Steepletown Neighborhood Services

Taste the West Side

Help Give Back

Celebrate Community Success By Giving Back

Every Spring, Steepletown hosts Taste the West Side to honor the accomplishments of its participants. Featuring several of the West Sides’ restaurants and breweries, Taste is an amazing event bringing together the diverse culture and communities to celebrate these accomplishments and to support Steepletown’s ongoing efforts.

Taste The West Side

2022

March 23rd

The event will be held at: 

Goei Center - 818 Butterworth St SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

  on 

March 23rd

Event Instructions

The 2022 Taste The West Side event has ended. See you all next year!

Matthew Peterson
Matthew Petersen completed the Kitchen Sage culinary training in 2018. One of Chef Karen’s first memories of Matthew was during the first week of training. As she describes, it had already been one of those days with a couple hours’ worth of prep still needing to be completed. Matthew walked into the kitchen and insisted: “I’m here to help, put me to work.” Chef smiled and handed him an apron and Matthew stayed until the work was done. This determination to help out as needed continued throughout the training. After completing Kitchen Sage and earning the ServSafe Manager Certification, which is a Department of Labor recognized credential to work in the food service industry, Matthew continued his training under Chef Chad Dietrich at Blythefield Country Club. There he worked action stations during caterings & ran the pantry station like a Boss! After 2 years there he decided to pursue opportunities in another kitchen, accepting a sauté/grill cook position at The Green Well, a contemporary scratch-based restaurant here in Grand Rapids.
Netty
After dropping out of high school and finding safety in social isolation, Netty decided it was time to continue studying towards a secondary school credential at Steepletown. As progress was made, Netty chose to engage in more and more program elements offered through Steepletown - like a work experience with the Community Media Center; participating in almost every leadership development training Steepletown offers; attending Talent Tours of local employers & college tours; and even enrolling into a post- secondary training. And as many of us can relate, progress is not completely linear. Throughout her time at Steepletown, Netty had sometimes felt defeated when she did not pass a GED test; or when she had conflict in her workplace. However, through many 1-on-1 coaching moments with staff, and developing deeper resiliency skills, Netty fought off doubtful/negative thinking to accomplish every goal she had set for herself. She earned her GED. She earned her driver's license. She bought her first car. She got her first job; and when she grew out of that job, she got another job; and when she grew out of THAT job, she got ANOTHER job. She completed a CNA training program and has enrolled at GRCC to continue seeking more opportunities. Steepletown is proud to see her committed to being a friend and neighbor to all and continuing to live the mission of Steepletown every day.
Mercedes Lopez-Duran/El Granjero Mexican Grill
In 2007 the owner of a well-known West Side restaurant decided it was time to sell and move back to Mexico. Realizing that the closing of the restaurant would adversely impact her and her co-workers, Mercedes Lopez-Duran, a waitress at that time, found the courage and tenacity to buy the restaurant to keep its doors open, renaming it El Granjero Mexican Grill. This concern for others showed itself once again during the early months of the pandemic, when Mercedes did all she could to keep the business going in order to provide a paycheck for some of her staff who could not access government support due to their immigration status. Her daughter Paola also reached out to the local Chamber of Commerce to identify available grants for small Latinx-owned businesses to help them remain open. Paola’s altruism is also known through her work at GROW as a Business Development Specialist, assisting primarily Latinx entrepreneurs realize their dreams. Her husband Alberto, who is the Kitchen Manager at El Granjero, was a great mentor to Emilio, one of Camp Kitchen Sage’s participants last summer, greeting him every morning at 9:00a.m. with an apron in hand and plenty of on-the-job training in the kitchen. And then on a very hot August afternoon, Mercedes, Paola & Alberto and their two boys attended the outdoor closing celebration of Camp Kitchen Sage to honor Emilio. They truly demonstrate a compassion for and commitment to the West Side community in which they work and live!

Purchase Your Sponsorship or Individual Tickets

This years Taste the West Side event has ended
Taste the West Side Tickets and Sponsorship

Business Sponsors

EPS Security
Underwriting Sponsor
Pienton Family Foundation
The Steepletown
Horizon Bank
The West Side
Grand Rapids Community College
The West Side
Gary & Karen Postma
The West Side
Fifth Third Bank
The West Side
Amway
The West Side
Ottawa Communications
The Stockbridge
Sibsco, LLC
The Stockbridge
The Well Being
The Stockbridge
Interphase Interiors
The Stockbridge
Bridge Street Market
The Stockbridge
Jars Cannabis
The Stockbridge
Spectrum Health
The Stockbridge
GVSU
The West Fulton
Choice One Bank
The West Fulton
Madelaine Lane
The West Fulton
Nexus Technology Services
The West Fulton
Fence Consultants of West Michigan
The West Fulton
Micron Manufacturing
The West Fulton
Nature's Releaf
The West Fulton
Pharmhouse Wellness
The West Fulton
CompuCraft Technology Solutions
The West Leonard
Bud & Susan Brasic
The West Leonard
Jerry's Garage
The West Leonard
Rockford Construction
The West Leonard
Mercantile Bank
The West Leonard

Taste The West Side Archive

Click on one of Taste the West Side’s years to see who the sponsors and participants were for that year.