When customers satisfy their hunger at Conscious Eatery, they're feeding into a deeper purpose.
"Conscious Eatery is a philanthropic sandwich shop,” said founder Cierra Laub. "We don't think the city can do it alone. It takes all kinds to help out."
When customers "make it a meal" (add a side of soup or chips and a drink to their sandwich for $3,) Conscious Eatery prepares and donates a complete meal for someone in need.
"It's all made with love, the same love with the people who come in and pay," said co-founder Chaz Rowlan.
“And it's just best feeling,” Laub added. “Knowing that guests are being fed, as well as somebody who didn't expect to be fed."
Their team has handed out more than 6,000 sandwiches over the past year, both on the street and through partnering non-profits.
Like the menu inside their restaurant, the donations are made using locally-sourced and quality products like Charlie's Produce, Grand Central Bakery, and Mustard and Co.
Rowlan and Chaz could simply donate money to help fight hunger, but they want to make connections through one-on-one interactions. It comes from a deeply personal place.
"What's really special to me about handing out these meals is the fact that my father was actually homeless,” Laub said. “My father, brother, and sister were homeless. (Now,) my brother and sister work here with me, and that's really special to us."
Rowlan hopes their idea helps inspire other local, purpose-driven businesses.
"You can run a sustainable business, you can have fun while doing it, and you can change the community every single day,” Rowlan said.
Conscious Eatery is located at 5620 6th Ave. South and is open from 7:30 am – 3 pm, Monday through Friday.
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