Local Sprouts Cooperative is excited to announce the Grand Opening on June 4th of Local Sprouts Cafe and the Bomb Diggity Bakery at 649 Congress St in Portland, Maine. The celebration will take place June 4th from 5-11 Pm. Local Sprouts Cafe will provide local and organic breakfast, lunch and dinner in a community environment with music, classes, artshows and more. The Bomb Diggity Bakery, started by Momentum, will produce gluten-free, vegan, and regular baked goods and breads and aims to employ bakers of all abilities. Bomb Diggity Baking and Arts program will function in the kitchen alongside the bakery and cafe, providing community support for individuals with intellectual disabilities through building skills for the future. The Grand Opening will be from 5-11pm starting during the First Friday Artwalk and will feature an art show of food-inspired art, performances by local musicians and poets, free local food and more.
“Local Sprouts Cafe has been created by the Community,” says Jonah Fertig, one of the worker-owners and the founder of Local Sprouts. “Community members shared design ideas, provided money, painted murals, created mosaics, constructed tables and a bar and created our beautiful earthen booth.”
Over 200 people contributed to the opening of Local Sprouts Cafe through volunteering their labor and skills, by loaning money in a community financing program and becoming members of the Community Supported Kitchen. Over the past 3 months, people came to work parties to build tables out of recycled doors, a cob booth (made out of clay, sand and straw), a floor mosaic from recycled tiles, a wooden bar, a kids kitchen set, a stage and more. With Local Sprouts’ Community Financing Program, family and friends made direct loans to help fund the start-up costs of the cafe. By becoming members of the Community Supported Kitchen, people put down money upfront and then receive a credit to purchase food at the Cafe and a discount on their purchases.
The Cafe menu will include breakfast sandwiches, pancakes and breakfast specials in the morning (with brunch on weekends), sandwiches, soups and salads for lunch, and a mix of dinner entrees. The menu is influenced by home cooking, seasonal eating, and food from other cultures. In addition to food, Local Sprouts will offer coffee, tea, beer, wine and kombucha on tap.
“We work with many Maine farmers to create delicious local food,” continues Fertig.
Local Sprouts Cooperative is a worker-owned cooperative that provides creative local and organic food and holistic learning through cooking food for our community. Since 2007, Local Sprouts has catered local and organic food to over 100 organizations, businesses and individuals and has provided cooking with local foods learning programs to non-profits and schools. The Community Supported Kitchen started in 2008 at the Public Market House where members could order from a weekly menu and pick-up local food from the kitchen. The Cafe will be home to Local Sprouts’ Catering, Community Food and Learning Programs and Community Supported Kitchen.
Local Sprouts Cafe is opening in the newly renovated 645 Congress St. Building owned by Bayside Maine LLC. 645 Congress was most recently a USM dorm and before that was a hotel for almost 100 years. Now there are 56 apartments upstairs and 3 retails spaces on the first floor. Local Sprouts is turning the former USM Cafeteria into a community cafe that will be open 7 days a week.
“We are excited to open Local Sprouts Cafe and share local food with our community,” says Fertig.