FoCo Cafe was conceptualized, built, and sustained by the community, for the community.

As we approach our four year anniversary, The FoCo Cafe, Northern Colorado’s only non-profit, pay what you can cafe, is facing a financial crisis that may force it to close its doors temporarily or even permanently. The Cafe is kicking off a sustaining membership campaign in an effort to continue serving meals to the community.

The shortfall in funds is due to many factors:

  • New paid staff positions after the transition of leadership from co-founders, Jeff and Kathleen Baumgardner who volunteered the majority of their time and talents
  • Increases in health insurance and workman's compensation
  • Little things like a water bill increase after installing the City’s first year-round water filling station
  • An increase in rent
  • An increase in sales tax as meals served increases

In addition to the fundraising campaign, the Cafe is addressing the recent trend in lower average donation per meal as well as creating a more welcoming environment. A host station has been added so guests will be greeted a smiling face explaining how the cafe works and help guests easily make a monetary payment or set them up to donate time or talent.
The Sustaining Membership campaign begins today, Thursday, September 13 with memberships starting at $10 a month for individuals as well as opportunities for corporate giving. Depending on the amount donated, members will receive a certain number of meals at the Cafe each year as well as swag like stickers, t-shirts and event tickets.
As we hope to enter year four, the Cafe looks to reawaken the conversation around our mission and what it is we really do in the community.

The goal of this campaign is to raise at least $50,000 in annual giving by October 31, 2018, in order to keep our doors open.

As a small non-profit, every dollar makes a difference.

Your involvement, contributions, and support are at the forefront of the longevity and long term sustainability of FoCo Cafe as a community center space, and as the only Non-profit donation based restaurant in Northern Colorado. You are what make FoCo Cafe what it is today, and we need your help!
Please share with friends and family, within your networks, and on your social media! Be sure to follow us on our too!
(links at the bottom of the email)

Ubuntu*.. I am because we are.
*Ubuntu is a Nguni Bantu term meaning "humanity". It is often translated as "I am because we are," and also "humanity towards others", but is often used in a more philosophical sense to mean "the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity".
Thank you for helping us enrich the lives of those in our community. Ubuntu.

The FoCo Cafe Team
Your donation makes a difference!
My biggest fear?
Becoming a “bag lady.”
(That’s what we called homeless women in the 1960s where I grew up.)

As a kid, I was terrified of becoming one of those destitute people pushing a grocery cart full of bundles and bags down the street.

Sometimes we attract that which we fear the most ...
A couple of years ago, it happened.
I was fortunate: Instead of pushing a grocery cart, I rode a bicycle.
Instead of plastic bags, I carried backpacks.

Once upon a time ...
I was a productive member of the community — a homeowner in a long-term relationship, nurturing a butterfly garden in the front yard and a community sandbox in the back. I worked as a freelance graphic designer and rescued animals.

All of a sudden ...
I found myself halfway across the country, sleeping outside on a cold metal picnic table with fifty cents to my name. The table I chose as a bed happened to be outside FoCo Cafe. I shivered as I slept. The early-morning sunrise started to glow.

Steven arrived to open the cafe. I had planned to disappear before anyone could see me, but I was too cold to wake up in time.

So I awoke to [a] gentle voice welcoming me in for a fresh cup of coffee. He didn’t shoo me away as if I was a feral cat. He didn’t call the cops.

He didn’t ignore me, and he didn’t charge a dime for the most nourishing cuppa ever brewed. He treated me with compassion and respect as if I was a likable human being.

And it was warm inside. [The Chef] was humming away in the kitchen, music was playing,
and it was warm.
It was warm.
It was warm.

They gave me food. I ate. [The manager] insisted on giving me his own breakfast that day: enough for extra to provide sustenance later.

Now it’s time to give back.