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Braddock Community Cafe offers locally-grown produce, design by city's youth

The recently opened Braddock Community Café and Coffee Shop is the only place in town to buy coffee and meals with Braddock-grown produce.  It’s also an idea and space completely designed by the city’s youth, the first of its kind in the Mon Valley.

The café is a project of the Braddock Youth Project (BYP), a youth work skills training program that develops projects based on community needs. 

For the past six years, BYP has maintained thee community gardens.  Café manager Sabrina Hykes says the café was the logical next step.

The café will offer healthy meals and cooking demonstrations so that youth and other residents can learn how to cook the produce grown in Braddock community gardens, Hykes says.

BYP youth surveyed the community for the types of food they’d like to see on the café’s menu.  These old favorites are then made in a healthier fashion.  The café’s mac n cheese, for example, includes veggies and yogurt, and significantly less fat.

The café, which celebrated a grand opening on Saturday, is BYP’s second entrepreneurial venture.  Menu items, which will change frequently, include wraps, salads, breakfast sandwiches, and a range of coffee and espresso drinks.

With an operating grant from The Buhl Foundation, four Braddock youth—Cheyanne Neal, Tiara Robinson, Elon Ford, Omar Hawkins—were employed last summer to design and begin construction of the café. 

The café is also supported by Braddock Redux, Mayor John Fetterman’s not-for-profit organization, and is located within the Nyia Page Community Center.

The Braddock Community Café is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The café offers dine-in, take-out, and catering.  416 Library Street, Braddock, 15104.  412-727-6846.

Writer:  Andrew Moore
Source:  Sabrina Hykes                             
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