October 14, 2015 – KTVB NEWS
View video news story¬†here.
BOISE — Two Treasure Valley nonprofits are stepping up to help victims of a fire at the Boise International Market.
On September 5, flames ripped through the market located at the corner of West Franklin Road and South Curtis Road. Investigators ruled that the fire was an accident.¬†More than a dozen vendors, many of whom are refugees, lost their businesses in the blaze.¬†Since then, community members have rallied to help them move on. A GoFundMe account raised more than $50,000. It will be divided up among the vendors.
Now, Life’s Kitchen and Create Common Good are donating kitchen space to help those who ran restaurants continue cooking.¬†“We’d like to do everything we can to get them back on their feet and encourage them to keep going,” said Kelly Parker, Create Common Good director of community engagement and sales.
Refugee Kibrom Milash ran an Ethiopian restaurant inside the Boise International Market.¬†He moved to the City of Trees two years ago with his wife and kids.¬†“My plan was to open (a restaurant) within five years, but I opened it within a year and two months,” he said.¬†Running his own restaurant in the United States was a dream realized. He’s used theCreate Common Good kitchen to make food for catering jobs to try and keep that dream alive.¬†“They are willing to help everybody who is in the market to cook anything,” he said of the nonprofit that helps people with barriers to employment.
Life’s Kitchen shares that same mission. It provides a free, 16-week job and life skills training program to young adults who need a fresh start.¬†“That’s what Life’s Kitchen is all about,” said Executive Director Jeremy Maxand. “It’s about nourishing new beginnings and serving second chances.”¬†Plus, their program centers around food. Teenagers involved learn culinary skills and serve lunch four times a week.¬†Maxand told KTVB connecting with refugees who need a place to cook was a no-brainer.¬†“It was a natural fit I think for us and other organizations to use our resources to help the vendors who are in desperate need right now of being served a second chance,” added Maxand.
A handful of the vendors from the Boise International Market have been using the nonprofit’s kitchen for the last few weeks.¬†Thanks to support from the Boise community, Milash’s dream is still alive. He’s currently looking for a new space to open his restaurant.¬†“I would like to say thank you for them. Thank you for everyone in Boise because everyone helps us,” he said.
KTVB reached out to the owners of the Boise International Market to find out if there are plans to re-open. We didn’t hear back, but will keep you updated.