Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Yikes!! I have not been very good at keeping this blog updated at all. I have however, since the last update over a year ago, made lots of soup. And muffins, I've made loads of muffins. I mean, I have been doing stuff, I've been pretty busy. Don't think I've been lying around, just ignoring the blog and watching television. I've done a little of that (while never once thinking of the blog to be honest.  I watched every episode of the X-flies since the last update...and that's good TV, really keeps the mind off things like, well, your blog. Unless you blog about the X-files I guess, then you might need to watch The Simpsons or something to be truly distracted).

Anyway, the thing is, I noticed an article online that was very nice, and it said The Minga was a good reason to visit the area (along with lots of other great places 'round here). And I noticed that the article linked to this blog. I was going to email some people and say "oh hey look how cool this is, this article mentions The Minga..." but obviously sharing that would only then highlight my malingering in the blog department. For all most people know, I update this thing regularly. I don't think anyone reads it. The internet is kind of big, and there is plenty of stuff to read. Sadly, people sometimes have more faith in me than I deserve, and I didn't want to just point right out "hey I never update the blog!" so, after spending a few minutes (or half an hour) remembering how to sign in here it is. An update!

All that to say, the best way to keep up with happenings at The Minga is...Not This Blog!!
It's better to do one or all of the following things:

1. Follow us on Twitter @mingadunnville 

2. Follow us on Instagram @mingadunnville  #mingadunnville

3. Find us and Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/theminga

4. Come in to The Minga!! Ask us what's going on, look at the calendar on our wall, check the bulletin boards, talk to people, engage in some Real Life Social Networking!! This method, if you can manage it, is highly recommended.

5. Call us on the telephone 289-738-1198 (I feel like I should mention though, do try to call us between 7:30am and 8pm Monday through Friday, or between 10am and 5pm on Saturdays because if you think I'm bad at updating the blog, ask me how often I check the phone messages!!)

6. You can also just go to www.theminga.com but that will just take you to facebook.  'Make website for The Minga' is on my To Do list.  But even if you don't know me,and you've read this far you now know that I don't always get to things the way I plan to.

But there it is!! An update. All is well at The Minga. We're busy and there is lots of things going on. We're feeding people some excellent plant-based, locally sourced, organic food.  Brewing amazing organic, fair trade coffee.  This week we're hosting the Dunnville Songwriting Camp, we have Seniors in for Euchre every Monday and Wednesday Morning, Anime Films on Friday evenings, Meatless Monday dinners on (you guessed it) Monday nights, Thursday night is Veggie Thursday and we offer a plant-based dinner special then too.  Stop in soon!!  There's more, it's just 12:18am on a day that began before 7am and yeah, well, you know how it is...

Okay. That's good for now. No promises, but I will endeavour to update this before Christmas!! Here is a lovely photo of some truly fine human beings...

Thursday, 15 May 2014

We're hiring a student for the summer!! Apply by May 23!!

We're hiring a student for the summer!! Apply by May 23!!

Summer Student Café Assistant and Community Programmer: The Minga Dunnville
The Minga is a café and community centre owned and operated by DREAM, a charitable organization supporting local youth. Following the principles of the triple bottom line (upholding social, environmental and financial sustainability), the Minga Café serves fair trade, local and organic drinks and snacks. The Café Assistant will assist in the day-to-day operations of the food counter, kitchen and community centre space.
Job Description:
Counter duties:
• Food preparation
• Make teas, coffees, lattes and other drinks
• Carry out day-to-day hygiene and cleaning duties
• Support and implement health and safety policies: checking bathrooms, food labeling and record keeping.
• Serve customers and take orders.
• Manage cash and the cash register
• Ensure the café area is stocked with supplies and clean and tidy
Customer Service:
• Provide a high level of customer service at all times
• Dress professionally with neat and well kept general appearance.
• Ensure all comments and complaints are logged and dealt with in a courteous manner.
Community Programming:
• Promote and remain up to date on activities and events in the centre.
• Assist in established community programs at the Minga when requested including but not limited to camp programs, the ‘By the Willow’ hospice program, and art classes.
• Develop new programming for the community emphasizing the inclusion of marginalized groups.
• Attend committee meetings when requested.
Health and Safety:
• Follow health and safety duties as specified by Public Health Food Handling and WSIB policies.
• Any other duties as assigned
• Attend meetings and training as agreed.
Qualifications Required:
• is between 15 and 30 years of age (inclusive) at the start of employment;
• was registered as a full-time student during the preceding academic year;
• intends to return to school on a full-time basis during the next academic year;
• is a student in a secondary, post-secondary, CEGEP (Quebec only), vocational or technical program;
• is a Canadian Citizen, permanent resident, or person on whom refugee protection has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act* and;
• is legally entitled to work according to the relevant provincial / territorial legislation and regulations.
• Previous experience in food preparation and counter service
• Food Handling Certification: training will be provided
• Previous customer service experience
• Comfortable working as part of a small team.
• Be enthusiastic in creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for people of all backgrounds and ages.
• Programming experience is an asset.
• A Vulnerable Police Records Check is required.
Contract of Employment:
The successful applicant will be employed by DREAM for 30 hours/week for 8 weeks at $11.00 per hour. The distribution of hours is negotiable. 

Please send a cover letter and resume by May 23, 2014 to the attention of Frances Porter at 146 Queen St. Dunnville, Ontario N1A 1H7. DREAM is an equal opportunity employer and encourages Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities to apply. We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only those under consideration will be contacted for an interview.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Greetings Minga fans,

It just took me so long to log in to this blog to update.  Google apparently owns everything on the internet now and they really want me to interact and interface and googleplus and all kinds of things that I didn't really want to do. I had to sign in and log on and update this and that, and well, at last, here I am.  Feeling a bit tired out by the journey to get here, victoriously signed in and updating The Minga Project Blog (insert roar of trumpets or something here. I remember we used to have some downloaded sounds called 'fanfares' that we'd play when the kids were ready for school in the morning. Boy we thought that was hilarious. Not sure if the kids did, it being morning and none of them really being morning people, I think we may have just been irritating to them.)

So I have to tell you that Lacie, the First Fearless Minga Manager has moved on to pursue her passions in art and writing and travel. There is no way anyone could have done as much as she did to get The Minga up and running.  She worked her butt off and all of us are super grateful that she hung in, put up with, smiled despite and kept on truckin'! We wish her huge success and much happiness in her next adventures.  We hope she'll exhibit a show of her work on the Minga walls, in the not too distant future.  

Since Lacie's gone from The Minga and I have taken on some of her duties. Updating this blog for one.  I've also been making a lot of soup.  Feeling pretty excited about the Vegetable Noodle Soup I made today.  
Next time I won't cook the noodles in the soup though, the whole thing was a mushy (but delicious) mess by the end of the day.  It actually would've made a perfect filling for a pot-pie, and I considered making a pastry but instead I just shared the last few bites with my little friend Grover (who was pretty sad that there weren't any noodles left in the 'chicken noodle soup' I offered him. Bad enough that I lied to a 2 year about it being chicken soup, never mind that the noodles had fallen apart.)

Wow, weird rambley update, but one has to start somewhere doesn't one?  If you don't want to wait until I update this again then I suggest you head on over to Facebook http://www.facebook.com/theminga and follow us, or like us, or whatever it is we have to do over there.  The facebook does get updated fairly frequently and it's probably the best way to get in touch. Well, no, the best way of course would be to come on into The Minga and visit in person, you know, REAL LIFE SOCIAL NETWORKING!  Wow, sorry for the caps, I didn't mean to yell but I drank a considerable amount of coffee today and it's almost midnight now and well, I got a bit carried away.

I'll leave you with a nice photo of some very nice people, including my friend Grover and his beautiful mom, getting their Tuesday night Table Tennis on.  (Frances crosses 'update minga blog' off list and again, the fanfare plays)

See you soon!

Monday, 7 October 2013

Fun with Public Health and Reupholstering

Hello again from The Minga!

The last week has been rather busy for a number of very positive reasons, one of course being the beginning of another DREAM season.

We managed to get all the beautiful chairs donated by Bohemian Friday's Dick and Lisa Passmore completely redone - we touched up the paint and gave them a fresh new upholstering. You'll have to wait and see what colors we chose though.

Other construction successes have included more electrical outlets being installed, the chalk boards and menu boards are being created and are almost done and we should have our countertops installed within the next day or so - so we'll be ready to serve any day!

In the meantime, we had our first site visit from our local Public Health Inspector last Tuesday. Although the place was a bit of a construction mess, he was able to help show us some key areas to focus on before our actual inspection. This visit was a great refresher as staff and volunteers had to take the Food Handler's Certification Course the following day.

Wednesday morning five Minga staff and volunteers attended the course, some have heard good news already but we expect all of those who completed the test to pass. If you are interested and would like help getting your food handlers certificate, please contact us. There's a class coming up in November!

Other than that, Minga staff met with Jennifer Vo of The Sachem in order to discuss The Minga's involvement with this year's River Arts Festival Culinary Night. We were very excited to share the news since the theme of the event will be local organic food! We can't wait to showcase how delicious healthy food can be, and if you want to join us tickets are on sale Oct. 15. Visit www.riverartsfestival.ca for more details.

Looking forward to this week, we are expecting the place the start falling together, and a lot of cleaning ahead. Once our countertops are installed we have a functional kitchen and can start stocking shelves, setting up equipment and getting ready to open our doors. Just one more health inspection to go!

Can't wait to see you all at The Minga!

Friday, 27 September 2013

A Minga Progress Report - It's been a busy week!

This week at The Minga has been pretty exciting and there's a lot of new things taking place, so we thought we'd share some good news with you.
Monday started by welcoming our new Dunnville Secondary School Co-Op student, her name is Kathleen, and she's going to help out for the semester, pretty cool eh?
We started out day off with a tour of The Minga which is still being renovated and prepared to open but we saw all sorts of progress, including our beautiful green wall facing the Grand River and our newly installed patio railing.
Our kitchen equipment arrived on Monday, and is ready to be installed and they are working on the café lighting too!  
They even hooked up our water, our sinks flows, and our toilets run - HOORAY!
So we weren't in the way of the hard working gentlemen in the building we set up a temporary office at Flyers Café - the perfect spot to sit and think - unless you're hungry, than it's rather difficult to concentrate.
We began organizing and building a schedule in order to keep track of staff, volunteers, and events taking place in the community centre and meeting room. Kathleen and I were both very surprised as the schedule grew bigger and bigger - and got a lot more complicated than we expected. However, Kathleen reminded me just how much was really going to take place in The Minga - so a big schedule only makes sense. 
So, because there's going to be so much going on, we thought why not start spreading the word? So we spent an afternoon creating signage and posting them on the front windows and back door of the building in hopes that people will stop and read.
Part of our busy schedule includes DREAM meetings and events, and Wednesday night was the beginning of the DREAM journey for this year's Grade 9 students at Dunnville Secondary School. In order to prepare the space for their orientation meeting we had to clean our dirty but very beautiful hardwood floors, and set out seating for 60 people.

The meeting was a huge success with a room full of eager parents and their students ready to meet their mentors. While the meeting was taking place, we were bringing in some old but new goods! 

Our friends Dick and Lisa, who used to operate Bohemian Friday offered to donate all their tables, and chairs that used to be in the café. They are a little dusty, but with a little paint, some fancy new table tops being constructed by community volunteers, and some fresh new upholstery you won't even recognize them once we open our doors.
The rest of the week gave us the opportunity to do more management paperwork, like plan our Fall Menu for opening, create checklists to help guide staff and volunteers and begin some community outreach.
We are happy to announce that we will be the for the drop-off location for ALL artwork for the River Arts Festival Visual Art Gallery, Youth Art Showcase and Children's Art Showcase between Oct. 21-26 and will all youth and children's art being displayed in our building!
The opening day of the River Arts Festival will take place on Nov. 2, bring the whole family out Saturday afternoon for a FREE puppet and musical instrument workshop using recycled plastic containers brought from home, then take a tour of the Visual Art Gallery and Walking Tour in order to complete RAF's Art Scavenger Hunt and win a prize!
We will also play host to a Youth Open Mic Night on Nov. 7 with DSS student Jason Jacobs Emceeing the event! If you are interested in performing please email askus@riverartsfestival.ca
Plus, we're going to host  River Arts Festival's Culinary Night on Nov. 5, but tickets don't go on sale until Oct. 14 - but they'll sell out fast so buy yours at Haldimand Art Works, at The Minga or online!
Aside from the River Arts Festival, we are already starting to receive requests for rental of our meeting space for trainings and workshops by local businesses and organizations.
If you would be interested in renting space by donation, don't hesitate to ask!

Monday, 6 May 2013

Before The Minga

Everything has a beginnning and an end. For some things, their beginnings have yet to come, and others their ends have long past. The Minga is in a state of incubation, we can see from outside the growth beginning to take place, but like a pregnancy the true magic happens where no one can see. Since purchasing the building in Aug. 2012, 146 Queen Street has been stripped down and is currently being rebuilt from the ground up inside taking the building's architectural past with The Minga into Dunnville's future. Here is a link to The Minga's Facebook page which features a album of before pictures. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.492749177458624.1073741829.488502064550002&type=1&l=4c91beeec6 We won't give away the new interior look - you'll just have to come give us a visit once we are open. I believe (someone correct me if I'm wrong) the previous owner of the building had meant to host a water treatment business which never opened. However prior to that 146 Queen Street was the original home of Super Video Centre now located on Broad Street. I have so many memories as a preteen going into pick movies on rainy nights, or renting N64 consoles to play - even on New Years Eve 2001 - we rented Yoshi's World and played all night. Prior to that, I'm not quite sure what existed on the first floor, but I sure do have a lot of early memories of the second floor - it was the original home of Dominic's (sp?) Youth Impact Centre. I spent many evenings with my older cousin, my younger sister and my dad playing air hockey, ping pong, pool and the odd arcade game. Dad never could beat Dom in a game of ping pong. That's the extent of my historical knowledge of the building, but before the doors open, I am determined to find out the early history leading up to my fond childhood memories. I look forward to 146 Queen Street's new chapter and invite you all to be a part, because after all Minga means together.

Friday, 26 April 2013

DREAM's Critical Mass Bike Ride 2013

Well, its something I've wanted to do for the last two years and I finally got enough footage to do it this year! So enjoy and pass it along! Hope to see you at our next Critical Mass Bike Ride