New beginnings for the Cookery Nook catering team

Nathan, a Cookery Nook team member, is shown busily rolling dough with flour.

Meet Nathan Russell. He recently clocked up 20 years at Mercy Community’s Cookery Nook catering service – making him the longest-serving employee.

Right now, he and the team are gearing up to open a new facility at Alondra Residences in Nundah, on December 20, and they’re excited for what’s to come.

We sat down with Nathan to find out more…

What’s Cookery Nook all about?

Cookery Nook is an Australian Disability Enterprise that provides meaningful employment for people with intellectual disabilities who may not have access to mainstream job opportunities.

Not only does the team create delicious food from fresh, local produce, and deliver it to your door, they demonstrate a workplace culture where everyone feels welcome, supported and empowered. This can have significant positive effects on self-esteem, confidence and sense of purpose.

What’s more, all profits from Cookery Nook go directly to Mercy Community’s Disability Services.

How did you come to work at Cookery Nook?

I studied hospitality at school, did an apprenticeship at Baker’s Delight and then worked at Brumby’s.

I was keen to experience working as part of a disability support kitchen and then I heard about Cookery Nook. I jumped at the chance to be part of the team. 

What do you love about it?

Everyone is really friendly and supportive and if anyone ever needs help we are there for each other. We are all passionate about food and dedicated to serving up yummy things to eat.

Do you have any signature dishes?

I am a baker at heart. I love slices, biscuits and chocolates. Now that we’re into the festive season I love a good Christmas cake, with lots of sultanas, cherries and raisins. I can also barbecue a really good steak, which comes in handy on Christmas Day.

What are you most looking forward to about the new Cookery Nook?

Getting new staff on board and being able to mentor them. We want people who are honest and who love working as part of a team.

It’s great to be able to offer people the same opportunity I had. The new skills, experience, and confidence they gain with us will be a valuable stepping-stone to other work in the hospitality industry and beyond.

Roll on opening day!

Support people living with a disability by ordering your Christmas puddings, rum balls, and other festive treats from the Cookery Nook here.

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