In 2012, after the birth of their son Elijah, Jessica and Tracy Parks gave away everything traveling, searching for something greater than themselves. After experiencing many different models of community and sustainable living, they realized deeply people needed each other.
It was difficult and heartbreaking to think about people are going hungry in the world, dying from preventable diseases, often because of excess consumption in countries like the United States. Yet that is exactly what Tracy and Jessica did; in contemplating this, they let their hearts break.
This Opening of their hearts sowed the seed for Take Root. Because they discovered that these things affect us all. Hunger and obesity have reached epidemic proportions in our country. At the same time, industrial agricultural practices are ravaging the land and hollowing our our rural communities. It isn’t easy to look at. But doing so is the first step to change.
The inspiration for Take Root sprouted when Jessica and Tracy began living this change. They were hungry for building deep roots in a culture that distracts, disconnects, and divides. They envisioned a more positive future, a more grounded in a vibrant local economy one that treats both environment and people with dignity and respect.
Take Root Cafe is a platform that empowers individuals and groups to create a new food system, while providing a nourishing and affordable meal. We welcome people from all walks of life at the table and in the conversation. It’s going to take everyone if we truly want a space that invites all to listen, learn, and live together.
If your pockets are full, please give a bit more. If your pockets are light, pay what you can. And if your pockets are empty, please eat and enjoy a delicious, healthy meal in exchange volunteer time.
Combining the concept of a cafe and a community center, Take Root seeks to provide providing a space that allows everyone, regardless of means, access to healthy food. We want everyone to know where our food is coming from, what we are putting in our bodies, and where the money is going. We believe that when given the opportunity to do something good in this world, people rise to the challenge
The vision for Take Root Cafe is to create a more compassionate, thriving, and economically strong community
through the medium of sustainable and local food.
Our mission is to alleviate hunger and promote health by offering nourishing, high quality, local food
on a pay-what-you-can basis.
One World Everyone Eats
One World Everybody Eats (OWEE) is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt, non-profit organization dedicated to increasing food security and building community through its pay-what-you-can nonprofit restaurant model. The organization provides a unique local solution to the global issue of hunger.
The concept began in 2003 when owner Denise Cerreta had an epiphany to serve delicious, healthy, locally-grown food; let people choose their own portions; and let them price those portions themselves. Since then, she’s gained local, national and world-wide notoriety for her “pay-what-you-can” pricing, seasonal and organic menu, living wages, minimal food waste, and healthy meals that are within everyone’s reach.
One World Everybody Eats founder Denise Cerreta at One World Cafe in Salt Lake City, 2005.
By encouraging people to enjoy a meal together, we encourage people see the value of food as more than a mere consumable but rather, as a glue and a catalyst for healthy people, relationships, and communities.
1. Social enterprise.
We believe trust is an essential part of building community. Organizations whose social goals outweigh profits for shareholders builds trust.
2. Guests determine what they can pay.
We believe in providing a dignified dining experience. Healthy, prosperous communities support and celebrate every member regardless of means.
3. Guests can choose.
We believe choice is empowering and educational. Choice reduces food waste while promoting long-term food security.
4. Everyone is welcome.
We believe food has the power to bring people together. Sharing a meal builds healthy communities, and healthy communities make a better world.
5. Space for community.
We believe in a community led approach to food security. A strong community results in long-term success of the organization.
6. Opportunity to volunteer.
We believe in offering a hand up and not a handout. An engaged community with a healthy respect for food and its preparation is important.
7. Excellent food.
We believe everyone should have access to healthy and nutritious food. Strong local partnerships result in stronger communities.
Looking to the Future
Our work at the cafe - well, besides serving you a plate of delicious food - is multifaceted. Making a nice meal affordable can seem like a simple act: we put a delicious plate of food on the table on a pay-what-you-can basis.
The food system behind that plate, however, can be complex. This is where we make lasting change - by addressing the intertwined impacts of the industrial food system: food insecurity, dietary-related diseases, and a weakened rural economy.
Recently I have been immersed in the work of Bob Quinn, a Montana wheat farmer who speaks in a plain spoken and compelling way of the “high cost of cheap food”.
In this difficult year, we are paying those costs now. The disruptions of the pandemic have demonstrated how easily disrupted our food supply is at a time when more than ever, we need reliability. Long lines at food shelves and soup kitchens, industrial processing operations transformed into hotspots, the loss of jobs, of beloved eating spots (including ours); all of these are cracks in the system that show how unsustainable it is.
As we work to build the next phase of Take Root, we envision a new home for our cafe, filled with good food and people, We see gardens, raised beds filled with flowers and herbs, rows of greens for the table, vegetables for the pantry - our own, and shared with the food shelf. Canning classes in our teaching kitchen, kids learning to plant and harvest, peel, chop and cook (and of course ... wash dishes!). A pleasant place to sit, a place to learn, a shared table for all.
As we build towards this future we will maintain the core of our mission - providing a channel from farm to plate, providing delicious, nutritious meals that are accessible to all - our community dinners, produced in collaboration with community service organizations