Fresh Start Market and Coffeehouse
A market and coffeehouse built and run by youth from the Marion County Juvenile Department is exactly what Salem needs more of. On Center Street NE, next to the Juvenile Courts and Detention Center, Fresh Start looks like a roadside produce stand with picnic benches and signs advertising daily specials. The building and coffee bar are made from recycled wood and glass donated from people in the community and the furnishings were bought through surplus. Inside, half of the space is a produce market with assorted vegetables, tomatoes, zucchini, fruits and berries. The coffeehouse takes up the other half of the space and sells a variety of coffee drinks along with breakfast pastries and sandwiches. For $3.50 the lunch special is a half sandwich with a salad or for $5.25 a full sandwich, chips and a drink. The turkey sandwich is made with your choice of cheese, a nice green leaf of lettuce, onion, pickles and fresh tomato, much better than Subway. The workers are juveniles who have had run-ins with the law and are paying off restitution to their victims. The hope is that these kids will learn skills that will make them more valuable in the working world, giving them confidence to succeed when they become adults. But don't go there only because you feel sorry for a troubled youth, they really do have good food at great prices in a comfortable atmosphere and pick up some fresh veggies for dinner.