INSPIRING OTHER MERCHANTS TO PAY-IT-FORWARD, Stephen and Amber Cohen of O-Town Café in Owosso, have started a permanent suspended meal and drink program for patrons buying a “suspended” meal for $7.76 for a “suspended” drink for $1.76 to later be served to less fortunate individuals in the community. They have even gone so far as to have it printed on their menu, and working in conjunction with Owosso Eats, Fiesta Salon, Benny’s Donuts, and the Salvation Army, the couple has witnessed positive outreach happening in the downtown area. O-Town Café is a family-owned business, not a nonprofit, so of course, taxes still have to be paid.
On an average day, seven to 15 individuals stop in, mostly in the early morning after the Salvation Army Warming Center closes, to enjoy a warm meal in a comfortable and welcoming environment, knowing they will be well-received and respected. The Cohens are passionate about treating every single patron with compassion and dignity – and will not make unnecessary judgments. Previously, the restaurant opened at 8 a.m., but since implementing their suspended program, they open an hour earlier to accommodate those in need.
Another event planned at O-Town Café includes “Brunch with the Bunny” on March 25.
(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)