Common Grounds Cafe
An American Cafe in the heart Siem Reap, Cambodia
Julie Martinez opened Common Grounds Cafe on January 16th, 2008 as part of People For Care And Learning. The vision was to create a missional enterprise that would give poor and disadvantaged individuals in Siem Reap the chance to work. Instead of giving handouts we believe in giving opportunity through providing on the job vocational training in the restaurant and hospitality industry.
Over the past 11 years we have provided training and jobs to dozens of Cambodian young people, and we have ecstatically cheered them on watching many of them go on to successful careers, some of them working in some of the top hotels and restaurants Cambodia has to offer.
Dalath Loeut, one of the 13 initial employees, was hired in 2008. He is from a poor family in the countryside of Battambang province and he had no previous job experience in the restaurant industry. He began working for us as a waiter and, through hard work and dedication, he worked his way up to take on more and greater responsibility. Dalath was promoted to Common Grounds manager in 2015. He now oversees all of the day-to-day activities. He is now on a different side of the spectrum and providing hope to youth with similar backgrounds as himself.