MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It is a one-of-a-kind restaurant, run by a nonprofit and a chef who used to be an administrative assistant for a nonprofit.
“Our mission is to use food as a tool for health, wealth and social change,” Chef Lachelle Cunningham said inside the kitchen of Breaking Bread Café on the north side of Minneapolis.
It’s a part of town where fast food franchises are around every corner, and scratch cooking is almost scarce as the employment opportunities for neighborhood residents.
“It’s a place to come for great food and great service, but it’s also a place to come to network,” Cunningham said.
Breaking Bread is part of Appetite For Change, which is a Minneapolis nonprofit designed to create jobs, improve health, and provide hope.
Cunningham’s culinary career came out of a personal passion: she said her mom was a great baker, her dad was the master of spice, and she threw killer dinner parties during her years working a desk job. Then she started catering. And in 2015 this job came along.
“I had a career in nonprofits, and the food, the stars aligned … and are still aligned,” she said.
Of course, a restaurant designed to do good without being good isn’t going to last. From the grit fritters to the coconut oil corn bread, the food critics and customers agree that Breaking Bread Café is quite good. City Pages named it the best soul food in the Twin Cities for 2016.
“It’s all the traditional southern-style food but also incorporates other cultures’ foods that create comfort and are familiar,” she said.
The fried chicken and waffles uses buttermilk in the chicken batter and the waffle; that batter is made from scratch from Cunningham’s family recipe.
And the prices are crazy reasonable. Cunningham said as a nonprofit they’re still working to find the balance between pricing that is approachable for the neighborhood, and prices that keep the operation afloat.
The Caribbean jerk shrimp and grits are under $8. There’s an entire section of the menu of breakfast items under $5.
Breaking Bread Café is providing jobs in a part of town that needs them, and great food in a community desperate for it.
“It’s extremely inspiring. We’re at the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much more to be explored here,” she said.
Breaking Bread Café
1210 W. Broadway Ave, Minneapolis 55411
Open 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday thru Friday