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Meet the trainees behind Market Street Café

On Wednesday 22 April, Market Street Café will be opening its doors for the first time in Newton Abbot. But this is a café with a twist. Everything on the menu will be cooked and served by our River Cottage trainees.

In Market Street Café you’ll find delicious, rustic and honest food, that has been designed to spark up nostalgic food memories. There’s something to suit all appetites, from small plates to grab on the hoof, to large warming dishes to keep you going all day. And it goes without saying there’ll be coffee and cake.

This venture is brought to you by Young Devon - a charity who provide a safety net for young people aged 12 – 25 including advice, information, counselling and accommodation. We’ve been working with Young Devon over the past few months to create this mouth-watering menu and train the team in both cookery and service.

Meet some of the team

Jade Birch, 16

“I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I finished school. At the time I loved creative subjects like art, music, drama and especially catering – but overall I absolutely hated school. I took up a hairdressing course for a while, but it just wasn’t for me.

When I found out about this project through my dad, I knew I wanted to do it from the start. I love cooking and I already cook quite a lot for my family. Mum works quite late, so we all pitch in at home. I’m quite experimental – sometimes I follow recipes, but I mostly mix and match. It’s all about balancing flavours.

I’ve never had a job before, but now I know I definitely want to work with food one way or the other. As a chef you have to work hard as a team but you also have a laugh together. But I’m also looking forward to hosting – I like people, so I’m looking forward to getting to know our customers too. Without a doubt I’ll do an apprenticeship after this – it’s the best way of going into a career in food.”

Martyn Burton, 19

“I’ve moved around quite a few jobs since I finished school – there was never a vocation that I knew was for me. But now that I’m here, I just wish I’d done this sooner – I’m so glad to be doing this.

I’m good at working with my hands and doing practical things, which is useful here as we’re also helping to refurbish the café before we open in April so I can put those skills to good use.

So far I’ve learnt knife skills so I’m better and more confident with a knife, I can take meat off the bone. I just need to pass this so I can do the apprenticeship afterwards. I’d recommend the traineeship to anyone – I’ve learnt so much already.”

James Devoir, 19

“I moved here from Essex around seven months ago because we wanted a fresh start in Devon. Since then I did a Princes Trust course, which was really good. Then Duncan from Young Devon told me about this opportunity.

I’ve got a passion for cooking – I’ve always loved it. I cook loads at home for my family. Half of them are Jamaican, so I cook a lot of Caribbean food – curried goat, all sorts of things from fresh. I use my granddad’s old recipes that have been passed down the family.

I’ve always wanted to be a chef and I want to own my own restaurant. But right now I’m enjoying learning new skills that I’ll need to run my own place one day. I’m a bit nervous about serving customers, but this project has already boosted my confidence, so I’m sure it will be fine.

This traineeship has given me a taste of what I’m capable of, and now I know it’s definitely for me. I’ll definitely do the apprenticeship afterwards.”

The cafe will be open every Wednesday starting from 22nd April, bookings not necessary.

Market Street Cafe, 6 Market St Newton Abbot, Devon TQ12 2RB

If you're interested in our traineeship programme or apprenticeship schemes, get in touch today.