A savory partnership at Hampden Park Co-op

Caitlin Chanda

Caitlin Chanda

Hampden Park Co-op has partnered with Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Mendota Heights to bring a student chef into the grocery store to help develop a new deli menu.

Caitlin Chanda started her paid internship at the co-op on Feb. 16. She will be working 30 hours a week for three months. The internship is a first for both Hampden Park and Le Cordon Bleu.

Auggie Austreng, a chef instructor at the school, said this is the first time a student has worked at a food co-op. The two-year chef program requires a 12-week internship, but that’s usually at a restaurant, Austreng said.

“We are very excited about this partnership,” he said. “It’s sending us in a new direction. Obviously the trend in the markets is to be as close to fork-to-table as possible and working at co-ops supports that.”

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