About Us: Thirteen A Social Enterprise (13:ASE) is an entrepreneurial program of the Parkdale Food Centre. 13:ASE engages youth facing barriers to employment in the operation of a social enterprise. By engaging participants in all aspects of business decisions and development, in a collaborative and supported space, this program helps participants gain strong emotional and social skills as well as confidence in themselves and their future. 13:ASE also serves as an entry point into the labour market. It provides a supportive first work experience and the opportunity to build a social and professional network. The skills that participants and peer mentors develop through 13:ASE are directly related to the barriers they face, including lack of experience, limited community connections and language barriers.
History: 13:ASE started with youth who lived in our neighbourhood. Many of those youth lived a shelter after just arriving here with their families from various countries around the world. Other youth came to us through using the other services that Parkdale Food Centre provides, like our food bank. Each youth participating in our program has a unique story and faces different barriers or challenges in accessing opportunities to work, learn or engage in the community.
What is a Social Enterprise? Being a social enterprise means that we are a business whose aim is still to earn revenue but that we operate with a social mission. All our profits go back into funding entrepreneurial training and engagement with youth.
Our Products: Our spices reflect the diverse countries that many of the past participants have come from. In our recipes we create diverse dishes from many different cultures and communities as a way of engaging with people and building community. We use food, spices, recipes as tools for connection and community building around our business and around the people in our business.