Saturday. Drive-thru window hours are 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Fresh Start Café is open for breakfast and lunch service 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Lulu’s Kitchen greatly enhances St. Matthew’s House capacity for service, and, with the addition of Fresh Start Café, it also significantly expands the St. Matthew’s House social enterprise program. This innovative social enterprise program includes six thrift stores, a car wash and detailing center, Delicious by Design Catering, Sprout Catering, and the Port LaBelle Inn & Retreat Center.
These social enterprises provide job training and employment for St. Matthew’s House residents, and generate nearly 70 percent of the funds needed for St. Matthew’s House operations. This means that 100 percent of every donation goes directly to St. Matthew’s House programs that provide housing for the homeless, food for the hungry and comfort for the addicted and suffering.
LuLu’s KITCHEN is located at St. Matthew’s House Naples’ campus at 2125 Airport Road South.