Considering the Selma Café's list of accomplishments, one might assume the popular Ann Arbor breakfast salon should be celebrating no less than a decade in operation. With new events and spurring such economic growth as Sunseed Farm's
CSA and hoop house manufacturer Nifty Hoops
, the almost-official non-profit marks its fourth anniversary this week.
As The Selma Café is in the final stages of becoming a 501(c)(3), we'll talk to co-founder, operations manager and president of The Selma Café
, Lisa Gottlieb, about just how far the neighborhood breakfast gathering has come in so little time:
How has the Selma Café evolved over the years?
Well one thing that hasn't changed is that the breakfasts are still really solid and consistent. We're still offering breakfast 47 weeks a year, with a guest chef each week and we have 150 to 200 people show up weekly. We're continuing to raise a good amount of money to support our original mission.
The newest thing is our monthly Selma Café Happy Hours. This happens on the second Wednesday of each month. We had the first one [last week]. It's a great, fun way to socialize with a great community of people at a different time of day.
How has it changed your neighborhood and/or Ann Arbor?
What I've heard most commonly is that in Ann Arbor, because it's a transient town, it's sometimes hard to find a community. They come to Selma Café and they immediately begin to make new friends. They really feel like they're a part of something.
We're so used to communicating through technology these days. It's more rare for groups of people to come together in real time, solve problems together and make things together in a fun way that supports an important mission.
Where do you see yourself in another four years?
I see us continuing to do breakfast and building more Selma Café events, such as monthly yoga events, and more use of the Selma Café as a venue for private parties. I'm part of Airbnb, and I rent two rooms out of my home now. That's something I want to continue to grow. It's mostly about continuing to grow Selma to be a presence in the local food and sustainable agriculture community.
To learn more about Selma Cafe watch Concentrate's 2011 video.