Mennonite-owned cafe serves up coffee and charity - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Mennonite-owned cafe serves up coffee and charity

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A new cafe that opened its door this week is serving up more than good food and drinks. 

On Wednesday, The Encounter Cafe opened in Iowa City. Its owned and operated by the Sharon Bethel Mennonite Church in Kalona and it's their plan to give all of their proceeds back to the community.

The cafe's main purpose is in its name. It hopes to serve as a place to connect the church with the community in creating friendship while providing a safe and relaxing environment.

"They can come here, kind of like home perhaps, because we feel like God created us to be relational and life is about relationships and so that's one of the main reasons we're here, to develop relationships," manager of The Encounter Cafe, Ray Yutzy, said.

On the menu is coffee, home-baked cinnamon rolls, paninis, and breakfast skillets. Much of the ingredients they use are locally sourced. They're also bringing a taste of Kalona with them through their pretzels.

"That's the same pretzel that a lot of local people have learned to love from the Kalona Fall Festival," Yutzy said. "We've been there for over 20 years making those pretzels and now we have them to offer here."

Once the cafe covers its start-up costs and starts turning a profit, all of its proceeds will be given back to the community and donated to charities, local ministries and organizations.

"Everything that we have needs to be shared and obviously we make a living and we need to make a living but I think It's important to us to be willing to share and that's part of our serving people, humanity on this earth," Yutzy said.

The Encounter Cafe is located at 376 S Clinton St. in Iowa City and is open Tuesday to Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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