About Potluck

The mission of Potluck Café Society is to transform lives by creating jobs and providing healthy food for people living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

An award–winning social enterprise, Potluck Café Society (a registered charity) owns and operates Potluck Café & Catering, a thriving business that employs neighbourhood residents and provides up to twenty five percent of the operating revenue required to run the Society’s ongoing programs.

We’ve been doing this work since 2001, and are proud to be both a leader and a collaborator in a movement that uses training and employment as a dignified means of helping people regain their confidence, skills, and economic independence.

Mission & Values

The mission of Potluck Café Society is to transform lives by creating jobs and providing healthy food for people living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.


  • Innovation
  • Sustainability
  • Excellence
  • Leadership
  • Collaboration
  • Acceptance

Meet the team

Potluck Café Society and our catering business are fueled a group of talented, passionate staff and board of directors.


Executive Director

Trish Kelly

Trish Kelly worked in the food retail and distribution sector for twenty years before joining the nonprofit sector. Her personal experience of poverty and food insecurity drives her to improve the food system for Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

General Manager

Naved Noorani

Over the years, Naved has lead teams in Dubai, Denver, Fort McMurray and most recently, he was Director of Catering & Conference Services at the Fairmont Pacific Rim. Outside work, he has a passion for photography, travel and cooking.

Board of Directors

Board Treasurer

Nicholas Mobilio

Board member at large

Lindsay Miles–Pickup

Board Co-chair

Alex Nixon

Board member at large

Rob Scali

Board member at large

Maz Artang

Board member at large for Potluck Catering

Kelleen Wiseman

Board co–chair

Dennis Green

Board Member at Large

Naseam Ahmadi

Board secretary

Alex Minard


Catering Manager

Amanda Slater

A food lover with an entrepreneurial spirit and a Holistic Nutritionist’s trained eye, Amanda is a strong advocate for social enterprise and great customer experience.

Chef de Cuisine

Ian Thompson

Ian worked for many years in hotels and fine dining before landing at Potluck, where his passion for excellent food and his sense of empathy have earned our kitchen team’s unwavering loyalty.

Program Manager

Dounia Saeme

Dounia leads the DTES Kitchen Tables, ensuring residents in the DTES have dignified access to nutritious food. Before joining Potluck in 2017, Dounia completed her Masters in Applied Economics from the University of California Berkeley.


Coffee’s always on at Potluck. Community members can drop by with a resume, or contact our Employment Support Worker at 778.688.0363 to discuss possible openings. Here’s a list of our current openings.

The Opportunity – Executive Director

After 17 years in its current location on the ground floor of the Portland Hotel, Potluck has outgrown the capacity of its existing space, and is looking to re-locate by spring 2020, in order to provide the opportunity for our programs, services, and catering business to grow.

We are seeking a driven, innovative and experienced Executive Director to provide strong leadership to our team of over 30 staff, and to drive the organization’s search for a new home. The ideal candidate has a strong background in fund development, has been involved in a facility move or business expansion, and feels passionate about inclusive employment.

Position: Executive Director – Potluck Café Society

Reporting to: Potluck Café Society Board of Directors

Summary of Responsibilities:

  • Lead the organization through the search and transition to a new operating location
  • Drive fund development and donor relations by developing and executing a comprehensive fundraising strategy
  • Successfully develop and steward major gift prospects
  • Oversee day-to-day operations of Potluck Café Society
  • Provide executive support to the management of Potluck Café and Catering
  • Ensure financial sustainability of the organization
  • Ensure mission impact of the organization in both the Society and the Catering business
  • Hire, train, manage, and motivate Society staff and volunteers
  • Build strong collaborative working relationships with internal and external stakeholders – employees, board members, partners, funders, and other organizations
  • Act as the primary spokesperson and face of the organization
  • In conjunction with the Board, ensure the integrity of the Society’s charitable mandate and actively participate in strategic and long-term planning for Potluck


  • Hands-on leader with a minimum of 5 to 8 years non-profit or charity leadership experience, preferably in social enterprise
  • Experience navigating business growth and financing
  • Interest in creating employment for people facing barriers, food security, and in the well-being of the existing DTES community
  • Entrepreneurial with social enterprise or community economic development experience (or both) an asset
  • Demonstrated knowledge of all facets of operating businesses and non-profits
  • Demonstrated experience in building community impact programs
  • Post-secondary qualification in business administration or equivalent, MBA is an asset
  • Strong communication skills
  • Fund development experience
  • Collaborative with the ability to develop and maintain effective relationships
  • Knowledge of community, political and socioeconomic issues, especially those affecting the DTES and Indigenous peoples.

Job Type: Full-time

Salary: $70,000.00 to $85,000.00 /year

Send resume and cover letter to: potluckboard (at) gmail.com

Position: Dishwasher—Potluck Café Society
Reporting to: Chef de Cuisine
Direct Reports: none
Details: Hourly position at $14 per hour, including extended health benefits after 3 months, gratuities, and annual raises.

Position Description

Our Dishwasher is an important part of our daily kitchen operations, and is a person who takes pride in doing things well.

Summary of Responsibilities
  • Wash dishes and equipment
  • Clean dishwasher, flattop, all fridges, freezers and line equipment, all stainless prep tables, all shelves and other kitchen equipment in the kitchen and back garage area as needed.
  • Clean washrooms daily
  • Sweep and mop floors in Café daily
  • Clean Café windows and doors as needed or requested
  • Put up and take down chairs from Café tables at closing
  • Take out garbage regularly
  • Sort and take out hard plastics, cans and paper recycling
  • Flatten boxes for recycling
  • Put away all clean dishes and equipment in their assigned areas
  • Ensure there is a bus pan with soapy water for the soaking of cutlery before washing
  • Polish dry cutlery to remove spots if needed
  • Help coworkers as requested
  • Other duties as assigned
  • Punctual, responsible and dependable
  • Understanding and awareness of DTES community residents needs and challenges
  • Understanding of Food Safe practice, Food Safe Level One an asset
  • Ability to follow instructions
  • Friendly and ability to work well with coworkers or independently
  • Organized with the ability to manage time and multitask
  • Flexible and adaptable
  • Attention to personal cleanliness and hygiene
  • Willingness to work with people with barriers to traditional employment
  • Possesses effective communication skills
  • Ability to lift 40 lbs
  • Ability to stand for a six to eight hour shift

Interested in working with us?

The coffee is always on. Drop by or drop us a line.