We love our volunteers, and we know that we would be lost without them.
We're a small organization, and most of our work is food-industry specific, working closely with entrepreneurs and their fluctuating schedules. We do everything we can to make volunteer opportunities not just possible but also meaningful and we appreciate your interest and your patience in our process. To join our volunteer program, please begin with this simple form.
La Cocina’s volunteer program can essentially be divided into three parts; technical assistance providers, mentors and general volunteers. Some volunteers will fill all roles, but the role you fill will largely depend on how you would like to interact with the program and personal time constraints. Additionally, qualified volunteers may be asked to join our advisory committee, responsible for the interview process for applicant businesses.
Technical assistance providers will offer industry- specific assistance in areas of expertise. Examples may include tax preparation, graphic design, recipe costing, branding and so more. These volunteers provide services at their convenience, and La Cocina will match program participants with these providers when the services are offered.
We have found that one-on-one interaction often yields the greatest rewards, though we also welcome any workshops or activities that might be better executed in a group.
Mentors are paired with a specific program participant in order to target development in a localized area of need. Mentors will address macro-issues like marketing, business planning and general emotional support for new entrepreneurs. These volunteers will schedule their own meetings with program participants, and will report back to La Cocina staff regularly.
The La Cocina Advisory Committee consists of a hand-selected group of industry insiders who have been chosen to lend their expertise in the incubation of La Cocina program participants. You have been chosen because of your dedication to the La Cocina project and because of your valuable industry knowledge. The committee set-up will allow La Cocina staff to integrate your opinions, suggestions and advice into the program in a way that maximizes your impact and minimizes the time commitment that individual businesses might put on you.