Food Community

Birthday Brunch, Bell Tower Cafe

Due to Google space restrictions I left the word community out of the title for this post. While it’s not in the title, community is at the very heart of the Bell Tower Community Cafe. Today marked the cafe’s first birthday. Like any good birthday, this one was celebrated with a party. A brunch party serving pancakes, sausage, fresh fruit, coffee, tea, and orange juice. Also, like any good party, there was plenty of conversation and good music as well.
As people entered they were given a little stamp to take with them to their table. On regular cafe nights, people line up to receive the soup, stew, burgers, etc. that are on offer. Today, to mark this special occasion, the diners would be served at their table. The cooking and serving were done by the members of the Bell Tower Community Cafe brain trust. Rather than a board the cafe has people who come together to assist and to offer ideas.
One of the members of the brain trust acting as a server was Rachel Twigg. Rachel is a friend of mine and the pastor of House Blend Ministries. One of the great things about the Bell Tower Community Cafe is that they don’t see themselves as being in competition with other ministries, but as partners who are working together to serve the community.
Like the Friday evening events, this morning’s brunch included music. Today the music was provided by Bunny. The duo, which offers a ukelele take on the music of the 90’s along with some original works, brought music along with laughter to the birthday party.
Along with taking time to thank people for their support in the past year, today’s brunch offered a sneak peak into the future. Next week the Bell Tower Community Cafe will be launching an Indiegogo fundraiser. The hope is to raise the $12,500 that the program needs to operate. Given the number of lives that affected by this program, that is great bang for the buck.
Today we received a glimpse of the video that has been produced in association with the upcoming campaign. As soon as it is available, I plan on sharing it here on the site. The video is being created by Handcraft Creative. Follow the link to see a sample of their work.
Beyond the funds that are need to run the cafe, volunteers are also important. One of the good things about the way the cafe operates, is that you are more than welcome to drop by and visit any Friday. The next one is November 21, starting at 6:30 pm. Meaghan Pauls is the volunteer coordinator, and Greg Glatz is the minister at Westminster United responsible for the cafe. You can find their contact information on the Bell Tower Community Cafe website.
I mentioned earlier that the Bell Tower Community Cafe is very much interested in working with other community groups. This applies all over the city and not just to the West Broadway-Wolseley neighbourhood. At the brunch, greetings were brought by Michael Champagne, representing the north-end. Michael is one of the organizers behind the group Meet Me at the Bell Tower. Meet Me at the Bell Tower, is an aboriginal led group, working to end violence in the North End of Winnipeg. They will be celebrating their 3rd birthday on November 21. If you are in the area, take some time to drop in, I’m sure they would love to meet you.
The Bell Tower Community Cafe Birthday Brunch was a very satisfying way to spend a Saturday morning. Here’s to many more such celebrations in the future. Hopefully one year, the celebration will also include the news that the food bank is no longer operational, because we have found a way as a community to make sure that everyone always has access to good, healthy, food.
As I leave you,here is one more video from Bunny.

By Donald McKenzie

Anglican priest, and food blogger. This blog is focused on Food. It will feature reviews of places to eat books, and the odd recipe. I also write about what it means to gather together around food.