On Rock Community Services and the food bank have opened a prepaid cafe called Le Spot in Pierrefonds to help better serve the community.
The organization was forced to tear down its part-time restaurant to create more space for its food bank warehouse during the COVID-19 pandemic due to a 35 percent increase in demand.
After moving to Pierrefonds Plaza, On Rock president Kim Piers plans to eventually run the cafe full-time, after volunteer Jason Wright told him the neighborhood lacked a nice place to get a cup of coffee.
Operating under the same umbrella as the food bank, there are no fixed prices and customers can “pay what they can” or “advance.”
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For President Kim Piers, giving back to the community is at the heart of Le Spot.
“A mom can come here with her son, and maybe she can pay for lunch for him, but he’s not going to eat anything… well, you know what? We can make that happen, ”he said.
They are serving both breakfast and lunch, and a local baker has volunteered to bake the buns.
With the help of other community organizations, Piers also plans to offer cooking lessons to low-income families and people with special needs.
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He wants everyone to feel welcome at Le Spot and that diners are not ashamed to need help.
“We have worked very hard to be community-centered and make sure our focus is there, restoring dignity to low-income people in our area,” he said.
Thriftit, a thrift store next to the cafe, is run by Piers’ daughter and also belongs to the On Rock organization.
He stressed the importance of both locations looking like boutiques.
“We wanted to create an atmosphere where people come in and feel good about being there,” said Piers.
Le Spot is only open part-time for now, but Piers hopes to have it running full-time in the future.
The cafe’s inauguration charity event to raise funds and awareness of the new services on offer had to be canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions.
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