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Helping to end hunger with pay-what-you-can community cafes

Our Organization and Vision Statement


We envision Pay-What-You-Can Community Cafes across the nation and world that are eliminating hunger and reducing food waste in their local communities. They accomplish this by creating a space where people come together and eat in dignity, forming strong bonds that foster a more interconnected humanity. We will keep believing…



One World Everybody Eats  is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt, non-profit organization that grew out of the non profit community cafe One World Cafe in Salt Lake City, Utah. The community cafe concept began when owner Denise Cerreta in mid-2003 had an epiphany to serve 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 local and organic menu, living wages, minimal food waste and healthy meals that are within everyone’s reach.

By encouraging people to enjoy a meal together, Ms. Cerreta is attempting to help 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. Customers are able to seat themselves in a relaxed atmosphere that is conducive to conversation. Because customers choose their own prices, their portions tend to be more mindful and reflect that they will actually want to eat, with the result being little or no food waste. We’ve realized that this makes more food available and we expect the concept to be exportable and adoptable worldwide.

Philosophy meets business through her desire to support the living wage, as well as provide volunteer options for those who would prefer a “hand up” rather than a hand out. We are proud of the volunteer programs that community cafes provide. For every hour someone gives, they can receive a voucher for a full meal and learn a skill in the food service industry that may lead to future employment. We encourage that children under 8 can eat with a parent or adult on that same voucher. Many people volunteer because they love the concept and want to give back to their community, so along the way friendships are made and people tend to meet and mix that would normally not have the chance.

We also suggest that the community cafes provide a complimentary staple dish that everyone can eat or incorporate into their choices to stay within a budget. The ingredients for this dish are usually made of fresh products donated directly from the community. Denise knew the model was successful on the day that she realized there were several people eating in the busy cafe; all of whom had volunteered earlier in the week and had redeemed their vouchers. All were eating anonymously to this fact and with dignity.

One World Everybody Eats wants to help establish non profit community cafes in every city in the world. We began with a short list of U.S. cities that we would grow into, but soon found people were contacting us about how to follow our lead much faster than we could establish cafes ourselves. That has allowed us to take the focus off setting up more OWEEF-like entities ourselves, and letting the enthusiasm of people with the desire to replicate the model do so instead. We consider the growing number of One World type venues a “Family of Community Cafes” and are happy to mentor others who wish to replicate our model.

* One World Everybody Eats is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt, non-profit organization. Value of donations made may be deducted for tax purposes.