Learn More About FoCo Cafe, Fort Collins’ First Non-Profit Restaurant
From giant cinnamon rolls to cream cheese pizza, Fort Collins is known for its restaurant scene.
But, despite the oddity of a bagel topping on Italian food, the most unique restaurant in Fort Collins is arguably FoCo Cafe, the city's first, and only, non-profit restaurant.
Offering "a hand up, not a hand out," the restaurant operates on a "pay-what-you-can" model, even if you technically can't "pay" anything.
"People hear about us and our mission and the first thing that comes to mind is kind of like a soup kitchen. And that is definitely not what we are and what we do. We do not give out free meals," said Mallory Garneau, Executive Director of FoCo Cafe, in our "Tuned In to NoCo" interview. "In exchange for a meal, we just ask something of you, so whether that's paying monetarily for your meal, or donating your time and talent. We just ask that you give something back."
And while FoCo Cafe is certainly a blessing for those facing food insecurity, Garneau noted that anyone is welcome to enjoy the cuisine, which often consists of locally-made, nutritional salads, soups, and breads.
"We don't qualify people for our service, you could say. So, a millionaire could come in and ask to volunteer in exchange for his meal and that's fine," she said.
However, FoCo Cafe does rely on donations and volunteerism to provide for the community.
Those looking to volunteer or donate can do so on their website here, or by stopping into the restaurant to buy some lunch.
FoCo Cafe is currently offering takeout options, or the opportunity to eat in their garden, on select days of the week. The eatery is also offering free meal deliveries to those in need on every day of the week.
"[FoCo Cafe] is a really great, safe space for people. The food turns out to be just a catalyst for bringing these people to this space where they can connect, build community, nourish their souls, and all that good stuff," said Garneau. "We do a lot more than just serve lunch."
To learn more about FoCo Cafe, listen to the full "Tuned In to NoCo" interview with Mallory Garneau below.