So there is this brand new amazing coffee, breakfast and lunch spot in downtown Littleton! I heard about the Grace Full Community Cafe on the Highlands Ranch Word Of Mouth Facebook page. When I clicked on the link and read their story I knew I just wanted to see what it was all about and meet everyone involved so I signed up to volunteer. I gave up 2.5 hours of kid-free work time and headed over to volunteer in the kitchen. I was super nervous as I signed up for food prep and have absolutely no experience whatsoever in a kitchen... not even my own really....
So a bit about the cafe itself and their vision, also a link to their website at the bottom of this blog :)
"Our mission is to provide a home in the Littleton community where people of all backgrounds can gather, eat well and be inspired to give back. " - Grace Full Website
-Grace Full Website
Also on their site is a video from their kickstarter campaign to expand the kitchen of the house the cafe is in, go watch that!
So a bit of a backstory on why I just jumped at this opportunity. When I was in high school I volunteered everywhere... at first it was just to get my required community service hours and then it just became something that I loved that I continued through high school into college and later. Giving back and pouring into my community was something that came naturally and I've been on the hunt for something to fill that hole in my heart for the last year or so.
I parked my car and headed towards the front door. When I walked in, Heather, the owner and the reason Grace Full exists greeted me with open arms. She was so happy I was there, gave me a quick tour and sent me back into the kitchen. I just figured I'd be chopping up vegetables or something, I was clueless, but instead I stood next to Laura the director of operations and executive chef.... eeeek! She told me all the names of things (which I felt immediately went in one ear and right out the other) I think I was on the cold station or something... I'm sure if she reads this she'll have a good laugh :). She guided me on how to "plate" food haha and I learned to put together the special of the day, weigh out salad greens and put together salads. We also made hummus from scratch, learned how to brine chicken and she showed me how to make their house dressing, a balsamic vinaigrette!
I 100% felt out of my element... I mean I was in a kitchen making food for people!!! If you didn't know once when I was in college I almost set my kitchen on fire because I didn't know my oven had a "clean mode" and was cooking muffins and accidentally switched the oven lock and had to phone a friend to come save me. Don't worry I've become a pretty decent baker since. Laura was calm, patient with a great sense of humor and such an amazing teacher. By the time my volunteer shift had come to and end I was able to take a ticket, fulfill a salad order and send it out without her help.... although I find it hard to yell "order up" or "hands" still... ha I'll get better.
There were 2 other volunteers there at the same time as me, a server and a dishwasher. Next Tuesday, I'll be a dishwasher, just because that was the only shift available but I can't wait to be there and just be around people trying to create this amazing sense of belonging and community in our backyard.
Before I left I ate lunch there and OOOH it was SO SO yummy and really the perfect portion size too! I had quinoa, grilled chicken, cucumber salad, and homemade hummus (my homemade hummus). It was delicious! They have a coffee bar with a staffed barista so I will definitely have to try their coffee next time and maybe even breakfast too. I can't wait to spend more and more time at the cafe and meeting more people in the community.
The whole thing was such a great experience and I couldn't imagine not sharing my experience with others... of course I love my hidden gems but this one is just meant to be shared. I made a trip back out last night just to take some photos for this blog post so I hope you go, open up your hearts and be fulfilled just like I was. Go eat, go volunteer, go have coffee just be in the presence of Heather and her staff trying to better our community.
Grace Full Community Cafe
Downtown Littleton: 5610 S. Curtice Street Littleton, CO 80120
Hours of operation will be from 6:30 am – 2:00 pm, Tuesday – Saturday