Tuesday, January 31, 2012



Name: Michael

How long have you been volunteering here? Since May, so about six months.

Why Better World Cafe? How did you end up volunteering here? My mom goes to church here so she's familiar with what's going on in the church community. She told me that the Cafe had volunteer opportunities in exchange for meals. I came here to volunteer once, the meal was great, I enjoyed it, and they asked if I'd like to start coming in regularly. I said that'd be great. I've been here ever since, and I love it. And it's for a good cause and is doing something good for the community. I support Elijah's Promise, as well.

What's your favorite part of volunteering here? I like working with the people here, both the management and the customers. As someone with a mental illness, the management has been great about understanding my needs. That's really important to me. They're willing to take anyone and work with them. 
I also like having a routine in my week, which volunteering here gives me. 

What's your favorite thing on the menu? The Better World Salad is awesome. It's a staple and it's always good. I get it every time I come here and I'm satisfied completely. It's a meal in and of itself. The Indian and Mexican dishes we serve are also really good.

What's your passion? I like to read (I'm studying English and might add a second major in philosophy). I love thinking about the most important questions, and that's how I spend the majority of my waking hours. I want to be as honest with myself about those questions as I can.

Anything else you'd like to say? I enjoy getting to know other volunteers. It's been a real pleasure. Anyone I've really talked to here I've really liked. The cafe is a wonderful thing in this community especially for the opportunities it gives people to volunteer. You can use volunteering here as a job reference or a as great transition from not working to working.

Volunteer Spotlight - Andrew

Name: Andrew

How long have you been volunteering here? About 6 or 7 months. Since around the beginning of April.

How did you end up volunteering here? I was recovering from an illness and I had a doctor who recommended it to me as something productive to do once a week. It makes me feel better and it's good for my health. I feel more on my feet and totally ready to get a real job now, so I'm thankful for that.

I graduated from Rutgers and went to medical school before I got sick. Now, being back here and working at the cafe, I'm feeling much better .

What's your favorite part of volunteering here?  I'm usually with a different volunteer every week so I get to meet new people all the time. It's nice to meet new people and also reconnect with old people I know. I mostly work the grill and with the sandwich press. They kind of found my niche, it works out well for me. I do everything out front, though: working with salads, soups, sandwiches, and greeting the customers. Some people here prefer to work in the back but I prefer to work in the front with the customers.

What's your favorite thing on the menu? The turkey sandwiches are really good. I just went on a cruise to the Bahamas and I don't want to say the food was bad, but I kept thinking to myself that the food here was much better.

Anything else you'd like to say? I feel a sense of community when I come here to Highland Park. The management is great in guiding me. I keep learning how to do everything better. I've even trained other volunteers.

People come for different reasons. Some people just get the complimentary and seem to appreciate having a free lunch, they're very thankful. I've noticed most people pay the suggested price, and more than half give more than they're asked to. I was very surprised by that.



Name: Delisa

How long have you been volunteering here? Since September, so about three months.

Why Better World Cafe? / How did you end up volunteering here? I'm a student at Democracy House at Middlesex County College. We have community partners for service opportunities, and I picked Better World Cafe because it's convenient for me and it fits my class schedule.

What's your favorite part of volunteering here? I like the people. Everyone's nice.

What do you normally do? I serve food.

What's your favorite thing on the menu? I just tried the Senegalese stew and I really like it. You can taste the peanut butter but there's also chili powder and other flavors.

Anything else you'd like to say? The cafe is a small, friendly and calm environment.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Chinese New Year!

The Cafe is ringing in the Year of the Dragon with a special Cantonese menu from longtime volunteer Irene today! Irene has been at the Cafe since our opening in 2009 and she's from Hong Kong, where Cantonese cuisine (like dim sum) originates, and her recipes are passed down from her mother.

Today we'll be including some Chinese specialties into our menu. Chinese New Year is China's biggest holiday, a 15 day celebration filled with fun, festivities, and food! Come join us at Better World Cafe to celebrate!

~ Rainbow Lo Mein noodles - noodles symbolize long life
~ Marble tea eggs - eggs symbolize fertility

~  Chicken congee - a traditional rice porridge. Chicken symbolizes happiness and marriage
~  Dragon's Breath carrot ginger

~ Better World Salad (v)
~ Chinese watermelon radish, orange, kiwi and feta
~ Israeli couscous

~ Turkey with kumquat marmalade
~ Grilled cheddar cheese & garlicky greens 

~ Walnut tart

~ Chocolate chip cookies
~ Hot and iced coffee and tea

As usual, selections can vary by availability so ask about any additions/changes if you're calling to place a take out order at 732-510-1572. Thanks!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Granola For Good!

Now on sale at the Cafe on Mondays and Fridays: Granola For Good!

Lovingly made by a company with a staff of one: our Cafe volunteer Sandy. All ingredients and packaging are donated, and 100% of proceeds go directly to Better World Cafe. Come in on Monday or Friday and try a sample! It's got oats, coconut, almonds, and much more.

Suggested prices: $6/half quart, $10/quart.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Project Homeless Connect

This Wednesday, January 25th, is Project Homeless Connect, "a one day, one stop event in which the community comes together to serve those most in need. Project Homeless Connect is designed to improve access to services, increase knowledge and understanding of homeless issues and foster collaboration between non-profit, government, private and individual volunteers in the effort to end homelessness. Individuals experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness are able to receive a variety of services such as information on housing, benefits, legal services, substance abuse, mental health, medical services, food, clothing and employment services."

The locations to which homeless persons can come to receive the above services are: Elijah's Promise Soup Kitchen, 18 Neilson St., New Brunswick, NJ (11:00am - 8:00pm) The Salvation Army, 433 State St., Perth Amboy, NJ (11:00am - 7:00pm) The Woodbridge Housing Authority, 20 Bunns Lane, Woodbridge, NJ (11:00am - 7:00pm)

All three locations are in need of volunteers for the day. If you are interested in showing your support by helping out, please register at the Elijah's Promise volunteer site.

The Project is also seeking donations of blankets, winter coats, new and used clothing, socks, gloves and toothpaste. Please bring any donations to Elijah's Promise at 18 Neilson St., New Brunswick, NJ.

If you have any questions or would like to arrange a donation, please contact Harriet Slonim at (732)745-4041. More information here.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Come one, come all and support Elijah's Promise!

Iguana Music is holding their annual fundraiser to support our partner, Elijah's Promise at Tumulty's Pub starting at 8pm on January 21st.

Lineup and updates can be found here at their Facebook event link!

Menu week starting 01-09-12

Here's what's cooking today and some features for the rest of the week. There are sometimes surprise specials so check our Facebook page by clicking this link for any new fun surprises!

~ Broccoli & goat cheese quiche
~ Vegetable lasagna

~  Broccoli & goat cheese

~ Better World Salad (v)
~ Quinoa salad with pomegrates and oranges
~ Cauliflower, capers and fig
~ Fruit salad featuring kiwi and mango (starting Wednesday)

~ Turkey with Rachel's cranberry-ginger chutney
~ Grilled cheddar cheese & garlicky greens 
~ Turkey with caramelized onions (starting Wednesday)

~ Chocolate pecan rolls

~ Brownies
~ Hot and iced coffee and tea

Selections can vary by availability so ask about any additions/changes if you're calling to place a take out order at 732-510-1572. Thanks!