Despite a plan for location, the cafe still has a long ways to go before opening day can arrive.
Jessica Parks, Take Root Cafe founder and board president, says the start-up cost will be about $80,000. Parks says to date, the cafe has raised about $4,000. Parks says the $80,000 will help transform the kitchen at Pickler’s into a space more suitable for the cafe.
“The kitchen in Pickler’s isn’t a full kitchen,” Parks says. “There’s a lot of necessary equipment purchases we’ll need to make.”
Parks says in addition to updating the kitchen, she would like to see some couches and coffee tables in addition to the tables and chairs already in the location. She says she hopes to add a kids’ corner and a bookshelf to give the cafe an overall cozy vibe.
In addition to renovating the space, Parks says the start-up money will go towards a sign, an iPad register system, food inventory, and beginning wages for staff.
Parks says prior to opening day, they may continue to host events at Pickler’s and put event proceeds towards the cafe. Parks says she has applied for a Rural Business Development Grant through the USDA for $20,000.
“If people resonate with this idea, and if people think this is something important for our community to have, then we really need support financially,” Parks says. Parks says if financial donation is not an option, the cafe is looking for support in whatever ways people may be able to provide.
Parks says the cafe will be hosting an open forum on February 28 to hear ideas from community members. Parks says she hopes this will be a way to encourage more people to get involved with the cafe.
“This is a community cafe,” Parks says. “We want it to be for the community…by the community.”
Senior Kaitlyn Meyer says the Environmental Campus Organization is hoping to host a local foods dinner as a fundraiser for the cafe. Meyer says she encourages other Truman students to get involve with the cafe. She says the Truman Take Root group, for any students interested in volunteering, will be meeting 6 p.m. Tuesdays in Magruder 2050. Meyer says there is a possibility of the cafe having internships available for students.
“The internships could range from things like gardening to helping out with social media,” Meyer says. “It’s really nice that people from different majors can plug in and it doesn’t necessarily have to be related to food or the environment.”
Senior Chloe Jackson says she has been involved with Take Root Cafe since it was in the early stages of planning.
“I thought what [Jessica Parks] was doing was really inspiring,” Jackson says. “It was meeting a really important need in the community.”
Jackson says she encourages Truman students to get involved as a way to give back to the community. She says organizations are also encouraged to get involved with the cafe.
Senior Becca Elder says she chose to get involved because she found the idea exciting.
“We don’t have any cafes like this in Missouri,” Elder says. “The fact that someone wants to start one here in Kirksville and that they need so much help to get started, I definitely wanted to be part of that.”