Listen to FoCo Cafe interview on Community Checkup.
Join Us on Thanksgiving
We just received our certificate of occupancy! There are two Thanksgiving Day options for you:
- Drop in to take a quick tour from 11:00 – 1:00 or 2:00 – 4:00. We’ll have coffee brewing and a treat.
- At 1:00 we’re serving lunch by reservation only on a donation basis. Menu: pumpkin-apple soup, salad, fresh baked rolls, almond cake, coffee, and tea. We ask one thing: bring a guest who might not otherwise be able to enjoy a Thanksgiving community meal. Perhaps this is a student who was unable to travel home, an elderly neighbor, someone new to our community, etc. Call 309-368-1659 for reservations.
Join Us During our “Soft Opening”
We’re have two weeks of practice planned, by reservation only on a donation basis! Come help us figure test systems and recipes. Reserve space for one person or for a group as large as 25 by phoning 309-368-1659. Or sign up to volunteer.
- Week One – reservations available at 11:30 and 12:45 – Saturday 11/29, Monday 12/1, Tuesday 12/2, Wednesday 12/3, Thursday 12/4, Friday 12/5, Saturday 12/6
- Week Two – reservations available for 11:00, 12:00, 1:00 – Monday 12/8, Tuesday 12/9, Wednesday 12/10, Thursday 12/11, Friday 12/12, Saturday 12/13
Join us at our Grand Opening on Monday, December 15
We’ll be open from 11:00-2:00 pm. We’d love to see you stop in for lunch or to volunteer. Sign up to volunteer.
If you are unable to celebrate with us, but would like to help, please consider a gift to the FoCo Cafe to help with operating costs.
We want to thank our incredible community – FoCo Cafe was truly built by many for ALL!
As FoCo Cafe prepares to launch, we will be featuring fellow community cafes around Colorado. The community cafe model is what FoCo Cafe is built upon, which integrates a non-profit model, pay as you are able structure, and many times locally-sourced food. Each cafe is a bit different based on their goals and their community. The first cafe we are featuring is SAME Cafe in Denver, Colorado. Read on to learn more about this wonderful nonprofit cafe.
SAME Cafe—Denver, Colorado
“Be the change you wish to see in the world,” a quote from Mahatma Ghandi, reads proudly over the kitchen of the SAME Cafe in Denver, Colorado. This quote reflects the decision of SAME Cafe co-founders to quit their former jobs to start a non-profit cafe that embodies fresh food that everyone could afford. Brad and Libby Birky, co-founders of SAME dreamt up the idea of the cafe, which stands for So All May Eat, on a plane ride back from Austin, Texas. Sitting on the flight and brainstorming ideas on the blank page of the in-flight magazine, Brad and Libby came up with the idea of a cafe where there are no prices—a place where all could eat.
SAME is modeled under the community cafe structure, which works by bringing community together through healthy and affordable food. At SAME, individuals pay what they are able, pay it forward, or they can donate some time in exchange for a meal. As Libby put it, “SAME is a community space – a place for people to belong, a family,” she said. “It is important because people need a place to belong, and they also need access to really good healthy food at a price that everyone can afford.”
On October 20, 2014 SAME celebrated its 8th Anniversary. When SAME launched back in 2006, the then small cafe on Colfax Avenue in Denver was able to seat roughly 17 people. Now, eight years after they opened their doors, SAME has expanded and become known, feeding close to 80 people per day. “Over the last eight years we have served over 115,000 meals at SAME,” Brad said as the last SAME guest trickled out the door one day, and the busy volunteers cleaned up.
SAME runs with the help of two full time and two part time employees along with the help of volunteers. “Our volunteers are from all walks of life,” said Libby. “We have people who are volunteering in exchange for a meal, we have people doing community service hours, we have folks paying it forward. No one wears a name tag that says ‘I am working in exchange for my food,’ so we all get to treat each other with respect and dignity.”
Yellow walls greet you as you enter the cafe, and the room opens into a kitchen where you instantly see smiling volunteers bustling around preparing and serving food. The warm, home-like feel of SAME is not by accident. “We want it to feel open and comfortable,” said Brad about the layout and design of SAME Cafe.
A second piece of the community model that SAME is built on is supporting local and organic agriculture. “We compose the menu based on what is growing in season,” said Libby. “Most of our farmers are in Denver including the Botanic Gardens, Granata Farms, Ekar Farm, and we also use produce from Grant Family Farms, Miller Farms, Monroe Farms, Ella Farms. We try to stay as local and organic as possible.”
Initially, Libby and Brad were not in the business of restaurants—Libby with a masters degree in education and Brad with a computer science degree. After the idea came to fruition on the plane ride, a friend of theirs who also runs a community cafe told them they could always return to their old jobs. Libby described that they are not too far from where they began, “People ask if I miss being a teacher, and I say I still teach every day – the classroom and students just look a little different than they used to,” she said.
To learn more about SAME, to donate, or to stop by for lunch, visit www.soallmayeat.org
“People ask if I miss being a teacher, and I say I still teach every day – the classroom and students just look a little different than they used to,” Libby Birky, Co-founder of SAME
Saturday, October 11
Registration: 10 a.m., Race start: 11 a.m.
Fort Collins Brewery
Walk, Run, Skip or Hop – Come as you are or dress up as your favorite Monster! The 5K will begin and end at FCB followed by a monstrous party!
*Custom Sport Pack & Pint Glass
*Beer Samples & Appetizers from Gravity 1020
*Costume Contest & Great Prizes
*Awards Party, Games & Activities
*Donation to FoCo Cafe
Register online today – registrations will be capped at just 500 runners!
Join the Facebook event and share with your friends!
Want to volunteer for this event?
If you already registered as a FoCo Cafe Volunteer, please click on button to access your VicNet and schedule for the Malt Monster 5K event:
Find of the Day, Northern Colorado’s premier stop for used furniture and home decor, is generously hosting a fundraiser for FoCo Cafe!
Saturday, September 27
12 noon – 7pm
311 S College Avenue, Fort Collins (Find of the Day and Tap & Handle parking lot)
Please join us for live music, beer, wine, food, and the opportunity to connect with the ReSale Trail – Old Town’s awesome collection of resale, consignment, and thrift stores as well as local unique eats and treats.
Resale Trail booths at this event:
A-Maize’n Kettle Corn
Blue Skies Winery
Find of the Day
French Nest Market
Furniture Consignment by Kristynn
Tap and Handle
Wear it Again, Sam
Want to volunteer for FoCo Cafe at this event?
Yes, I want to volunteer
Please help us spread the word about this event. Cheers!
Kathleen gave an inspiring presentation during the TEDxFrontRange2014.
Phil Runs So Others Can Roll
140-mile run to raise money for FoCo Cafe’s handicapped accessible ramp
Please click the below to go to Phil’s campaign site.
Click on the button to vote for FoCo Cafe to earn a Superbowl ad.
When it comes to food justice and accessibility, 25-year old Dana Guber is a veteran volunteer. As a middle school student she volunteered alongside her mother and grandmother at Boulder’s Meals on Wheels. She helped start a student-run farm during college. Now she works as program coordinator for Fort Collins’s Meals on Wheels and volunteers as a member of The Growing Project’s board of directors.
Once FoCo Café opens its doors, Guber has her sights set on helping the Café meet its mission to use local, organic, and sustainably grown ingredients through The Growing Project’s Food Finders initiative, a program she co-founded with other local food activists and helps coordinates.
“I work with 10 volunteers that go to gardens, farms and grocers by bicycle to pick up food that would otherwise be composted or thrown away,” Guber says. “Then we deliver that food to local nonprofits that feed the hungry, such as The Food Bank of Larimer County, Catholic Charities, and The Matthew’s House. Eventually I want FoCo Café to become a recipient. We’re really excited for them to be open so we can help them.”
Guber originally learned about FoCo Café and met Jeff and Kathleen through The Growing Project. “I support them endlessly,” Guber says, whether coming to events, donating equipment and supplies to the Café—through Meals on Wheels she was able to pass on 200 boxes of high quality olive oil—or making the Café a beneficiary of Food Finders.
In return, the Café supports Guber’s personal mission to increase food accessibility. “It doesn’t matter where you come from or how much money you make,” she says. “You can go there and hang out and have delicious food you don’t cook yourself. I think that’s inspiring to a lot of people who don’t normally have access to cooking that sort of food.”
She also hopes that in addition to feeding people, the Café will become a hub for food justice. “I’d like to see the space be open to the community or free or donation-based classes, where meetings can take place, and where anyone can learn how to grow and prepare their own food,” Guber says.
In the meantime, Guber’s working days and free time are dedicated to “putting good food in everyone’s mouth.” FoCo Café, through Food Finders, is one more way to make that happen. “That’s really where I hope we can help them,” she says. “I want to get them as much good food as possible.”
To learn more about Food Finders, The Growing Project, or Meals on Wheels, contact Dana Guber at firstname.lastname@example.org.