Knead Community Cafe in New Kensington is offering a interesting concept for their customers – a meal without the bill.
At Knead Community Cafe, customers can order a grilled cheese BLT that comes with a small bowl of wedding soup and a side salad. The best part about the meal though is that it doesn’t come with a check. Instead of a bill, co-founders Kevin and Mary Bode are asking guests to give an $8 donation, if they can.
“The mission is twofold,” Bode said. “To offer wholesome, healthy foods – we believe that everyone is entitled to healthy, wholesome foods – and to eat with respect and dignity.”
Although it’s a bit unusual, the idea is very simple. Those who can pay should; and those who can’t don’t have to. If customers feel they can pay more cash then the suggested donation, the owners hope they will. And vice versa, if customers can’t pay the bill, then no donation is required.
Customers who can’t afford to pay will also have the option to volunteer their time working at the restaurant if they are able. Knead Community Cafe general manager Chanda Moyes called the program, “a ‘hand-up,’ not a handout.”
“This is going to be a catalyst, not only for the community, to make it feel more than what it has been in the last years, but it’s going to bring business in, it’s going to bring professionals in,” Moyes said. “It’s going to give people a stationary establishment of what could be done here. We don’t have to be stagnant.”
Ultimately Knead is meant to be a gathering point in which professional men and women can dine with their less-fortunate peers. Bode hopes this will help foster and bring together the community.
“It’s just not about food,” Mary Bode said. “It’s about coming together and embracing each other and neighbor helping neighbor.”