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Fair Trade Cafe's New Community Kitchen Concept

August 29, 2014 by Fara Illich

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Healthy nourishing foods can be delicious too, according to Stephanie Vasquez, owner of Fair Trade Cafe. She introduced a new all-organic culinary concept August 18 at the Civic Space Park location, which is now called the Fair Trade Community Kitchen.

It started as an idea that blossomed between two friends who share a love of healthy food and a desire to help their community through food awareness. Vasquez and fellow foodie Ingrid Hirtz, founder of the online meal service Community Cuisine, worked together on the new Fair Trade Community Kitchen menu, which features an array of flavorful vegetarian and organic dishes, with many vegan and gluten-free choices.

steph“I want this to be a community space where local food artists come together,” Vasquez said. “We need a lot more collaboration.”

With specialties like Thai Summer Rolls with homemade peanut sauce and Teriyaki Un-Bowls with tofu and steamed vegetables, it’s a big change from the traditional cafe fare still served at the Fair Trade Cafe First Avenue location near Roosevelt Street.

Depending on its success, the all-organic vegetarian menu may be adopted at both locations.

“I feel that organic is just the right way to serve,” Vasquez said.

In addition to a new menu and new composting program, Fair Trade Community Kitchen now hosts a vegetarian pay-as-you-can meal every Sunday at 6 p.m.  These “community dinners” are completely donation-based and provide healthy nourishing meals to everyone from ASU students to the homeless.

Expanding community meals to two days per week and working with other “food artists” in the community are just some of Vasquez’ goals for the cafe. Stop in for breakfast, lunch or an organic fair trade coffee from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday.