Restaurant Hires OC Workers Who Were Laid off Due to COVID-19
BY VICKY NGUYEN GARDEN GROVE UPDATED 10:59 AM PT APR. 07, 2020 PUBLISHED 4:52 PM PT APR. 06, 2020
GARDEN GROVE, Calif. — Without much warning these two cooks Abraham Vasquez and Cesar Aguilar lost their jobs.
“I feel bad for this to happen,” said Aguilar. Aguilar and Vasquez worked together for almost 20 years at a well-known steakhouse and banquet hall called Orange County Mining Company -- until the coronavirus spread, forcing the state to temporarily close restaurants.
“Most of my old coworkers are still job-hunting,” said Vasquez. The family men say they were laid-off in March. They spent about a week looking for jobs until one of their former managers connected them to a Garden Grove-based nonprofit called Bracken’s Kitchen.
“I’m so thankful for my new job, but feels so bad for everyone at his old job. He says they were like family than just coworkers,” said Aguilar.
Bracken’s Kitchen was founded by Chef Bill Bracken in 2013. Its mission is to recover and repurpose food, while restoring lives in the process. Chef Bracken reached out to his partners in the community who have been there for his nonprofit when he noticed they were suffering from the pandemic.