Trinity Cafe is an intentional community.
‘Faces of Trinity Cafe’ is a celebration of all that embodies that community.
Every person who walks through the doors at Trinity Cafe has a unique story of their own.
I heard of Trinity Cafe from several different people before I actually decided to get more involved. I had done volunteer events with my colleagues from work where we filled backpacks for children in need. We filled them with nonperishable foods for kids who may not otherwise have lunch, dinner or breakfast on any given day. That was my first real introduction to there being a food crisis here, particularly in certain neighborhoods. The packaged foods are great for an occasional snack but this is what some people were eating for every meal, everyday of the week. Some of the snacks were nutritious but a growing child needs a diet that’s balanced with more than just processed foods. That sparked my interest in ways to get healthier foods to people who needed it. I gained more insight on the extent of the crisis through some of my real estate work in economically disadvantaged areas. When people were grocery shopping, they tended to go to the local convenience store where fresh produce is rare. Mostly everything is canned or packaged. There weren’t really any conventional grocery stores in many of these areas and a lot of the people weren’t driving – either walking or on bicycle. So even those who managed to get to a would have to haul heavy bags back home for miles on foot, bike, or bus.
I’m 50 years old. I’m married. I have 2 boys – ages 11 and 14. I work and live here in Tampa Bay. For the past 30 years, I’ve worked in architecture and construction, building everything from houses to large industrial manufacturing facilities.
Growing up, food was central to how my family gathered and spent time together. I can think of many occasions where we’d laugh together, cry together, complain together, and joke together over a big dish of food. Before my mother passed away, she put together all of her recipes that we had as children. Cooking the meals always brings back so many fond memories.
I recently got involved in a startup aiming to help raise money for non-profits and people in need. It’s called RecipeKarma – a crowdfunding platform whereby people start campaigns, upload recipes and share links to the recipes with friends and family who can then buy the recipes in support of a cause. We’re just getting started. We’re in beta launch currently. We’ve began working with several organizations and are recruiting more to work with us everyday. Right now, during the beta test, 100% of the proceeds go to the campaign holders. Eventually there will be a charge for the use of the platform and when we do get to that point, a percentage of our profits will go towards our personal mission of fighting food deserts in economically disadvantaged communities.
I’ve always believed that if I can build an entity larger than myself, I’d be able to do good with a greater impact. That brings me to my biggest struggle right now, which is building RecipeKarma – building awareness and getting people to understand what it’s for and how to use it. We’re doing something new in an old space – sharing food, cooking, and recipes isn’t new but the way we’re doing it is.
The biggest piece of advice I‘ve learned as an adult is to not be afraid to fail. I grew up in a house where working hard and achieving weighed heavily and not living up to that was scary. But I’ve learned that failure builds character. Try something new as often as you can and if it doesn’t go well, learn from it. It’s a stepping stone towards something greater.
Check out recipekarma.com and build your own campaign for a cause you’re passionate about!