Who We Are
Welcome to Chez Genèse! We are a small, French inspired cafe in Downtown Greensboro and we believe the desire to find meaning and fulfilling work is woven into basic human need and nature, and that every person has a skill set to contribute. It is our goal, as a team, to come alongside incredible individuals who (due to an intellectual or developmental disability) may oftentimes have the odds stacked against them in the workforce, to help develop and celebrate their own interests and potential.
We believe food brings people together.
But... how does that play out practically within our walls & team? While there are many details and systems that make Chez Genèse what it is, our primary pillars are: community, excellence, inclusion, and adaptability. These words can mean different things to different people, so below you will find how we define each of these terms as we seek to carry them out!
COMMUNITY: We see community as a group of people committed to walking through life together. Sometimes life is fun and sometimes life is super hard. Either way, it’s best when done with others. We believe faithfulness, forgiveness, and vulnerability to be foundational principles as we navigate life together and celebrate and respect the different experiences, opinions, and hearts gathered around our table.
So, why is that important? Well, we are humans, and we need to be loved and we need to know that we belong. Healthy community can provide that. We also need to grow outside ourselves and learn how to empathize and care for others. When we surround ourselves with people who are different from us, we grow our minds and hearts, and we can learn how to listen and how to give.
EXCELLENCE: To launch right in: we live in a culture and world where people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are still marginalized and limited by society in workplace options and opportunities (over 80% of adults with disabilities are unemployed). We want to see that change.
A primary reason we strive for excellence in our business and on our team is not to be esteemed for good work, it's to provide for and inspire excellence in our team. At the end of the day, we want our entire team to feel proud of who they are, of the work that they do and the place they do that work in.
In the same vein, we deeply care about our guests and community and want to provide the best food and service experience that we can for you. Your lives and time are valuable, and we want you to experience our recognition and appreciation of that when you eat and sit in our space.
INCLUSION: In all honesty, it is challenging to write about this value as we recognize the importance of inclusion in our world and in our business while also recognizing how much work we still must do in this area. We want to live in a world where inclusivity and diversity are hard facts of everyday life, but we are not there yet.
We want to give voice and be champions for people the world would try to overlook. Our team is worthy of our respect, our time, our resources, and our focus because it is made up of valuable and incredible human beings who have so much to offer. We recognize and want to keep addressing the brokenness in our own structure and the brokenness in our culture’s systems and pursue change. We know that process will be imperfect in nature, but we are committed to walking it out and again, want to invite you into it with us.
ADAPTABILITY: Our name means, The Place of New Beginnings. When we first established our business, we had no idea how critical this mindset would be and become to us! Not only is it important for us to be flexible and willing to adjust (based on the needs and goals of our staff members) but with the ever-changing dynamics of a navigating a pandemic as a very young business, we have had to be open handed and creative with our business model and operations. Being willing to think outside the box, be introduced to new concepts and ideas, and adjust accordingly has been a challenging but sustaining way of life.
On a day-to-day basis, we strive to make our workplace conducive and enjoyable for each of our team members, which sometimes means learning new behaviors, practices, or creating new systems. Each person has different needs and goals, and we factor those into our daily habits and practices, again hoping to reinforce the truth that each person is valuable and worthy or time and respect.
Keeping an open mind and a sense of humor have proved to be key as we adapt and adjust together, as a team!
So, we are we? We are a unique staff of over 30 people, striving to make a difference in our community and world over and through the connection that occurs around a table. We consider it a great honor to serve and feed you and hope that you feel and know how welcomed and loved you are when you are in our space!