The Café prides itself in providing a delicious, nutritious, edible, incredible, meal every Saturday – come rain, snow, or sunshine! There are no prices posted anywhere on our menus; rather we are a donation based meal that is dependent upon our guest’s choice of payment. Our “Pay-What-You-Can” meal provides the opportunity for all to anonymously contribute to the cost of the meal. One person’s donation is no less important than another’s.
The Pioneer Valley is known for its musical and artistic population. The Café has been blessed with the ability to provide musicians a space to share their artistry during its meals. For so many of us music plays an important role in our daily lives. At the Café music creates a pleasant atmosphere, one in which diners may sit back and enjoy or join in the singing.
The Café is striving to meet the needs of its community members through the offering of many different activities and services. On any given Saturday you may find a community agency, such as The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts offering sign-up services for SNAP benefits. Or perhaps you may encounter folks from the People’s Medicine Project providing education and samples of natural medicines that heal your body, mind, and soul.
Council is a listening and speaking from the heart circle discussion group. A member of the Café community who has been trained in this practice facilitates the Council. “Council is an age-old practice that involves bringing people together in a circle to bear witness and share authentically. Participants agree to speak one-at-a-time, sharing their personal stories and experiences, rather than opinions, and listening non-judgmentally while others do the same. Sharing and listening to universal stories about love, loss, fear, triumph, challenge, hope and other experiences enables participants to recognize that, despite our many differences, we have much in common.
Food is a means to nourishing the body and building community. To blur the lines that separate us, those who are eating come and help cook or clean while those cooking, sit and eat. Those serving are also served. We all are guests at a table or conversation, inviting one another and sharing ourselves. Getting out from inside the kitchen and behind the counter is a part of being here. Sitting down and sharing a meal is a wonderful opportunity to see the commonality in each other while also acknowledging, respecting, and enjoying our differences. Bringing yourself fully to a conversation means not only listening, but also sharing of one’s self.