Immigrants and single-mothers are finding employment opportunities in a unique Montreal café.

Tishmaine Jackson has only been working at Café Inter-Mission for five months, but that’s because being a mother to seven children can be a time consuming career in itself.  But she’s found the atmosphere at Inter-Mission nothing but welcoming.

‘I feel good seeing all these women working together as a team and I feel comfortable,” she said.

The café opened in 2007 with the goal of helping employees build job prospects by teaching new skills.

“When they come here, they don’t have a lot of confidence but what we try to do is use the competencies they do have as mothers, as homemakers,” said coordinator Maryam Abdali.

The diversity of the women working there is reflected in the menu.

“Every single day you’ll come to Inter-Mission and you won’t know which country will be represented,” said Abdali. “We go all around the world depending on who’s in the kitchen. We have Moroccan, Haitian, all different nationalities.”

The café also offers catering service, sometimes for groups numbering in the hundreds. The women find that cooking together is a way to break isolation and forge new friendships.

“The way they talk about themselves, they’re very proud of what they’ve accomplished,” said Abdali.

“It’s like we’re a family and they say that too,” said Jackson.