Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Healthy World Cafe moving, expanding hours

By ERIN JAMES 505-5439/@ydcity York Dispatch - March 5, 2014

A unique York City restaurant that offers locally sourced food at a pay-what-you-can price is planning to significantly expand its hours.  Healthy World Cafe also is moving to a new location.

Starting in June, the nonprofit staffed almost entirely by volunteers will be open five days a week at 24 S. George St.  "It's been part of the plan all along to be able to open full time," said Liza Naylor, the cafe's kitchen manager.  The cafe has been operating from the kitchen at First Moravian Church, 41 N. Duke St., for about two years. The volunteer-run nonprofit serves lunch once a month.

Details are still being worked out for the move. But the cafe will probably be open Monday through Friday for about three hours during lunchtime, Naylor said.  Depending on how things go, the cafe could expand to offer breakfast and First Friday dinners, she said.

Donations sought:

Recently, Healthy World Cafe signed a lease with the owner of the South George Street property. Before the move, Naylor said, the cafe is trying to raise $150,000.  Donations of kitchen equipment are also needed, she said.

For obvious reasons, the cafe will need more volunteers. But, Naylor said, she thinks Yorkers are up to the challenge.  "Our volunteers have so much fun. We really get close and we become a family," she said. "Food is just one of those things that everybody can get into, no matter what your background."

Often, folks looking for a decent meal at little cost find a way to give back through a few hours of volunteer work at the cafe, Naylor said.  Still, she said, about 80 percent of the cafe's customers pay for their meal.

The food:

Healthy World Cafe will continue its mission of providing mostly organic and local food. Regular menu items will include soups, salads, egg dishes "and then whatever else is in season," Naylor said.  "We farm in York County, and so there's no better way to celebrate that than to use the local farms," Naylor said. "There's quite a movement toward real food and slow food and things that are made entirely from scratch. People want to learn, so they come in to volunteer sometimes just to learn how to do this."

The cafe will also continue to offer vegetarian and vegan options, Naylor said.  "We believe that meat is very important, but it's not half the plate," she said.

To volunteer or donate to Healthy World Cafe, email

— Reach Erin James at

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