The food trailer operated by The Bunker youth ministry in Winkler is about to grow into a full-fledged brick-and-mortar restaurant.
Executive Director Kevin Hildebrand says the dream was born over ten years ago, when they began using a food trailer to raise funds for the youth ministry.
"We love the idea of having a restaurant where we could hire marginalized youth to come in and work for us. We could provide them with employment, mentoring, build into them at the same time as making great food. We started with a food trailer, and it's gone over really well. In the last year we've actually had the opportunity to get a physical building that we can begin turning into a restaurant called Industrial Eats."
A dream-in-the-making for The Bunker, it will offer a menu built around smoked and barbecued meats in a welcoming atmosphere, providing a positive job experience for young people and seniors in the community.
"We often marginalize younger people because their hair is purple or green or whatever. We're marginalizing a lot of seniors because their hair is grey and silver. They can't work eight hours on their feet anymore, or their eyesight is failing, or there's different things about them that aren't where they used to be. And now they feel that they're being pushed to the margins of society. These are two areas that we can bring together and they can build into each other."
The overall reason they are doing this is to hire marginalized people and give them a place to work where they feel like they're part of a family explains Hildebrand.
"Where they feel like they're part of a community. We want that feeling to be extended to our customers as well when they come in, that they feel like they're part of this community, that people come in and they get great food and they leave and they feel like they've gotten something maybe more than just, you know, physical food."
The casual family-oriented restaurant will be located in same building as The Bunker, using the space formerly occupied by Central Station and Winkler Food Cupboard.
With blueprints drawn up and some equipment in their possession, Hildebrand says they hope to begin renovations in the new year with a fall completion date depending on available funds.