This project started with love and a big dream: the dream of making local foods convenient and accessible to all! Concretely, it would look like a market filled with nutritious and affordable products, sourced as locally as possible, and a cafe that offered prepared dishes using those same high quality ingredients. The market is no longer simply a dream but will actually open later this spring. The cafe, with community support, hopes to also open this spring. Together they will be The Local Food Market & Cafe!
Help Whole Heart Cafe, Cortland’s first local food cafe, come into bloom this spring. While our community has a myriad of restaurants and local producers - the two have yet to come together in a substantial way. We believe that the time has come! The Local Food Market (LFM) is the brain child of Chastity Mydlenski, owner of OMG Health Food Store in Homer.
The LFM will be a full-service grocery store that sources products as locally as possible. As a life-long community member, dedicated mother and wife, Chastity is committed to ensuring that all residents have access to nutritious foods that support the well-being of our community. Long time community member, Sheila Cohen has supported and invested in the LFM and is part-owner, helping this project move along. Whole Heart Cafe (the cafe part of the LFM) will be run by Sara Watrous, and co-owned by her and Chastity. As the former Program Coordinator for Sustainable Cortland, Sara dedicated herself for several years to supporting local producers and creating a more sustainable future for our community. Sara is passionate about preparing nutritious and delicious foods sourced from area producers. She is looking forward to serving our community for many years to come!
So far the LFM has purchased the building and is amidst renovation. Most of the expenses of starting the cafe will come the co-owners and loans, but the amount is short of their total need. In order to raise the difference, they are turning to the very community they are looking to support, by raising funds through an Indiegogo campaign. Indiegogo is a crowdfunding site that allows entrepreneurs, artists, and anyone with an idea, to raise funds through small contributions from family, friends, and complete strangers who discover projects through the site. Contributors are rewarded with "perks." For Whole Heart Cafe's campaign, contributors are rewarded with cafe specials, local products, bumper stickers, kids cooking class, local food reception and more!
In 2013, projects around the globe raised nearly $6 billion through crowdfunding. Whole Heart Cafe’s goal is a more modest $15,000 and the funding will assist in the purchasing of kitchen equipment.