Spark is an incredibly adorable community cafe in downtown Versailles, KY and quickly becoming one of my new favorite places to eat.
What is a community cafe, you ask? These are local eateries, usually working for the goal of One World Everybody Eats. These are nonprofit cafes where everyone can come in and eat, then decide what to pay when they're done. This allows those who can't afford to eat to be able to live and eat with dignity. The cafes usually source most or all food from local farmers and the surrounding communities to help support the local economy. Many of them have buffet components that allow patrons to decide what and how much they eat, creating a healthy environment with less food waste.
Spark embodies all of that stated above. They pride themselves in being "a farm-to-table, pay-what-you-can eatery", and their staple statement is "food with dignity". There is a suggested price on all food, but if you can't make that then it's no problem. "If your pockets are full, pay-it-forward. If your pockets are light, pay what you can. If your pockets are empty, volunteer in exchange for your meal." All tips and donations go to helping provide cards for food to those who can't afford them, and the cafe encourages the use by all people to allow discretion and dignity in payments.
Spark sources their food from multiple local farmers to promote supporting the local community. The list of the farms and their stories is featured on the Spark site here. Because of the local sourcing, Spark cooks to the seasons. This provides an incredible variety of food every time you visit. In addition to locally sourcing, they compost all they can to minimize waste on the back end.
The food at Spark is nothing short of the most incredible food ever. When I first visited the cafe, I got to try one of their cheesecake cups and honestly have been craving it ever since. The last time I visited, I ate from their amazing brunch buffet. Waffles made in front of you, meat choices, local vegetables, potato hash, biscuits and gravy, really everything you could ever want. I'm excited to head back in soon and check out their dinner menu that is currently featuring house salads, pizzas, soups and sandwiches with local bread, meat entrees, and locally sourced sides.
The Giving back:
As much as I love food, this is really my favorite part of Spark. Outside of the cooks, Spark is completely volunteer run. This allows them to really put maximum money and time into helping the food insecure. And honestly, the volunteering is super fun! I volunteered with a couple other local bloggers (bluegrassblog, kentuckygirlramblings) and we spent our afternoons interacting with the locals and helping them as best we could. Serving sounds like an intimidating job, but everyone understands that you're a volunteer and is incredibly kind. It was incredible to see the inner workings of the cafe and get to help keep them running. I honestly woke up on the wrong side of the bed that morning, but left feeling 1000% better just from the wonderful time I had there. And of course, it never hurts that you can grab a bite when you're done volunteering! If nothing else here motivates you to check out the opportunity, let the free food draw you in!
All in all, Spark is an incredible community resource that we here in Central Kentucky are so lucky to have. They are truly doing some amazing work over there. If my raving has convinced you to check out the food, or maybe even help out around the place, be sure to check out their website, Facebook, and Instagram!