Behind The Counter: How Cafe Gratitude Gives Thanks Year Round
For most, Thanksgiving is a time best spent with family and friends around the dinner table, enjoying heaping mounds of turkey and stuffing and of course — giving thanks. It’s one of the few times during the year we pause to reflect on what we are most thankful for.
But what if instead of pausing to reflect one day a year, what if you did so every day? Some might think this unrealistic, but for the community at Cafe Gratitude, it’s the very core of their concept. The dining experience at this vegan hotspot always begins with a “Question of the Day,” intended to provoke conversation and self-reflection amongst diners. Ordering involves stating an affirmation, thanks to inspired names for menu items like “Gracious” and “Awesome”, the latter properly ordered by stating “I Am Awesome.”
It’s a concept that is thriving (they currently have 6 locations, with more in the works), by putting an emphasis on gratitude and well-being. So it’s only fitting that Cafe Gratitude leads the charge in mindfulness around Thanksgiving, with celebrations and initiatives that attract local Angelenos by the masses.
“Thanksgiving is our biggest holiday to celebrate.” says Alice Liu, head of Special Events at Cafe Gratitude. “We open the space for community, giving away free meals, and fundraising for a great cause. Every year we got volunteers serving delicious meals, with live music and happy families to join the celebration — all free for community.”
This year the celebration extends to their sister restaurant Gracias Madre, a vegan eatery serving up healthy mexican fare, as well as all the way down south to their new San Diego location.
All November Cafe Gratitude also runs an “EAT PIZZA, DRINK BEER, SAVE THE PLANET” campaign that dine-in customers can participate in by ordering their Giving Pizza and Long Root Ale. Every purchase donates $2 to Kiss the Ground, an organization helping farmers in California integrate regenerative agricultural practices.
For context: Cafe Gratitude’s Giving Pizza and Long Root Ale are both made with Kernza, a perennial grain grown using regenerative agricultural practices. This supports the reversal of climate change by restoring soil biodiversity and sequestering carbon without the use of chemicals, fertilizers or tilling. By purchasing these items, the Tehachapi Heritage Grain Project is receiving a portion of the profit to help them purchase the equipment they need to grow Kernza and plant grain without tilling (a common practice that destroys soil microbiology and releases carbon into the atmosphere).
So once you’ve devoured your beer and pizza, what’s next? “Our gluten free, raw pumpkin pie is out of this world.” says Alice. “And the Miso Glazed Maple Brussel Sprouts and winter salads are both my favorite dishes.”
If you can’t make it to Cafe Gratitude for a sit-down lunch or dinner this month, you can still be grateful — their seasonal specials are available online, and you can even place advance orders for thanksgiving dishes. Click here to order online from their website or pre-order their thanksgiving dishes.