Cafe Sentropol, in Montreal, Canada, is the vehicle
by which its three owners support their community.
Café Santropol features a menu designed to please, but also serves
more people than just the customers at its tables.
Since it opened in Montreals Plateau Mont-Royal district
in June 1976, partners Garth Gilker, Jennifer Luczynski and James
Solkin have been donating 25 per cent of the eaterys profits
to community projects. The place was opened on an idea, lots
of energy and not much money, Luczynski said. We always
thought if we made some money that it must be shared.
Soups and sandwiches with names like Killer Tomato and Northern
Lights are made in-house, but bread comes from a local bakery. We
buy all local products as much as possible from the neighborhood
because we live here, said Luczynski. If we all help
each other keep our heads above water, everyone will profit.
Café Santropols philanthropy initially supported community
projects in developing countries through international aid organizations.
When recession hit Canada a few years ago, the partners turned their
attention closer to home. Santropol Roulant, a local meals-on-wheels
program started by two former café employees, is the prime beneficiary.
In the past year the café has begun using fair trade
coffee and selling it to local organizations. The coffee comes directly
from growers, cutting out the middleman so that producers make more
money for their labor. Were trying to commercialize
it because then it will hold its own against big companies,
said Luczynski. What we want to see is good-quality fair trade
coffee at a reasonable price that people can afford.
Santropol has also developed its own line of herbal teas. Humani-tea,
Curiosi-tea and Hospitali-tea are used to help local organizations
and schools raise funds. Instead of selling chocolates, they
sell herbal teas, Luczynski said. The beauty of these
teas is that the box was designed by local artists.
Supporting the community through their café is just a part of
who the three partners are, Luczynski said with a shrug. I
dont think we could do it any other way - its in our
blood. (Source: American News Service) Helena Katz is a freelance
journalist based in Montreal, Canada. Reproduced with the permission
of Share International, PO Box 971, N. Hollywood, CA 91603 USA.