Front Porch Cafe


Raechel here.

Speaking of going Medieval …

Today I met some friends for breakfast at the Front Porch Cafe in Ellsworth. For those of you who don’t know about this place, here’s a quick update:

The cafe closed, and the small town felt its loss as a community gathering place. In addition, the high school kids starting going into the local bar to pick up food. A group of people got together, turned it into a non-profit, supported I think by local churches and other organizations mostly. Cooks are paid employees. Food is mostly donated. Wait staff are volunteers, permitted to accept tips. (Not a hardship, because that’s where wait staff make their money anyway.) You are told a “suggested donation” for each item you order, but are not required to pay anything. The place is full, pretty much all of the time, and has many volunteers from all of the surrounding counties. Most people donate what’s suggested, or more, for their meals.

It occurs to me that this is an idea that should take off in other communities, especially as we transition to our Medieval economy (please tell me we can still have libraries). After all, no cafe that doesn’t serve alcohol can really make money (ask me, ask anyone who’s done it). Why couldn’t all communities have a not-for-profit cafe, where people are fed, at no cost? And wouldn’t it be beneficial for teenagers to gather with other community members, not just their own kind?

Not that I want to do this, of course, but it really makes sense to me: Front Porch Charlevoix.


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