Restaurant CEO ‘moved’ by mission of MST culinary program

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MST Culinary Arts students chatted with Chef Chris Volkmann during a visit to The Copper Door on June 1st.
MST Culinary Arts students chatted with chef Chris Volkmann during a visit to The Copper Door on June 1st.

MANCHESTER, NH  – On June 1 a group of culinary students from Manchester School of Technology got a glimpse of the future, and a taste of what success in the restaurant business requires when they toured Copper Door Restaurant in Bedford.

Mike Holfelder, a chef instructor at MST who oversees the Intro to Culinary Arts program, said the trip to the Copper Door was truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for some of his students.

“It’s very rare for these children to experience something like this, and I’m sure they will never forget it,” Holfelder said.

The group of about 40 students and school staff members were special guests of Tom Boucher, CEO of parent company Great NH Restaurants, which includes Cactus Jack’s and T-Bones as well as Copper Door. Students also had a guided tour with Copper Door chef Chris Volkmann.

Boucher said he invited the group to the restaurant after learning about the local technical school’s inclusive programs, where instructors and students from the general population team up with students who have special needs to prepare school breakfasts, snacks and lunches. In doing so, the program encourages MST students to sharpen their skills by exposing them to opportunities in the culinary arts.

“It’s amazing what they do there,” Boucher said of the program. “I was quite moved.”

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About Carol Robidoux 5786 Articles
Journalist and editor of, a hyperlocal news and information site for Manchester, NH.