It’s Hamilton most undesirable bed and breakfast – the bed sucks, but the breakfast is much better. The Hamilton Police custody unit at Central Station now serves breakfast from The Jet Cafe.
The menu is limited to three options – beef bologna, ham and cheese, or cheese sandwich on fresh bread with butter spread.
Jake Valentine and his wife Sarene U opened their restaurant ten years ago and this is by far the biggest catering order they’ve won. The City is paying $168,750.00 over five years for the sandwiches.
Valentine makes the sandwiches himself every morning at 5:45 a.m. using the same ingredients they use in restaurant. The bread must be fresh, the cheese must be an orange cheddar, the meat must be of quality and a certain weight, and both sides of the sandwich must be properly buttered – that’s specified by the City.
Once the sandwiches are made, he walks them a block north to the police station where they are served to prisoners awaiting court hearings for the most part. Saturday’s are the busiest morning with police often requesting addition sandwiches.
Catherine Martin of the police service says about 45 people are processed in custody each day. Some of the sandwiches are used later in the day depending on when people enter into custody, but most are eaten at breakfast, Martin states.
Valentine takes great pride in describing the sandwiches and that his business won the contract.
“We’re very proud to work with the City and the Hamilton Police Service,” says Valentine.
They bid for the contract four years ago and didn’t win. Another local small business won, Reardon’s Meats on King William.
While Valentine thinks the sandwiches are good, he notes they are not Eggs Benedict or any of the other options on the menu at the restaurant on King Street East.
The sandwiches may be “free” but the freedom to get bacon is better.