The FoCo Cafe is a volunteer-driven organization. The Cafe was a volunteer only organization for the first five months and then we began filling positions in order to achieve consistency and sustainability. We spend much time and care with our volunteers and we have seen many volunteers and student interns go on to meaningful jobs or educational opportunities after gifting their time and talent to the Cafe.
Jeff and Kathleen Baumgardner founded the Cafe, incorporating in Colorado as a nonprofit in June 2012. Kathleen served as the volunteer executive director from concept until she was hired by the Board four years later in April 2016. She managed the administrative side of the operation, worked with interns, did the public speaking, and Cafe communications. Jeff served as the volunteer chef and operations manager from the day the Cafe opened, Thanksgiving 2014. A super volunteer, Jeff has literally created and served tens of thousand of meals to the community! He has a heart for health equity, a talent for making incredible soups, and a gift for serving people.
Sam Loftis is the first employee hired by FoCo Cafe. He graduated from Poudre High School in 2013 and spent one year studying computer science at the University of Wyoming, following which he was introduced to FoCo Cafe as a volunteer. He has just celebrated his second anniversary as the Cafe’s dishwasher and prep staff.
Mallory Garneau joined FoCo Cafe in August 2016 as an intern and became executive director in June 2017 after graduating with a Masters Degree in Social Work from CSU. She has a passion for empowerment, is an adventurer, a motivator, and a people person. She has worked as a English teacher in Thailand, done Community engagement social work projects in South Africa, and has 10 years experience working in restaurants and customer service. Mallory now oversees all FoCo Cafe operations.
Chef Jarrett Parten is a classically trained chef of French cuisine. He has many years experience in the restaurant industry and owns a small catering company. He has a passion for food and the use of local ingredients. Through the course of his career he has prepared meals for numerous politicians and celebrities. Now he is pleased that his career has put him in a position that serves the community. He has a philosophy of treating everyone equally no matter their walk of life.
Kayden is a recent graduate from Polaris ELS in 2018 and part of the Cafe’s dishwasher and prep staff. He enjoys playing guitar, and practicing breath work and mindfulness techniques to help stay connected. During the fall semester of 2018, he will start studying Botany at Front Range Community College.
Landa learned her culinary skills from the Cafe’s chef, Jarrett Parten. She managed Laramie High School’s kitchen in Laramie, Wyoming and was responsible for the catering needs of the school district. During her time as the kitchen manager she had the privilege of working with students on numerous fundraisers. She went on to become a paraprofessional within the district and had the amazing opportunity to work with English Language Learners, and Title 1 students. She believes everyone that passes through her life has something to teach her. She is grateful for the priceless lessons the patrons of the Cafe pass on to her everyday.