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Taste of the Month: Now open a year, Good Day Café is serving tasty local food and beverages while meeting a need in the community

by on August 30, 2019 11:00 AM

Good days start with coffee and a breakfast burrito from Good Day Café in State College.

More than just a great place to grab a cup of coffee, it’s a unique customer service experience. Customers are always greeted with a smile, and during an upsell challenge at the register, don’t be surprised if you are warmheartedly persuaded to add chips or a side with your chicken panni sandwich. 

Opened in August 2018, Good Day Café, located at 286 West Hamilton Avenue, is a nonprofit coffee shop employing adults with intellectual disabilities. In response to the 80-percent unemployment rate for people with intellectual disabilities and mental health diagnoses, the 49-seat coffee shop was developed by Strawberry Fields, a human services agency providing support to children and adults with a wide range of disabilities and needs.

Inspired by Bitty & Beau, a coffee shop in Wilmington, North Carolina, that also employs people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Strawberry Fields saw the potential for something similar here in State College. Widespread community support and a $100,000 Centre Inspires grant through Centre Foundation helped make Good Day Café a reality.

“Good Day Café now has 19 employees and serves various local products such as specialty coffee and espresso drinks made with Rothrock Coffee, Spectral Tea, fruit smoothies, as well as breakfast and lunch items,” says manager Sharyn Angle.

Popular specialty drinks include a white-chocolate-strawberry mocha and the chai latte.

Open 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 8 a.m to 2 p.m. Sunday, breakfast is served all day. Stop in for a ham and cheese breakfast burrito with melted cheddar and salsa, a bowl of baked oatmeal with steamed milk, a yogurt parfait with granola, or a vegetable or meat strata – baked eggs, bread, and cheese casserole.

The lunch menu lists several kinds of paninis, including chicken with tomato-pesto aioli, grilled ham with cheese, cheese with pickled onion, tuna melt, and white bean. Seasonal soups and sides are also available.

The café also partners with Taproot Kitchen, another State College nonprofit that provides culinary opportunities for individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities.

Upcoming for the fall season, some of the menu items will be adjusted to the colder weather and feature heartier salads and soups, as well as pumpkin spice specialty drinks.

For catering or to place an advance order, call (814) 954-5277. For more information, check out Good Day Café on Facebook and visit gooddaycafe.org.

With the purchase of a panini, mention this Town&Gown article and receive a 50-percent discounted Good Day Cafe-made side (potato, cucumber, or wild green salad). This offer does NOT include soups.

Vilma Shu is an editorial consultant for Town&Gown.

 

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