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

Our History

In 2003, Denise Cerreta opened the first “pay what you can”community cafe called One World Cafe in Salt Lake City, Utah.   This was an exciting new concept at the time. In 2006, Denise was contacted by  Brad and Libby, a couple in Denver who wanted to replicate the One World Cafe model. Denise traveled to Colorado with her volunteers to help them open the S.A.M.E. Cafe ( So All May Eat). 

After that, Denise has helped open One World Spokane in Washington in 2008; Potager in Arlington, Texas; A Better World Cafe in Highland Park, New Jersey in 2009; the former Comfort Cafe in Colorado in 2010; and most recently F.A.R.M. Cafe in Boone, NC in 2012. Panera Bread and the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation contacted Denise for guidance in opening their community cafes. Denise has visited many other communities to discuss the start-up process in community forums and has helped raise money for these groups. To date One World Everybody Eats has directly or indirectly helped launch 60 community cafes and is mentoring over 20 cafe groups in the planning stage worldwide.  One World Everybody Eats is ready to help anyone, anywhere who is willing to take similar steps to bring their own community cafe to life. We also hold a free networking summit in a different city every year so those who have opened community cafes can mentor groups in the planning phases. In 2009,after 6 successful and joyful years of directing the One World Cafe on a daily basis, Denise chose to focus on helping other communities rather than remain in Salt Lake City. While keeping the original cafe open was a commitment; it became clear that a passionate visionary on location is one of the important keys to the success of the model. With that element missing now at One World Cafe the board made the hard decision in 2012 to close the original cafe and focus on helping others replicate the model in their community. With 60 community cafes operating there were now plenty of venues people could visit for a hands on experience.



Nine years ago I would never have imagined the evolution of One World Cafe.  After a few months of working alone (with no experience!), then understaffed, we have now transitioned to creating a Foundation that is mentoring communities around the globe based on our model. This has allowed me to focus on helping other communities, mentoring, and traveling to other areas to attain a deeper understanding of hunger, food insecurity, community and food resources.  I thank everyone who has been part of this mission. Our goal is to continue to bring the One World Everybody Eats Foundation’s vision to larger audiences. We often receive requests for information on our model, our tax documents, business plans, and other information which we share freely. We also provide our guidance as people either seek to open new cafes or convert existing ones to the community cafe “pay what you can” model. We believe that mentoring, networking and fund raising for the community cafes is where our energy can best be spent.   By letting everyone who is striving to establish a community cafe see they are not alone, we believe it will help spread the establishment of successful cafes worldwide even faster. We relish the role and opportunity to help the no-set menu, no-set prices community cafe model come to fruition everywhere. The guide, “Spirit in Business – Our Guide for Starting a Community Cafe” is available for free download from our website.  It’s intended to be a “How-To” for individuals or groups seeking to replicate the “pay what you can” model in their cities, as well as a testimony for how businesses can become more spiritually based and sustainable by redefining what a profit means without sacrificing it.  My board and I are available to mentor anyone who would like to learn about community cafes.



1. INTERNS: As the community cafe concept grows, so do the needs of our grassroots organization. We need administrative interns and interns who want to join our 2013 summit in New Jersey. The interns will gain knowledge of the operations of a national non profit organization and be exposed to some of the most innovative social entrepreneurs and humanitarians.

2. A GRANT WRITER: Our organization is well-positioned to receive federal grants. We would be grateful for a grant writers assistance.

3. VIDEOGRAPHER: We need help developing a promotional video for television, the internet and for use at community cafe start up meetings.

4. AIRLINE TICKETS:  We fly to different locations that want our help.  If anyone can donate buddy stand-by passes or offer us a ticket using their frequent flyer miles that would really help out.  We often visit a community in their early planning stages.   We then fly out again to help them raise funds and also when they are ready to launch their community cafe.

5. VEHICLE: We could really use the gift of a fairly low-mileage reliable vehicle that gets good gas mileage. This would enable us to reach communities that needed our help when the cost of flying would be prohibitive.

6. AGENT: Denise is writing a non-fiction book and will be looking for an agent. The book is targeted for people wanting to take a leap to help their communities and change the world. Inspirational/self-help/community help.

7.DONORS: We hope you will join us in finding a lasting solution to ending hunger, creating food security and building community. We are so appreciative and look forward to hearing from you and working together on this solvable issue.

8. FOOD TRUCK: Our dream is to operate a food truck to share the “pay what you can” model. We hope to bring our food truck into disaster struck areas and into grocery store deprived communities. If you feel drawn to help us, please email

Meet our Board of Directors