From Classroom to Café:
Community Activism, a capstone course with the goal of facilitating real-world learning for high school seniors, was created in 2014 by the social studies department at Woodford County High School. Taught at first by Kyle Fannin and later Andy Smith, the classes created “Spark” pop-up festivals and coffee shops to help stimulate economic development in downtown Versailles.
In 2016, Tristan Ferrell led a group of students (Katie Beth Craig, Keegan Elvidge, Reagan Jobe and Rachael Kral) in the process of creating a permanent community café. Along with Fannin, Smith, Lori Garkovich, Maria Bohannan and Ouita Michel, we collectively formed our non-profit organization and raised over $150,000 for a pay-what-you-can, pay-it-forward restaurant that opened on March 27, 2019.
Since our opening, we've grown our services to now include onsite and offsite catering as a means to continually raise funds for the café, along with using the space for events & parties.
The goal of Spark Community Café is to provide great food with dignity for all of our patrons in a community space that educates, entertains, and accepts all who walk through our doors.
SPARK COMMUNITY CAFÉ AT A GLANCE
Our mission is simple: provide farm,-to-table meals to all our guests, regardless of their ability to pay.
If your pockets are full, pay-it-forward.
If your pockets are light, pay-what-you-can.
If your pockets are empty, volunteer your time with us.
so far - updated 10/10/2020
7,500 meals served to the food insecure
$20,000 contributed to the Central KY farm economy
2,500 volunteer hours donated to our mission
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
Volunteers are crucial for the day to day operation of the café. From seating guests to gathering orders and meeting new and familiar faces, one job is just as important as the next.
Pay-It-Forward at Your Next Event
Look no further than Spark Community Catering for all your event needs and pay-it-forward while you're at it. When you cater with Spark Community Catering, all profits are donated back to Spark Community Café. In turn, hundreds of meals can be donated to those in need.
To view our menu, click here!
For any inquiries, click here!
Support Our Mission
Spark Community Café strives to alleviate food insecurity in Woodford County by providing nutritious, farm-to-table meals in a community space that educates, entertains, and accepts all who walk through our doors.
To continue fulfilling our mission, donations and partnerships are key.
Click here to pay-it-forward in a major way.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Tristan is a Community and Leadership Development major at the University of Kentucky and received the CLD Outstanding Freshman Award from the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.
Outside of Spark, Tristan serves on the Woodford County Chamber of Commerce Board and is active in the Woodford County community.
Kyle views inclusion on this board as his life coming full circle. This retired educator created the class that led to the Spark “pop-up” festivals and the student led Spark Café. Kyle is excited to be able to combine the life-long passions of working with young people while serving the community. Kyle also serves as a board director on the Woodford County Human Rights Commission, Woodford Educational Enhancement Foundation, Woodford Forward and the Woodford County Community Fund.
Lori retired in June 2018 from the University of Kentucky as a professor and state Extension Specialist in the Dept. of Community and Leadership Development. Her professional career focused on community economic development, organizational development, and strategic planning. Besides serving on the Board of Spark Community Café, she is on the Board of the Woodford County Community Fund and serves with several other community organizations.
University of Kentucky graduate, Maria was a career state government employee and co-owned Pretty in Pink for almost 9 years. Being an active member in the community and serves on the following: Woodford County Tourism Commission, Spark Community Cafe board, chair of the Versailles Fall Festival, Versailles Christmas parade committee, Downtown Project Action Committee and Co-chair of the Distinguished Young Women of Woodford County Be Your Best Self program.