Recipe for success

COLUMBUS, Ga. — We’re sharing the story of a young lady named Trina who’s striving to reach her dream of owning a bakery.

Trina feels right at home in a kitchen. She grew up watching her mom work her magic with an oven and stove. But Trina’s recent kitchen skills were learned during a culinary arts program at Open Door Community House, a ministry dedicated to helping folks in need.

“I knew that this was my chance. To me, this was my last chance for an opportunity to get into my field,” says Trina.

Trina, a mother of two, signed up for the free 16-week course at the last minute and wasn’t sure she would get in, until she got a call from the program coordinator.

“I screamed so loud in my house and I cried because I knew this was my moment,” says Trina.

For the next four months Trina went to class twice a week for several hours each day, learning all about the art of cooking. The class took field trips to Central High School where their culinary arts director taught basic knife skills, butchering, baking, even pizza pie making.

“With the influx of so many pizza joints in this town, we’re learning how to make a basic pizza dough, several styles of pizza,” says John Chapiewski.

John Chapiewski has been helping with the Open Door Culinary Arts program since it started nine years ago.

“We’ve partnered up with several of the chefs in the area to help them find work,” says John.

Since completing the program, Trina has landed a job with the Food Services Department at Columbus State University.

“Knowing that I can provide for my family, my household…I can honestly say life is good at this point,” says Octavia Downing.

Octavia Downing, the Culinary Arts Coordinator for Open Door, uses Trina as an example of what the program can do.

“She’s been using everything that we offer here to make her dreams and goals come true. That’s the glory and the beauty of this job,” says Octavia.

Eight years ago, Trina and her late husband started making pastries in their home as a way to serve their church and the community.

“That is still a passion of mine…a goal of mine…to really get out there and to start my pastry business,” says Trina.

And Trina knows if she keeps knocking, that door will open, too.

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