By Amanda Wang and Lim Zhee Yen
Sitting in the Breakthrough Cafeteria, you’ll observe the normal hustle-bustle of a café, with waiters in brown polo shirts taking orders, bringing food to tables, preparing food, and smiling congenially at every customer.
This café differs from the typical cafe, though. Everything is supported by a whole family tree. However, this big happy family is unrelated – by blood, at least.
Breakthrough Mums pass on their proud secret recipes to their children – Breakthrough Brothers, ex-drug offenders, who cook and serve in the café.
Breakthrough Mums are volunteers who teach the Breakthrough Brothers their food recipes which has been perfected through years and years of experience as a housewife. Within the numerous brothers, some are under the Work Release Scheme by the Yellow Ribbon Project, affectionately called ‘Campboys’, while others, despite having turned over a new leaf, are still green in the working world, work in the cafeteria to facilitate their re-integration back to the society.
Set up in 1983, Breakthrough Missions aims to provide rehabilitation for drug abusers or drug offenders, as well as teaching them skills to path their way for integration back to society. This service is free, and the enterprises set up are managed by trained residents of the rehabilitation house. Profits made from these businesses are used to aid the drug ministry for Breakthrough.
Another shop just beside the Breakthrough Cafeteria is the Breakthrough Art Craft, Gifts, and Bookroom, selling handicrafts, framed artworks, and Christian books and CDs. Frames of the paintings and other artworks are hand crafted by other Breakthrough Brothers in the framing service.
This season, don’t forget to visit Breakthrough Cafeteria for some chow when you miss your mum’s cooking, and stop by the Art Craft, Gifts, and Bookroom for small presents for your loved ones.
101A Upper Cross St
#01-02C People’s Park Centre
101A Upper Cross St
#01-05M People’s Park Centre
+65 6533 5977 (café)
+65 6532 6737 (bookroom)
Freshly made Chee Cheong Fun ($2.20 – $2.80)
Claypot Curry Chicken ($5)
Claypot Curry Fish ($5)
Pig Trotters in Vinegar ($5)