To provide people with a refugee background the opportunity to participate in society Refugee Company founded the restaurant A Beautiful Mess. We offer our people a safe space where they can pursue their passion: making and serving great food. In collaboration with local partners and colleagues, they are trained professionally in a 12-week trajectory on the floor, in the kitchen and as a barista. This way the trainees gain professional work experience and a network with the goal of finding permanent employment. At A Beautiful Mess you can have a great lunch or dinner from Wednesday to Saturday. And we have the best terrace in town!
In the restaurant, we offer an excellent coffee bar where our partner Bocca together with our staff gives on-the-job barista training & coaching. Bocca is an Amsterdam based coffee roaster, founded in 2001 by Menno Simons. They make the finest coffee accessible for everyone interested and strive to make a difference.
Our barista training trajectory is 12 weeks. Depending on the skills and availability of the participants, the trajectory of learning and working is customized to each individual. Thanks to Bocca we now have a network of several restaurants and coffee bars interested in hiring our baristas.
Trainees are trained professionally in a trajectory on the floor, the kitchen and as a barista. However, our trainees sometimes have dreams to work at different places. When we get to know them and their dreams, we help them connect to an employer that fits their skills. Over time we connected people to work not only in different restaurants in Amsterdam, but also at the Sligro, Hanos, de Dakdokters and Moco museum, just to name a few.
The Refugee Company supports newcomers at the very start of their arrival in the Netherlands. We create a place where people can start rebuilding their lives, and we believe work is one of the key factors to realise this. The Refugee Company assists newcomers to build a network, create a portfolio and gain work experience. The ultimate aim is to find a job or start your own business. Last year, we helped 58 people find employment or start education or training, and we supported more than 150 people through our programmes. It was a busy year that was wonderful in many ways, and as an organisation we have grown considerably. We experimented with creating our own brand of dress shirts for men. We opened up a restaurant called A Beautiful Mess in the Bijlmerbajes former prison, that was also home to 500 refugees. We have grown from a budget of €110,000 in 2016 to € 1.1 million in 2017, and nearly half of it was generated by our own restaurant, events and commercial assignments. In late November 2017, Queen Máxima came to visit our projects, and that same week our restaurant won an Entree Award. And we are still growing. We are in the process of transforming the Refugee Company even more into a social enterprise because we believe work is the key to integration. Through work people can build a new, valuable life in the Netherlands. Our mission is to put refugees back to their strength and accelerate the process of integration.