On Rock Community Services officially opens pay-it-forward cafe in Montreal

Click to play video: 'Pierrefonds community food bank opens up cafe'
Pierrefonds community food bank opens up cafe
WATCH: On Rock Community Services and food bank in Montreal's Pierrefonds neighbourhood opened up Le Spot, a community cafe where people pay what they can. Global's Olivia O'Malley has more – Oct 16, 2021

On Rock Community Services launched its newest expansion Saturday in Pierrefonds, in Montreal’s West Island. Fresh brewed coffee was a popular choice at the charity’s cafe, Le Spot, at the grand opening.

“Coffee’s great,” said customer Peter Oland. “And it’s nice to know that there’s a community organization that’s working here in the Roxboro area.”

According to On Rock Community Services President Kim Reid, the West Island food bank has grown 30 per cent since the start of the pandemic, with new families joining every week. In order to increase storage, he bought the space next door.

“Our original diner was in the warehouse, so we figured if we took it out, we’d get 2,000 more square feet of warehouse and we got a good deal on this property,” said Reid.

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Volunteer Geoffrey Wright approached Reid with the idea. He saw a need in the area for a coffee shop that acts as a refuge from the pressures of everyday life.

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“The whole reason for us being here is to promote love for our neighbour and generosity in the community and create a space of hospitality,” said Wright.

Everything on the menu is pay-what-you-can. Customers are encouraged to “spot it” forward by purchasing a drink or meal for someone who may need it.

“We have stickers that you can put on there (the menu board) that show you what item you can redeem,” said Wright.

Le Spot is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The kitchen serves breakfast and lunch. Menu items include baked goods, breakfast sandwiches and burgers and fries, which customers are already enjoying.

“It’s delicious,” said Giordano Deschamps, who ate breakfast with his mom, Connie Bottaro.

“It’s a simple breakfast, hearty, it’ll fill you up and you know, it’s prepared by good people,” said Bottaro.

The cafe’s decor is purposeful to welcome people from all walks of life who may not always eat at restaurants.

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“It looks like it’s for everybody. And that’s a little dignity, bringing a little dignity back to their lives. Hopefully,” said Reid.

He hopes other community groups will also use the space, in order to better serve the West Island.

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