A Place at the Table Cafe: Helping the Underprivileged

A volunteer at A Place at the Table. She is making coffee at the front table where people order. (Photo permission of Maggie Kane)

A Place at the Table is a cafe that is the perfect brunch place. 

They sell eggs, sandwiches, avocado toast, and they allow you to choose your own dish based on a list of ingredients such as bacon, sausages, avocados, buttermilk biscuit, waffles, etc.  

The cafe opened in January of 2018, and was a hit, not just because of the delicious food, but because they made a coin system to help benefit underprivileged people who live near there. 

The system is pretty simple: Once a customer orders and pays, the workers give them the choice to buy a coin, usually worth about as much as one meal.

A chalk board of positive statistics. It shows the meals made, meals given, people paying it forward, equalling, biscuits eaten, delicious coffee drank, Turkey bacon avocados, and cinnamon rolls. (Photo permission of Maggie Kane)

“We believe that all people should have access to good and affordable food… and all have a space together,” said Maggie Kane, the Founder and Executive Director of A Place at the Table, via text.

While Thorne and Kane were working out, they noticed that there was an intoxicated man outside their gym looking for something and seemed agitated. 

Kane went to go talk to him and after a while he left.

“I didn’t hear the words but saw that he left shortly after,” said Thorne, via text.  “After bootcamp, I asked Maggie how she handled it. She said she recognized him as a homeless person that lives in a tent near Rex hospital. She has seen him at APATT [a place at the table].

“She reintroduced herself to him and encouraged him to go back and sleep for a few hours. She told him to come see her at 9 AM so she could give him some breakfast from APATT to soak up some of the alcohol and to get some attention from the team there.  She [Maggie Kane]  has such a gift for reaching out to people and to building immediate trust…,” said Thorne, via email

This just shows how helpful the restaurant and community is, but also that the coworkers are dependable and reliable too.


Some of the volunteers at APATT. None of them are getting paid for their hard work, they are just in it to help the community. (Photo permission of Maggie Kane)

Not only have they gathered about 47,000 hours of volunteer work, they also collected more than $262,000 from people who wanted to pay for someone else’s meal.

Great food, great service (volunteers), and great people all around. It would be helpful if you visit to pass it forward to pay for other people to have a meal,” said Dwayne D. on Yelp a review.

If you want to contribute to the community and to pay it forward, you can also become a volunteer and work there, and you can take peoples orders or be a waiter/waitress.

APATT also supports fellow businesses such as Black and White Coffee Roasters, a black-owned local business that sells amazing coffee that you can drink in either their store, but APATT sells it too as a show of support.

A Place at the Table overall makes amazing food, pays it back to the community and feeds underprivileged people, and supports other businesses. If you want to check it out their address is 300 W Hargett St #50, Raleigh, NC 27601


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