FoCo Cafe opened on Thanksgiving Day in 2014. But that is not where the journey began. The co-founders, Jeff and Kathleen Baumgardner, began working to open the Cafe in 2012.
FoCo Cafe was incorporated in the State of Colorado on June 10, 2012. The first donation was an ice machine in that same month. People continued to donate kitchen equipment and within months their garage was full of supplies. It took 2 1/2 years from concept to opening the doors of the Cafe, but through community support, hard work and a few miracles, the Cafe opened with no debt.
Here is a basic timeline of FoCo Cafe’s journey to 50,000 meals:
- June 10, 2012 – Feeding Our Community Ourselves, Inc. is incorporated in Colorado
- July 26, 2012 – Cafe received its first grant from the Food Chain Workers Alliance
- November 2, 2012 – First pop up event – Face of the Food Chain Photo Exhibit
- July 21, 2013 – FoCo Cafe’s First Bike-In Music Festival
- Throughout 2013 – The search is on for FoCo Cafe’s location
- August 6, 2014 – Lease is signed for 225 Maple Street and deconstruction begins
- November 27, 2014 – FoCo Cafe opens on Thanksgiving Day
- June 8, 2015 – Ribbon cutting and grand opening of the Cafe box gardens
- June 15, 2015 – Cafe offers series of creativity classes
- February 15, 2016 – The Giving Tree is launched
- June 1, 2016 – Pilot of Kids Feeding Kids Summer Family Breakfast Program kicks off
- August 12, 2016 – FoCo Freedge is launched
- September 30, 2016 – FoCo Cafe presents at TEDxPeachtree
- November 18, 2016 – Release of FoCo Cafe Garden and Recipe Book
- November 23, 2016 – Kindness Cupboard opens at FoCo Cafe
- November 27, 2016 (Thanksgiving) – Most community members served in one day at 144
- 50,000th meal served – March 7, 2016
In Kathleen and Jeff’s wildest dreams, they thought the Cafe might serve 15,000 meals per year and 30,000 meals in two years. Now the Cafe is celebrating its 50,000th meal and its time to celebrate. This wouldn’t be possible without a caring community. That community has gifted the Cafe with more than 12,000 volunteer hours of service! Thank you for building community at FoCo Cafe!
Join us for lunch on March 7 and enjoy some fun and surprises – perhaps you will receive the 50,000th meal!