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When Matthew and Terces Engelhart first became sweethearts, they promised to live their lives together following and trusting intuition. Resulting from that commitment was an initial guidance to create a board game and after a year of development, the Abounding River Game was introduced. Abounding River is an interactive way of practicing "being" Abundance in your life. The accompanying Abounding River Logbook is a 42-day practice that's shared with a partner and is meant to guide each individual through exercises in practicing focused attention on qualities we all aspire to: Love & Acceptance, Generosity, Worth, Gratitude, and Creation or Responsibility. Once the game was complete, Matthew and Terces agreed that it would be wonderful to offer a place where people could gather, eat and play the game. Coincidentally, while on their farm in Maui, Terces read a book about live foods and was so inspired she asked Matthew to eat 'live' for 30 days. At the end of the month, they felt so good they decided to create the café and the idea for the first Café Gratitude was born and shortly thereafter, they opened up on 20th and Harrison Streets in San Francisco as a live foods Café.
We choose to work in partnership with vendors, customers, and the community in making choices that support the environment we share. Plastic containers & water bottles have been eliminated from our retail store and we often request that new & treasured vendors repackage their products in cellophane, or glass just for us. But that's just a start. Here's just a short list of environmental commitments to which we're steadfastly loyal:
* If the organic variety of produce is not available, we do not choose conventional.
We use non bleached 100% cotton cloths for napkins that, after used, are sent to become rags in the auto industry. This creates an additional life for that product and eliminating the use of harmful chemicals like bleach for laundering.
* We filter our own water at all locations.
* All our food scraps are composted and are often sent to the Be Love Farm in Vacaville.
* We recycle our paper and cardboard.
* Our dishes are washed with the most environmentally-friendly products.
* All of our books, private labels, administrative documents and our menus are printed on recycled paper with soy based ink.
* We take pride in our high standards, and we thank you for every dollar you share with us, further empowering our investment in the environment.
The community we have built is inspirational and we thank you for being a part of it. The gratuity that you offer your server is then shared with every hourly employee who worked that day. This means that every baker, dishwasher, kitchen line, bartender, host, and food prep share in the generosity you bestow on your server. You not only provide for one, you provide for all. We have made it a practice to help one another in times of financial challenge and personal growth, during addiction recovery, healing from disease, repairing a car or replacing a stolen bicycle. We support one another's artistic performances, share housing and even transportation. By experiencing the power of community, we take care of each other, knowing that the same support is available in return. Imagine EVERYONE working in an environment where, everyday, you are celebrated and held as nothing short of amazing, able to work in an environment where every day you are created as great!
BE LOVE AT THE FARM:
Be Love Farm is nestled in between the hills in Pleasant Valley, CA and is an extension of the Café Gratitude Sacred Commerce experiment. On 21 acres of organic farmland, We live in community and practice a sustainable lifestyle while growing food using\the biodynamic method (as prescribed by Rudolph Steiner in 1924). On this rich alluvial soil, we grow fruits, nuts, vegetables, melons, greens, herbs, and citrus supplying Café Gratitude with an ever increasing supply. Please ask your server about what produce is currently coming from Be Love. Currently, we are planting new trees, and building structures for housing and food storage. We are in the beginning stages of creating an apprenticeship program where participants live in an awakened community while producing food in a mindful and sustainable way. We are up for inspiring an agrarian renaissance.
CAFE GRATITUDE AS A SCHOOL OF TRANSFORMATION AND A EXPERIMENT IN SACRED COMMERCE.
Café Gratitude is an experiment in a business model called Sacred Commerce where an atmosphere of transformation is created in the work environment. At Cafe Gratitude, all employees are signing themselves up for a curriculum of practicing "being" that their life is great now. It is a practice in how life transforms when a community focuses on the qualities of Love, Spirit, The Divine. Each day, we practice shifting our attention to love and acceptance, gratitude, generosity, abundance, and the privilege of serving others. This is the context of our work. A Sacred Commerce business is a safe container of unconditional love where transparency is encouraged and held as a courageous act . Employees partake in a "Clearing" process before each shift to distinguish how the habitual mind is creating separation from our experience of oneness. This way, employees choose to be present and engaged in sacred service with our customers. The "Question Of The Day" is a vital part of the clearing and is something we share with our customers as well. We know that our Sacred Commerce view is just our perspective. We don't claim it as the truth because we understand there are many valid views of life and business. This is simply the one we are practicing as an ever-evolving experiment. We do, however, see amazing results. Every day, we hear about miracles, personal growth, healing and deepened connections throughout our community. Yes, we love and appreciate the opportunity to open our doors seven days a week and serve the best organic food available, but even more we are inspired by the awakening of our collective consciousness. Standing in the possibility that we are responsible for our experience of life, we encourage our community to focus their attention on qualities that inspire and empower, not just at work, but in all areas of their lives. Founders Matthew and Terces offer monthly workshops on ‘being abundance,' fulfilling love's promise in relationship and Sacred Commerce. Bi-annually, they offer yoga, live food retreats and workshops on their organic farm on Maui, and are also available for workshops and trainings with private groups and businesses. Please visit www.cafegratitude.com/workshops for more information. The Engelharts have now published 5 books: The Abounding River Logbook, I am Grateful, Sweet Gratitude, Sacred Commerce, and most recently Plenty of Time, our creative daily planner.