Community members work in the Community Growth Project gardens in Camillus last year. This spring and summer, the Cafe @ 407 in Liverpool will also have a plot in the garden.
Liverpool The Café @ 407’s mission is simple, if multifaceted: to help the community to “begin changing the culture and to empower individuals, families, and communities to embrace health, beauty, and happiness at any shape and size and to share a message of body celebration.”
The café was founded as a medium through which Ophelia’s Place, a local center for body image and eating disorders, could carry out its mission — the same as the one outlined above — and raise funds for its goals.
“Ophelia’s Place’s vision is our vision,” said café manager Dan Hamon. “We provide space in the café for community to build. We strive to provide a relationship with our local community through good coffee, healthy and delicious meals and desserts, local musicians and artists, and to provide a place to represent and share the people, products and produce that are grown locally. With every cup of coffee and biscotti, with every bowl of soup, you are supporting Ophelia’s Place and their vision, as well as supporting and nurturing the community and people around you.”
Part of the way the café supports and nurtures its customers is by providing a full, healthy menu chock full of locally grown produce, grains and other foodstuffs.
“We find that by buying local, we can foster community growth,” Hamon said. “Purchasing food that was grown and harvested locally keeps money circulating in our community. It makes community thrive and come alive.”
Buying locally also ensures that better quality produce makes its way to the customer.
“Locally-produced food is fresher than products that are shipped in trucks and stored on supermarket shelves for several days,” Hamon said. “Local produce can be higher in nutrients, while produce shipped from out of state typically has suffered severe nutrient loss during travel time. That is why Café @ 407 is attempting to support the community by buying local where we can.”