Far more than another organic and vegan eatery, California-based Café Gratitude is all about adding a healthy dose of affirmation to its customers’ days right alongside their meals.

 

The idea behind Café Gratitude is simple: it is a restaurant where people in the community can come together for great, healthy food while celebrating all of the things that they can be grateful for in their lives.

 

Initially, the founders of the eatery, Matthew and Terces Engelhart, hadn’t set out to create a café at all. Rather, their interesting journey actually kicked off with their creation of a board game. The Engelharts wanted to create a fun way for people to remember all the things for which they have to be thankful. That was the motivation which drove them to the creation of their board game, The Abounding River.

 

Menu items on Café Gratitude's menu are tagged with words like "open-hearted" or "gentle" which allows a built-in compliment to be worked into each person's order (veggieangie.com)

Menu items on Café Gratitude’s menu are tagged with words like “open-hearted” or “gentle” which allows a built-in compliment to be worked into each person’s order (veggieangie.com)

While a board game may seem rather unrelated to the establishment of a restaurant, the Engelharts’ unique story actually places it at the center of Café Gratitude’s creation and growth. Their decision to open Café Gratitude actually came about as an extension to their game. It was all about creating a place in the community where people could come together to play the game, grab a drink and a bit to eat, and be surrounded by positive energy and, well, gratitude.

 

To further contribute to the restaurant’s feel-good vibe, not only are the dishes’ ingredients meant to boost your health, but their names are likewise intended to boost your mood. Rather than basic names that identify the main components of each dish, the menus at Café Gratitude let each menu option’s corresponding description do the work of describing the dish while their names goes in a whole different direction.

 

Café Gratitude was created as a place where people could come together to celebrate good food, generosity, self-confidence, and all the good things in life (cafegratitudela.com)

Café Gratitude was created as a place where people could come together to celebrate good food, generosity, self-confidence, and all the good things in life (cafegratitudela.com)

Each dish is tagged with a descriptive word, such as “fantastic” or “vivacious;” adjectives which are not intended to describe each item on the menu, but rather the person ordering it. When your dish is brought to the table, your server presents your plate, announcing “You are…fantastic” or “You are…vivacious.” Essentially, the server is just identifying your order, but doing so comes with a built-in compliment for each customer, allowing each dish to be served up with a side of confidence and affirmation.

 

Additional components of the overall goal of establishing a positive, inspiring atmosphere for customers include a question of the day to start you off before your meal and a similar question waiting for you at the end.

 

The former is offered up by your server, who kindly asks if you would like to hear the question of the day, after which if you reply affirmatively, you’ll get a question like, “Who do you plan to acknowledge today?” or “What are you excited about today?”

 

Your second question comes at the end of your meal, not from your server, but from your actual plate. Printed on your plate, you’ll see the words, “What are you grateful for?”

 

These questions, and in fact the entire experience at Café Gratitude, is intended to get you thinking. It’s intended to make you pause and reflect on your life, the people in it, the blessings in it, and basically just the simple things that are worth being happy about.

 

What do you think of the unique dining experience created by Café Gratitude? Share your thoughts in the comments below or tweet me @tamarahoumi