ConnCAT and the NH Free Public Library Partner to Bring Culinary Excellence to the Green

The Connecticut Council for Arts and Technology (ConnCAT) and the NH Free Public Library (NHFPL) announced their newly minted partnership which enhances food options and brings culinary opportunities to New Haven’s nine squares.

Through this partnership, ConnCAT’s Orchid Cafe will open its doors in Ives Squared on the New Haven Green. This second location is set to bring the fruit of ConnCAT’s Culinary Arts Academy to the downtown area. Orchid on the Green opened August 12, and a grand opening celebration is slated for Monday, Sept. 9 at 1 p.m.

“Our mission at ConnCAT has always been to assist community members in their efforts to grow, develop and improve their circumstances,” ConnCAT President and CEO, Erik Clemons said. “Supporting the community with job opportunities, entrepreneurial guidance and authentically welcoming spaces remain at the core of the work we do, and we’re excited to integrate that work into the long-standing mission of the NH Free Public Library. This partnership will allow us to deepen our commitment to New Haven while ensuring that community members have consistent access to Orchid’s nutritionally rich menu and social-ly responsible mission.”

“We are excited to welcome ConnCAT and its culinary arts café, Orchid on the Green, to Ives Squared, the library’s renovated space for 21st-century learning, entrepreneurship and civic engagement,” City Librarian Martha Brogan said. “The café is the social engine of Ives Squared, promoting the exchange of ideas in a convivial and relaxed atmosphere with an inventive food and beverage menu. With ConnCAT as our partner, we look forward to deepening our programmatic and service collaboration in support of our shared community values.”

Orchid Café’s premier location was established in 2017 as a full–service breakfast and lunch restaurant that provides training opportunities for participants in the ConnCAT Culinary Arts Academy. The culinary arts program trains adults in the areas of food and beverage operations, entrepreneurial skills, baking and pastry arts, and advanced culinary skills. Graduates also receive the national Food Service Protection Manager certification. The program is targeted to low-income individuals from New Haven, with approximately 25% formerly incarcerated individuals.

Orchid on the Green is an innovative opportunity for the two mission-driven organizations to grow, collaborate, and continue developing the pipeline of local talent.

Enjoy a 10% discount with your NHFPL library card and take in the view of the historic New Haven Green.

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