An Inside Look at Angels Cafe: Bagels, Giving Back and New York Spirit
Launched in April 2022, this unique establishment is more than just a place to grab your morning coffee and bagel. It’s where culinary delight meets a deep-seated mission to foster change, one delicious bite at a time. At first glance, the mouth-watering bagel sandwiches, reminiscent of the authentic New York flavor, lure you in. But stay a while, and you’ll find that beneath the layers of these freshly baked delights lies a mission that’s truly heartwarming. “Eat Good, Do Good” isn’t just a slogan pasted across the cafe’s windows—it’s an embodiment of the cafe’s vision to make every meal a catalyst for positivity in the community. With 40% of their profits dedicated to the admirable organization of North Brooklyn Angels, the café goes beyond the traditional concept of a restaurant. Here, every purchase contributes to feeding communities in need, and initiatives like “The Breakfast Point” further accentuate their commitment to nourishment and community welfare.
Join us as we journey through the visionary minds of Ana, a digital artist, and Francesco Tamburriello, a beverage business aficionado, to uncover the inspiration, challenges, and aspirations of Angels Cafe. An enthralling tale of resilience, an homage to the city of New York, and an unwavering commitment to drive social change.
Can you tell us the story behind the inception of Angels Cafe?
Angels Cafe was born in April 2022 out of a shared vision to create a welcoming space where delicious food and compassion could come together. It’s more than a restaurant, it is a sacred space where bagels, social purpose, and spiritual harmony fills the heart and stomach of every customers who gets by to eat. Where they believe that the power of small acts of kindness and a shared vision in investing in the well-being of the community, they could create a ripple effect of positive change.
How does Angels Cafe stand out in terms of its menu offerings, especially the unique bagel Sandwiches?
At Angels Cafe, we stand out by crafting a bagel menu that combines classic flavors with innovative twists. Our unique bagel sandwiches are a testament to this creativity, blending fresh and locally sourced ingredients with a dash of culinary magic. Infusing each sandwich with the energy and flavors that makes New York truly unique. Our sandwiches are a heartfelt homage to the Big Apple’s spirit, prepared with love and served with a dash of that unmistakable New York’s charm.
“Eat Good, Do Good” is prominently displayed on your cafe’s windows. Can you delve deeper into this mantra and how it drives Angels Cafe?
“Eat Good, Do Good” is more than just a slogan at Angels Cafe; it’s our guiding principle. Our mantra reflects our commitment to sourcing the finest and freshest ingredients to create a unique bagel experience. When people get a bagel from us, they get to enjoy a delicious sandwich which is a big factor that helps in contributing to our mission of doing good in the community of New York. We believe that it encapsulates the essence of our café, it also signifies our dedication to using our café as a platform for social change. 40% of our profit goes toward North Brooklyn Angels, an organization that has been feeding communities in need since 2017. So, when you visit us, you’re not just eating; you’re actively participating in our mission to make a difference. A reminder to all of us that every meal can be a catalyst for positive change.
The café has a strong mission-driven approach. What inspired you to dedicate 40% of your profits to North Brooklyn Angels?
Francesco found his inspiration while volunteering as a cook at North Brooklyn Angels, where he witnessed firsthand the profound impact of a warm meal to the lives of individuals facing food scarcity. He was struck by the sense of purpose and dedication that filled the air while they’re preparing nourishing meals for those in need. The atmosphere was alive with compassion and a shared commitment to making a difference. Inspired by what he had witnessed, Francesco’s passion for helping others grew, propelling the start of Angels Cafe.
Tell us more about the North Brooklyn Angels. How did your partnership with them begin?
North Brooklyn Angels is a remarkable non-profit organization dedicated to addressing food insecurity in the North Brooklyn area of New York City. It started when Francesco Tamburriello, the founder of Angels Cafe was volunteering as a cook with North Brooklyn Angels. During his time there, he witnessed the dedication of the organization’s volunteers and the immense need for nutritious meals particularly breakfast, among the local population.
Angels Cafe introduced “The Breakfast Point.” How does this initiative work and what has been the community response?
Angels Cafe’s “Breakfast Point” initiative, happens at the communities of Williamsburg and Greenpoint. Where we distribute over 50 free breakfasts to the people in need, during Tuesdays and Fridays. Providing nourishment and support to those in need through this heartfelt endeavor. While the outdoor logistics presented challenges, the cafe’s innovative response was the creation of “Sponsor a Breakfast” program. This program allowed both online and in-store patrons to purchase a breakfast for someone in the community, ensuring that anyone seeking a meal could receive one.
Are there other ways Angels Cafe gets involved or plans to get involved in community service?
Our team at Angels Cafe is dedicated to expanding its involvement in community service. In addition to the ongoing initiatives like the “Sponsor a Breakfast” program, we just launched a new innovative way of giving back through the “Breakfast Blessing Card.” This is a physical and/or digital gift card that will provide another avenue for patrons to participate in giving back. These cards can be redeemed by someone in need for a free breakfast, further reinforcing the cafe’s commitment to nourishing both body and spirit of kindness within the community.
Have you considered collaborating or partnering with other local businesses to further the “Do Good, Eat Good” aspect of your mission?
Angels Cafe is actively exploring opportunities to collaborate with other local businesses to enhance not only our mission but also theirs through the sense of togetherness we aim to develop. By working together with like-minded enterprises in the community, we at Angels Cafe aim to amplify the impact of community service that helps fight food insecurity and supports various charitable causes.
What background or experiences influenced you to start a mission-driven café like Angels Cafe?
Ana’s background as a digital artist and Francesco’s experience as a beverage business owner with ties to a family supermarket business have each played a significant role in shaping the mission-driven concept of Angels Cafe. Our café reflects our passion for blending culinary expertise, creativity, and commitment to making a positive change in the lives of people in the community.
Can you share a particularly memorable moment or story since the opening of Angels Cafe?
One particularly memorable moment occurred during a busy morning, when the power unexpectedly went out due to a severe electrical problem. The café was bustling with customers eagerly enjoying their meals, and the staff was working diligently to ensure everyone had a positive experience despite this unforeseen challenge. This moment did not only showcase our dedication to our mission but also demonstrated the power of resilience and togetherness of our team to empower the humanitarian spirit within us and the community. This became a cherished memory that exemplified our commitment to spreading warmth and nourishment, not just through food but also through the connections and shared experiences it creates and foster.
How do you foresee the future growth of Angels Cafe, especially in terms of balancing the dual mission of serving quality food and community involvement?
We’ll continue to explore innovative ways to expand our involvement in the community, through utilizing the advantage of collaboration with local businesses and the introduction of new initiatives that addresses food insecurity and supports charitable causes throughout the community. Our goal is to create a sustainable model where good food and social impact go hand in hand, ensuring that every step of our growth benefits both our patrons and our community.
What message do you hope customers take away from their experience at Angels Cafe, beyond just enjoying a great meal?
Our message is that every meal enjoyed here will lead and contribute to a greater purpose, which is helping those in need and fostering a stronger sense of togetherness. We also want our customers to leave Angels Cafe with more than just a satisfied palate but also a good feeling of giving back to the community. We hope that they carry with them a profound sense of connection and compassion for the community that we strive for.
We are so proud to partner with Angels Cafe and to give back to the North Brooklyn Angels. Check them out and enjoy one of their delicious bagel sandwiches on our yummy Williamsburg Bites Food Tour!