The Port Cafe, based out of the Port/Area IV neighborhood of Cambridge, Massachusetts, is an intentional gathering of diverse people to break bread together. We believe that most effective and natural way to create community is over shared food. The idea of accepting all people at the dinner table is both radical and also a fulfillment of the basic premise of a civilization: there should be room for all individuals to be part of something greater than themselves.
The Port Cafe is a space in which neighbors from the Port/Area IV neighborhood can come to feed their body, mind, and soul in a safe and welcoming environment. Through a mixture of structured and unstructured moments, customers forge new bonds with other people and spark ideas for community partnerships that will live on outside of the Cafe.
The Port Cafe was founded in 2014 by neighborhood organizers from different backgrounds. Although we have distinct geographic and cultural identities , we all found ourselves caught in the same trap of the 21st century urban American neighborhood: How can we live so close to so many other people without knowing so many of them?
We asked how our neighborhood--host to such a wide variety of cultures, ages, ethnicities, national origins, and languages--could be so divided amongst our different populations. And we began imagining the life-affirming power that our neighborhood could have if we could figure out a way to create space for diverse people to interact with one another in a safe, trusting environment.
How might we do that? Inspired in part by Greenfield's Stone Soup Cafe and the Unity Tables cafe network, we agreed that food might contain the answer. Delicious food, to be exact. And so the Port Cafe was born.
The Port Cafe is grateful for the support of the Unity Tables Community Café Incubator, working to create an environmentally sustainable and socially equitable food system for our nation.