“The Phoenix Café grew out of Esperanza Health Center and its vision. Esperanza Health Center knows that health and wellness extend far beyond the exam room. The first step to leading a healthy life is eating a good, nutritious diet. Phoenix Café is serving as a conduit to provide healthy, fresh, affordable food options for the patients, staff, and the surrounding community to help improve overall health.
The café originally opened to the public in June 2012, and served breakfast, lunch, and snack items during Esperanza’s weekday clinic hours. Since 2015, the café has sold over 88,000 healthy food items, which translates to thousands of people making healthier food choices over the last 4 years. The café is also a space where the community can come together, since quality community interaction is vital for a neighborhood to flourish. We create our spaces to be inviting and to encourage community interactions and networking
Many people have asked why we are called Phoenix Café. Here is the backstory behind the name:
Our name is based on the symbolism of the Phoenix. The Phoenix is a bird that obtains new life by rising from its ashes. We are a faith-based organization and see the clear connection between this symbol and Christ rising from the dead. It also speaks to the neighborhoods in which we work and live. Outsiders might just see something worthless, but we know that there is beauty and restoration happening, bringing forth new life and vibrancy from the ashes.
The name also came from our gratitude to our neighbors at Kensington. Esperanza Health Center has been serving the Kensington community for over ten years. In 2016, Esperanza Health Center received a vision to expand its presence in Kensington by building a health and wellness campus, starting at the corner of Kensington and Allegheny. Thanks to community support and partnership, Esperanza Health Center was able to acquire a large lot on the same block as the Kensington Trust Building. The neighbors reclaimed the lot after the existing warehouse burnt down and rallied together to repurpose it for community use. They named it Phoenix Park because something beautiful was created from the ashes of the warehouse. The name Phoenix café is an acknowledgment of this gift from the community. It lets them know this café is for them!”
Find out more about Esperanza Health Center at http://www.EsperanzaHealth.com