Youth Opportunities Unlimited operates five social enterprises in London and Middlesex County. These sites are designed to support youth in learning new skills and gaining meaningful work experience in a hands-on environment. Each social enterprise employs expert mentors who train youth participants on how to work within a team, what to expect in a workplace or job site, and basic life skills. All proceeds from social enterprise sales support the youth programming that YOU delivers, which allows the organization to be more sustainable.
Our social enterprises include:
YOU Made It Café – Located in the heart of Downtown London, our café boasts an incredible menu completely prepared and served up by youth. Training at the Café includes food preparation, customer service, serving skills, as well as large scale meal production for customers like Meals on Wheels London. The Café is also home to our catering services, where youth learn to create beautifully displayed catering trays and boards.
YOU Made It Recycling – Our Ministry of Environment approved recycling facility serves local businesses both large and small with their recycling needs. Training at the recycling facility for youth includes operating machinery such as a baler and compactor, processing recyclable goods at sorting stations, and more. With community support, last year we were able to recycle over 1.5 million pounds of cardboard and 100, 000 pounds of plastic.
YOU Made It Woodshop – Lead by an expert Carpenter, our woodshop is where youth create our retail products and custom orders for customers like the City of London and the Covent Garden Market. Youth can learn how to create wood products from the raw wood to the finished product.
Mushed by YOU – Created at our satellite location, Next Wave Youth Centre in Downtown Strathroy, our Mushed by YOU line of preserves are handmade by youth learning food production and industrial kitchen skills with the support of our Youth Mentor and Cook. Mushed by YOU preserves are available online and at the YOU Made It Café, as well as many local retailers: Farm Boy, Remark Fresh Markets, Old East Village Grocer, La Noisette Bakery, and more.