Nurturing Seeds Café
“Making Healthy, Fresh Food Available to All”
That’s Seeds Community Café’s mission. We’re a social enterprise, non-profit supported by donations, grants, and café food sales, staffed mostly by volunteers.We serve anyone who comes to our table a locally sourced, seasonally fresh, square meal prepared to the highest nutritional standards — regardless of their ability to pay. In the words of founder Chef Lyn Harwell, “our goal is to deliver a hand up rather than a hand out to those in need.”
Today, the Seeds Community Café menu has expanded, and we offer community classes on smart-cooking-and-eating, as well as opportunities for professional training to prepare people for job-seeking success in the catering industry.
Support for Seeds Community Café is blossoming: The mission we serve is as popular as the fresh-daily menu we offer, and appeals to all segments of the diverse Pikes Peak region community.
We take pride in using the commonality of food to break down the artificial barriers that so often separate people in our society.
2014 mission successes included:
- Serving over 23,000 meals, more than one-third provided to people in need in exchange for their volunteering in the Seeds Community Café.
- Nearly three-quarters of the food we served was locally sourced.
- The job-training program resulted in 16 people acquiring full time jobs and now earning a living wage.
- We exceeded our fundraising goals in 2014, supporting the cafe’s long term viability.
A Social Enterprise Model
It all started with Chef Lyn’s dream: To use his culinary skills to reach those in need, while at the same time supporting nutrition and the local food movement.
On September 16, 2013, Chef Lyn opened Seeds Community Café using a pay-it-forward business model and menu without prices. Café customers were encouraged to “Pay what you can afford.” In other words, those who can pay the most help those who can pay the least. It was the first such eaterie in Colorado.
In that way Seeds Community Café is truly an open table, where dignity and community sit side by side, and, as Chef Lyn says, “Neighbors from all walks of life share a meal, honoring the humanity in each other and recognizing the common needs that bind us together.”
Our story is one of continuing achievement. In two-and-a-half years of operation we’ve more than met our stated goals and proven that the Community Cafe model works. Naturally, we’re excited for you to share in this vision and support the future success of Seeds Community Café.
Please join us at the table — we’ve saved you a place.