Pay-what-you-can cafe raising money to open on Hillsborough Street

Organizers for A Place at the Table, a pay-what-you-can cafe, have launched a fundraising campaign with hopes of opening on Raleigh’s Hillsborough Street next August.

The 1,800-square-foot cafe will be located at 2510 Hillsborough St., on the first floor of the Hillsborough Lofts, a student apartment complex being built across from N.C. State University.

Maggie Kane is the executive director of A Place at the Table, which she describes as “pay-what-you-can nonprofit cafe that is providing community and healthy food for all people regardless of means.”

Kane said this will be the second pay-what-you-can nonprofit cafe in the state; the other is F.A.R.M. Cafe in Boone, N.C. There are about 50 such cafes in the United States and Europe. The model has gained ground in the United States with help from Utah-based One World Everybody Eats Foundation. Founder Denise Cerreta opened her pay-what-you-can restaurant in 2003 and helped open the Boone restaurant in 2012.

The cafe will serve healthy meals that are affordable to all and hopefully foster community in the process. The organization’s website says, “We have soup kitchens, we have nice restaurants, but we do not have a place that brings us all together to eat.”

Kane said the group’s long-term goal is to raise $100,000 but the short-term crowdfunding goal is $25,000, which will help secure the rent and allow them to sign the lease. So far, they have raised $7,300. Their fundraising campaign will end in early November, according to Kane.

To read more about the project and contribute, go to

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