By CHRISTOPHER AMATI
A new café inside University Church, 5655 S. University Ave., not only offers coffee but something to think about.
Sanctuary Café will have a soft opening on March 31, and an official opening on April 3. Describing itself as a vibrant, art and sweets destination the café will not only serve beverages it will serve as an organizing space for justice advocacy as well. Their areas of concern include immigration, gender issues, racial awareness and wage justice. In keeping with that theme, all employees will make at least $15 an hour and the café will only sell fair trade coffee.
The café will also serve food prepared by award-winning executive chef and multimedia artist Edward Cabral, the café will offer sweets and savory dishes. It will source most of its food within one hundred miles of Hyde Park and compost its waste with local farmers.
Stories Connect, an organization that produces socially aware podcasts and conversational pieces, will be operating the café, according to Rev. Julian DeShazier, the senior pastor of University Church. DeShazier is a well-known speaker, hip-hop artist and filmmaker.
The café will also demonstrate its commitment to social justice by serving as a training ground for “opportunity youth.” These are young people who are considered at risk and are neither in school or working and have had traumatic life events.
The café will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will be closed Saturday and Sunday.