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As an actual employee of Cafe Gratitude, having worked for this company for five years, and having experienced the practices and mission of Cafe Gratitude in it's actually I would love to be heard. Negativity breeds negativity and everyone is looking for something to be a victim of, or someone/something to blame. Let me assure all readers that Cafe Gratitude is of the highest integrity and has the highest generosity of any employer I have ever worked for and is the most compassionate and truly wonderful company that I have ever come across.
Cafe Gratitude is a radical company that actually cares about all workers and created a context for all employees to share tips-- a revolutionary way to distribute the wealth that recognizes the work and impact of all workers in the kitchen. Because every item on the menu is made from scratch, that means that your pizza bread actually took 48 hours to make, not kidding. That's 48 hours of someone in the kitchen's time. The tips are shared to recognize that. I am grateful for a company that addresses the inequalities in the mainstream restaurant structures, and dared to break the norm on several accounts, to HELP employees and to revolutionize food, workers rights, and capitalism. I fully stand behind the owners as they are nothing but the kindest, most generous people, and they have put their money, their hearts, their land on the line. So much so that they don't even have a home on their property and live in a yurt. THERE IS NO PILE OF MONEY SITTING ANYWHERE. Every dollar went either to employees, our training, our health, our wages or farmers and local businesses with their integrous groundbreaking products, or they lowered the prices to make the food more affordable. There is no profit, nothing hiding. The owners have given this community their all.
This job has changed my life. This community has healed countless people around me both in body (cancer, MS, diabetes, depression and so much more) and soul (reuniting with parents, healing heartbreak wounds, inspiring the creation of countless other companies and organizations...).
What I can tell you is what is true for me, and true for hundreds of employees that work with this company, which is that we are deeply saddened by this news, and only wish that their 8 years of free Thanksgiving meals, 37,000+ annual organic meals given by donation, flexible healthcare and personal coaching/counseling is celebrated by the general community and news sources.
Local farmers that depend on us, employees who call this home, customers who couldn't afford healthy food until the "Grateful Bowl" came... we are all feeling a lot of loss and heartbreak. Please everyone, be mindful and respectful of the impact of your words. I request that readers and critics take a hard look and recognize that they don't actually know the facts, so please be humble in your "knowing" of how it is.
Employee quotes just today and yesterday as the news hit:
"Thank you for the amazing leaders you are for our community. We are forever changed." - M.V.
"Thank you for being a beautiful strong elder for me to respect and love! Thank you for the gifts of wisdom, time, and words you have shared with me, you make a difference in my life every day. I am so grateful that your crazy cafe project was so succesful for so long and that it awakened so many people to share their gifts. " -H.M.M
"I am very saddened by the news, it's almost impossible to believe that something so good be done this way. I am grateful for these 5 years of working with you, I and my family are very grateful to you by CAFE GRATITUDE" -L.S.
"M & T, we love you and what you've gifted us SO much and are SO VERY grateful at the miracle of getting to be a part of your vision which is only getting more bright and living in more hearts every day. Thank you for daring to LOVE so big that you've caused a revolution!" -Y.J.
"I hope that Cafe Gratitude employees come together and buy each location and keep it as beautiful in spirit, mission, and quality!" - S.S.B.
"I just want you and Matthew to know how grateful I am that I had an opportunity to be a Gratitude employee and to receive so many generous gifts and transformational opportunities. You guys created something the world has never seen and I hope you continue to share this with the world! I would happily stand up in court for you guys! Sending my love, gratitude, and appreciate for all you do!" -A.W.
"Your cafes have made such a huge impact on my life. The friends, support, love and of course good food I've experienced have been more than I can say in words. Just know that you have made a giant contribution to my happiness and well being, and that I love you!" -E.L.
"The past 7 years, at Cafe Gratitude, have been the best of my life. I got my sobriety. I stepped onto my spiritual path. I met my father after 31 years. I found my life partner. I have loving relationships with my ex's and all of my family members. I could go on and on and on! None of this would have been possible without the gift of GRATITUDE!" -B.S.
"Thank you for providing me the space, community, food, encouragement and imagination to create my life is the best ever! Thank you for helping me let that cancer leave my body. Thank you for supporting me in seeing how beautiful my family, friends and myself are. Thank you for EVERYTHING. I love you endlessly." -C.M.
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