When Jonathan Maguire first heard about EDWINS, he knew it was the perfect opportunity for him to have a second chance. With eighteen years of cooking experience, he was ready to learn even more about the restaurant business.
While he was still in prison, he took advantage of the education offerings, especially the business classes. Jonathan also spent much of his time researching how to become an entrepreneur. He soon found himself admitted to the program, and his ambition quickly impressed those at EDWINS.
Jonathan was prepared to enhance his cooking skills, but like so many of the students he really had to “work at” his math. As the weeks passed, he found the EDWINS personal case management resources to be especially helpful as the staff assisted with everything from housing to setting up bank accounts.
As he says, “Be thankful for the people who help you.”
After his six months of training, the 35 year old graduated in December 2016. A proud father of three (two teenagers and a five month old) Jonathan was now ready to settle in with a regular job. He has helped out at Red, The Steakhouse and several other establishments, and he was the kitchen hiring manager at Two Bucks, a bar and restaurant in Parma. Currently he is manager-in-training at Chipotle in Highland Heights, a position that came with a significant raise and hours that worked better for his family, and he has a home in Parma.
His biggest challenge?
Jonathan enjoys working “the back of the house” as he still feels somewhat uncomfortable speaking to larger groups of people. Even serving a table of four customers sometimes seem daunting to him. However, he knows how important it is to enhance the customer experience by greeting them and interacting with them. (He is learning from watching how easily Brandon does this.)
However, for someone who says he is still not quite at ease with groups, he proudly talks about doing a live cooking segment on FoxNews8 with Stefani Schaefer! (View that video here.)
An interesting fact: Jonathan’s brother Michael is also an EDWINS alumni as he graduated in December 2017.
What comes next?
In the future, Jonathan hopes to open his own restaurant. He already has a theme, some building ideas, a possible menu, and he has even designed the logo!
Contributed by CJ Keyes