We always feature foodservice businesses in our “Cambro Foodservice Business of the Week” posts – however, this time we’re making an exception to feature a small business and an owner, Aria Chittenden, who believes art should be accessible to all children. And they’ve found a very interesting way to use many foodservice products (Cambro products mainly) to facilitate the creation of art.
What inspired the use of foodservice products?
“Salad bars were transformed to Art bars for an “all you can make” art experience. Children load up trays of seemingly endless supplies for their creations. Instead of providing art direction we provide the space, supplies and support for each child’s individual idea of art and creation.”
What does Aria love most about her Portland, Oregon business?
“I am proud of coming up with a brand new concept and executing it all by myself. I love seeing children gain confidence in their ability to pick whatever they want for their concept of art. I love being able to channel each child’s creative energy into something new and seeing kids use the same materials for completely different projects.”
What has been the most interesting/oddest/coolest thing to happen at the studio?
“I have cool things that happen every day. But one particular thing that really touched me the most was a group of 14-17 year old foster girls from a group home took a day trip to my studio. They take a different weekly adventure trip and they loved my program the best. They did not expect to have such a blast. I got an email from the director saying that it was the best behaved she had ever seen the girls. Another cool thing was myself and 6 kids painted a little tykes play house to donate to a family shelter. The kids took such an interest in creating something that would make the shelter children’s days brighter.”
And the biggest business challenge she overcame?
“Being a single mom and woman with very little business experience and a brand new concept, it was hard to find funders and lenders and get approved for a property. Then in the first year of our business we had to relocate. My nightmare of landlords put our building up for sale. We had to raise funds to get to a new space.”
With on-going support Aria is managing to make a huge impact on the Portland community.
What Cambro products are used at Art Ala Carte?
Salad bars, food pans, trays and various other items can all be spotted in daily use.
We wish Aria continued success and we are glad that kind of passion and creativity exists to use various products to deliver on a great mission. As the featured foodservice business of the week, she will receive a storage container gift pack which will surely be put to good use.
Links for Art Ala Carte:
Do you have a foodservice business that you want the world to know about – nominate it – click here!
Categories: Cambro Featured Business of the Week