While catering our fundraising event in September 2010, Aimee Olexy of Talula’s Table in Kennett Square was inspired by the reclaimed materials showcased in our new headquarters, the Construction Training and Education Center. She approached us in the spring of 2011 about building tables out of reclaimed wood for the new restaurant she was creating in Philadelphia, Talula’s Garden.
We worked with Stokes Architecture and Starr Restaurants to design and build the interior and furniture for the new restaurant. We utilized salvaged redwood from the Vlasic Pickle Plant in Millsboro, Delaware and a pink granite countertop reclaimed from the Wilmington Water Works to fabricate an eclectic atmosphere. Twenty-one different trainees worked on the project, learning millwork and installation techniques while experiencing a high-pressure commercial construction site.
Our success with Talula’s Garden led to opportunities to work on other restaurants in Philadelphia, including Il Pittore, Tashan, Barcade, Route 6, Frankford Hall, Ela and Rittenhouse Tavern.
These projects provide our trainees with a nice mix of learning opportunities. They learn millwork and carpentry skills while working on the furniture pieces in our shop in Wilmington, and they gain exposure to commercial construction sites and local contractors when installing the pieces in the restaurants.