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Windy City Harvest, Kitchen Coordinator

Requisition Number: 
Windy City Harvest
Job Status: 
As kitchen coordinator, you will be responsible for the maintenance of the shared-use kitchen and equipment to meet City of Chicago Health Codes, while focusing on fostering a welcoming environment for Windy City Harvest participants and incubator farmers. You will assist with educating in kitchen use and cooking skills, produce processing, and value-added product development. The mission of the Chicago Botanic Garden: We cultivate the power of plants to sustain and enrich life. The kitchen coordinator must understand and commit to upholding this mission.

The Farm on Ogden is designed as a community hub-—a farm and learning space for Lawndale Christian Health Center patients, community residents, and urban farm entrepreneurs. Located in North Lawndale, the building will include a large-scale hydroponics/aquaponics system to support year-round fish and leafy greens production and training, a commercial kitchen/micro-processing center to prepare vegetables and develop value-added products distributed through an indoor community market, cold storage to assist with managing the aggregation and distribution of 130,000 pounds of produce, an enclosed produce-packing station to professionalize food safety and post-harvest produce handling, offices for Windy City Harvest staff, and a large multipurpose community space for classes, nutrition education, food demonstrations, and produce-box pickup. The Farm on Ogden will create jobs for youth and individuals with barriers to employment, offer increased training capacity, support small farm businesses, and position Windy City Harvest and Lawndale Christian Health Center to deliver to a Food as Medicine program to address health in the community. 

Duties and Responsibilities: 

In this role, you will be responsible for the following: 

  • Activate shared-use kitchen through classes, demos, and tastings. 
  • Lead community outreach efforts to help position the kitchen within the community as a resource. 
  • Establish and foster relationships with residents, community members/partners within North Lawndale with educational sites, community sites, food access sites, and other identified resources that work with the SNAP-eligible population. 
  • Provide assistance for effective nutrition education programs in collaboration with existing Veggie RX program with Lawndale Christian Health Center. 
  • Collect, organize, and report metrics from shared-use kitchen programs, including the following: visitors/students, pre and post assessments, quotes, photos, and engagements. 
  • Create written Standard Operating Procedures as needed and train all participants to implement. 
  • Enforce adherence to local health codes. 
  • Enforce standards for produce and product development for the Windy City Harvest community, including incubators. 
  • Oversee the application, orientation, and training process of new kitchen users. 
  • Facilitate ServSafe classes for all participants
  • Assist with class/demo coordination, maintain up-to-date records, and manage scheduling for all kitchen users. 
  • Ensure all items are in stock and ready for scheduled classes. 
  • Promote Windy City Harvest sales and courses on social media. 
  • Act as a resource for program information for project partners, community members, Garden staff, and media as required. 

Key Garden competencies/behaviors desired

  • Communicates in a manner that gains the trust and support of others at all levels.
  • Works effectively with others despite differences of opinion and style; builds alliances.
  • Has a tolerance for opposing points of view.
  • Strives for collaboration. Works cooperatively, as a positive contributor to the team.
  • Demonstrates a positive attitude and shows kindness in all workplace interactions.
  • Makes decisions appropriate for level of responsibility.
  • Can effectively adapt to change; can shift gears comfortably; is flexible, and embraces change with a “can-do” attitude.
  • Is self-aware; knows personal strengths and weaknesses; seeks feedback and is open to negative feedback as an opportunity for improvement.
  • Is cool under pressure; can be counted on to hold things together during tough times; can handle stress; is not knocked off balance by the unexpected; is a settling influence during a crisis.
  • Recognizes problems, constructively identifies and articulates solutions.
  • Picks up garbage when it is seen regardless of position.
  • Follows safety guidelines to ensure a safe working environment and consistently demonstrates safe work behaviors.
  • Is welcoming of new hires.

Our ideal candidate will have the following: 

  • Have a positive attitude and creative mindset. 
  • An understanding of sustainable food, cooking, gardening and/or agriculture. 
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills. 
  • Written and verbal proficiency in Spanish preferred. 
  • Comfortable managing and engaging people with different cultural backgrounds and experiences with a demonstrated respect for diversity. 
  • Demonstrated ability to implement and hold others accountable to written standards. 
  • Be well-organized, with attention to detail, good record keeping, and excellent time management skills. 
  • Ability to work independently
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks and work in a fast-paced environment. 
  • PC proficiency including: Microsoft Office, newsletter development, social media, and online file sharing. 
  • A passion for great food and entrepreneurial support. 
  • ServSafe Manager certified or a willingness to become certified. 
  • Familiarity with community-based nutrition. 
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with a wide range of adults and youth. 
  • Culinary experience. Familiarity with value-added products development. 
  • Good oral and written communication skills, including the ability to professionally communicate with clients, customers, visitors, volunteers, employer contacts, and funders. 
  • Available to work weekends as necessary. 
  • Valid driver's license with a clean driving record. 
Physical Demands: 
Frequent walking, standing, bending, speaking, and repetitive motion. Safe use of kitchen equipment. Frequent lifting, pushing, and pulling up to 50 pounds.
Why Apply?: 

Come work in a setting that is like no other as you support our mission: We cultivate the power of plants to sustain and enrich life. Take the first step toward being one of the employees who make the Garden one of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Apply today. Please note that applicants who do not meet the required qualifications will not be considered.

Disclaimer: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and qualifications required of personnel so classified.

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, Chicago Botanic Garden does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its programs or activities, including in employment or admissions. Please call (847) 835-8264 to contact our Title IX Coordinator should you have questions or concerns.