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Seeds Community Cafe on the way — and Juggs, too 

Side Dish

Community cafe coming

By now you've likely heard of the community cafe concept. It's often called the "pay what you can" model, aimed at providing meals to those lacking means, eliminating food waste, and building community. Instead of paying for a meal, folks can trade a service such as dish washing; others who can afford their food choose their own portion and price, in effect partially subsidizing the rest.

One World Everybody Eats Foundation (oneworldeverybodyeatsfoundation.org) started the movement 10 years ago in Salt Lake City. Metro Denver boasts two such places: SAME Café (soallmayeat.org) and Cafe 180 (cafe-180.org). And even Panera Bread has gotten on board with its Panera Cares program (paneracares.org).

There are now around 40 of these independent cafés in the U.S., says Lyn Harwell, former CEO of Springs Rescue Mission, board member and soon-to-be interim executive director of OWEEF, and the driving force behind Seeds Community Café (seedscommunitycafe.com). From an executive summary, the cafe is described as "eliminat[ing] hunger and the social barriers associated with food ... in an atmosphere of inclusion."

Harwell hopes to have Seeds up and running by September in the downtown area, but has yet to identify a location. (He notes there have been some discussions related to an interim spot while working with, or out of, the Colorado Springs Public Market, whenever it's able to launch.) A couple other community partners have announced interest in being part of the venture, including Colorado Coffee Merchants as well as the Gotta Love It! Market offshoot we recently profiled, Freedom Foods Co-op.

Harwell adds to OWEEF's outline the extra element of utilizing local growers wherever possible, including Pikes Peak Urban Gardens, and serving as much organic food as possible. He also envisions cooking classes, guest chefs and folks dining together around community tables. He notes that Seeds will be operated as a nonprofit, and that they are seeking volunteers and financial support.

Silly South Africans

And on a completely different note, be careful what your search engine brings up when you go looking for Juggs, which actually stands for Just Unbelievably Good Grub, Silly, a new mobile food business that promotes flavors from South Africa.

Co-owner Dirk van der Merwe claims a passion for food and tongue-in-cheek humor — "we took British humor and made it better" he says — and will display both at special events across the region this summer.

Items range from $4 to $7, including custom-made Sara's Sausage beef brats (infused with coriander and black pepper); peri-peri (a South African pepper) pork green chili; curried hamburger "African chili"; an apricot chutney-infused veggie sandwich; barbecue; and "snow bunnies," which are ice cream-stuffed, fried dinner rolls.

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