Staff members and volunteers (at top and below) at the So Much to Give Inclusive Café worked for months to prepare for its wekend grand opening
CEDARS PA – A new restaurant specifically created to provide all people, including those with disabilities, with equal and inclusive opportunities to work, dine, socialize, volunteer, and learn observed its grand opening Saturday (Jan. 21, 2023) in Cedars by offering an afternoon public tour and evening dinner hours.
The So Much to Give Inclusive Café, 3401 W. Skippack Pike in the Historic Cedars Village plaza (at right), operates under the auspices of Pillars of Light and Love, a Collegeville-based non-profit. On hand for the ribbon-cutting opening ceremony were founders Kathy Opperman, Maureen Stanko, and Tyler Kammerle, who also will serve as the café’s general manager and systems coordinator.
The restaurant began with a soft opening last November, and has since dedicated time to training sessions for employees “eager to work” in what the organization calls its “unique” model. It provides employment, vocational, and social skill opportunities for persons with special needs and others with disabilities, and intends to “showcase the incredible abilities everyone has to offer,” it said.
Scheduled events Saturday and Sunday (Jan. 22) also featured state Rep. Matt Bradford, Miss Pennsylvania United States 2022 Allison Kratz, musician Michael Santiago, singers and performers Julia Miralles and her father, Joe; and The Ken Battista Duo, and the mobile “Coffee Closet by Barista Jake” McFarland, whose own business mission is similar to that of the restaurant.
Saturday tour visitors enjoyed a free dessert reception, too.
Online restaurant reservation scheduling service, TableAgent, describes the café menu as primarily American fare with Italian, Mexican, seafood, vegetarian, and dessert offerings, presented in a casual atmosphere. Its operating hours are Wednesday through Sunday for dinner from 4-8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for breakfast and lunch. Reservations are recommended.
Pillars of Light and Love was founded by Opperman in 2014. It focuses on life and stress management, and offers free workshops, social skills programs for those with disabilities, support groups for grief and addiction, and programs “to empower youth and adults to become the best version of themselves.” It also hosts “Kindness Projects” that involve community residents to serve the ill and others in need.
Photos provided by Pillars of Light and Love