This summer, the Port Café celebrated its 1st birthday! Yes, that’s right folks, we have been bringing the Port community together around food for a year, and we hope for many more years to come
At The Port Café’s second leadership retreat, we came together to share our thoughts, experiences and constructive feedback on our past events and our hopes for future ones.
We also assembled with a trusted ally and friend Ari Pliskin of Unity Tables, who facilitated the discussion and assisted us to figure out our leadership structure for The Port Café moving forward.
It was important for us to maintain some of the roles initially appointed when the Port Cafe began, and also incorporate new members into leadership positions. We formally decided to name ourselves the Port Cafe board, and elected folks into different roles.
We are excited about our new appointments, and most importantly our upcoming events for the fall! Here are the leadership results from our retreat:
Co –Chairs: Renae and Abe
Logistics: Cleola, Joan, Marian
Program: Abe, Renae, Tracy & Romaine
Business: Cleola, Erin, Joan, Romaine and Tracy
Communications: Cleola & Joan
We held our first Port Café Meal under our new leadership structure at Pentecostal Tabernacle church on Monday, June 29th . We celebrated our local community gardeners from the Port community and were grateful for ample food contributions from Food For Free. Each member of the Port Café team and other communities members contributed delicious dishes as well. We transformed the church’s basement into a gardener’s utopia with all the garden themed decorations and plants and flowers in the space. The dinner was a great success with over 35 people in attendance; it was a multi-ethnic and an intergenerational gathering. Our central question for the evening was, “What do you hope to see grow in Cambridge?” Responses ranged from “more peace” to “affordable housing” to “cultivating food.”
Our second meal under our new structure took place on Sept. 21 and offered the theme of “Plentitude,” a continuation of our theme from the previous meal. We are proud to have some Port Cafe “regulars” and more and more people are running into people they already know when they come to our meals!
Stay tuned for news from the Business committee soon...is a brick-and-mortar cafe in the works for the Port Cafe?
The Port Cafe, as an organization that recognizes the inherent wealths of all people, is proud to support an emerging movement in Cambridge to ensure that Black lives matter in our community. Please join "Black Lives Matters in Cambridge" for their march at 6:00pm on Jan. 21st and then follow us to the danger!awesome underground space at 645 Mass. ave for food (sponsored by the Port Cafe) and dialogue about how we can create a Cambridge in which Black lives matter every day. See flyer below for all the details and RSVP here.
On Monday, July 28th, we were proud to organize our first potluck meal as the Port Cafe. Our meal took place at the Margaret Fuller House, and our neighbors delivered--green salads, wontons, pilaf, corn bread, caprese salad, cookies, pizza, and even a personalized "Port Cafe?" cake (the question mark refers to the tentative nature of our cafe name).
The 27 neighbors who attended were mostly people who work and live in the Port/Area IV. Some people reunited with people they hadn't seen in a long time. Everyone had the opportunity to meet someone new. Two neighbors realized that they had lived in the same building for years but had never spoken to one another until now!
We discussed where the idea for the Port Cafe came from and watched a publicity video for the Stone Soup Cafe in Greenfield, MA., which currently operates a pay-what-you-can cafe. Guests spoke about their own reasons for coming to this first meal, and revealed their own hopes for our neighborhood. We brought up more questions than we answered, but the creative energy was palpable.
Now, we are in the process of forming a leadership team to continue the work of refining the mission and logistics of the Port Cafe. That team will also begin the work of planning for the next Port Cafe, which will take place on August 28th at a location which is to be determined.
If you'd like to join us on August 28th from 6:00-8:00PM, please click here to RSVP. Hope to see you there!