Portland Public Schools has partnered with Soltrekker to develop Solar Waffle Works, NE Portland’s first solar-powered waffle cart. The cart is a training program in a socially responsible business and entrepreneurship, designed and operated by young adults in the community transition program.

Visit them at: NE 23rd Avenue and Alberta Street

Hours: 11am – 2pm Monday through Friday | 9am – 3pm Saturday and Sunday.

Thanks to Allison Hintzman for the tip.

From PPS News:

A new solar-powered food cart in Northeast Portland serves up more than waffles.

Located at Northeast Alberta Street and 23rd Avenue (map), Solar Waffle Works is a nonprofit project that helps high school graduates gain independent living skills and vocational training.

The young adults involved are part of the PPS Community Transition Program, which helps recent graduates transition to life after high school.

Corinne Thomas-Kersting, CTP administrator, says Solar Waffle Works benefits students by making them active partners in the creation and management of a socially responsible start-up.

“This project gets them out of the classroom and into the real world,” Thomas-Kersting says. “That hands-on experience is incredibly valuable.”

Students designed the cart, which is a small blue trailer, from start to finish: They helped create the business plan, the logo, the marketing concepts and the menu, and worked on preparing it for service. They work in the cart preparing and serving food, and assist with accounting and advertising.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Weekday revenue supports the Community Transition Program.The cart is the result of a partnership between PPS and SolTrekker, a Northeast Portland-based nonprofit dedicated to renewable energy education. A solar panel array on the cart’s roof supplies much of its power.

“It’s about a lot more than CTP students learning how to flip waffles,” says Allison Hintzmann, a CTP transition specialist who envisioned and co-created Solar Waffle Works with students and SolTrekker. “This fosters entrepreneurship while also teaching skills that will make them more employable.”

In addition to job training, Solar Waffle Works emphasizes the importance of conserving resources and reducing impact on the environment.

SolTrekker provided the trailer and added plumbing and solar components. It also contributed labor, funds and materials. Funding also came from PPS and the Spirit Mountain Community Fund.

Ty Adams, founder and board chairman of SolTrekker, says his organization didn’t need any convincing to participate.

“This is a project that’s not just unique to Portland, but one that is unique nationwide,” Adams says. “It’s definitely the tastiest project we’ve ever been a part of.”

More on Community Transition Program

The Community Transition Program helps young adults achieve the greatest degree of independence and quality of life as they transition to life after high school; functions include integrating young adults into the community, increasing their access to social and leisure activities and making appropriate referrals to other services and agencies.