And We Are Just Getting Started 1

Last Saturday, Solas Raleigh opened its doors to A Place at the Table, lending us the space we needed to serve nearly 200 meals to local members of the community using our pay-what-you-can community café restaurant model. Although the weather called for rain and a steady drizzle fell for the first hour of business, we were delighted to see friends, family, and supporters of our mission pour through the doors to find their place at the table.

Chef Keith Suarino of Vidrio whipped up a delicious meal including orzo and goat cheese mac-n-cheese, crab cake-stuffed NC trout, sliced porchetta with fennel and orange, and roasted Brussels sprouts tossed in pistachios and local beeswax honey. While guests chowed down on lunch and sipped mimosas from the bar, they mixed and mingled with other members of the community by sitting at tables with strangers, truly breaking down socioeconomic barriers. Each table was clad with a mason jar chock full of thought-provoking questions to encourage meaningful conversation. From what we saw, it worked!

While the suggested donation for the meal was $10, many people chose to donate more to help cover the costs of meals of those who couldn’t pay. Because of the generosity of the community, we were able to raise more than $4,000 at our first ever pop-up event! While the pop-up was intended to spread awareness about APATT and to feed those in need rather than to be a fundraiser, we are still so grateful for your support and generosity and we can’t thank you enough. It truly means the world.

It would be remiss of us if we didn’t mention our amazing, dedicated volunteers. More than 30 volunteers joined us Saturday and we were so overwhelmed with interest that we had to turn several groups away this time. Wow! We can’t host events without volunteers like you – and we are so thrilled to be quickly building a solid base of volunteers for when we finally open our doors.

Lastly, we must thank our additional sponsors – Babylon, Urban Food Group, Carolina Ale House, Chick-Fil-A, McDonald’s, KDI Investments, UPS, and Leadership Raleigh 32! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for helping to make our event a success

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