Work on One World Café underway

Published 9:10 am Monday, December 10, 2018

A new group is hoping to bring a new eatery to Carter County, but this is dining for a cause.

One World Everybody Eats is a parent organization for community cafés and two local residents are hoping to turn the dream of locating one in Elizabethton into a reality.

The two have been working on the project for a year, and have recently found a fiscal sponsor in United Way of Elizabethton/Carter County, and now they are ready to start raising funds.

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Co-Founders Jessica Bitner and Sara Slagle came from two different walks of life. Slagle was a nutritional health educator with the health department and Bitner is a member of several community organizations dedicated to growing the community of Carter County. 

“The café will be a non-profit café that allows someone to pay for a meal, or volunteer for an hour for their meal. We also have plans for a community member to be able to pay forward a meal, so that someone wishing to help out a hungry person is able to do so,” says Bitner.

The café will start at the beginning of the year with fundraising efforts for the café. Until they have their own dedicated 501c3 designation, they are working under the United Way of Elizabethton/Carter County as part of their non-profit incubation program. United Way Director Crystal Carter thinks they are a perfect fit for the program.

“Last year we began the non-profit incubator program with Red Legacy Recovery. They were already non-profit status but needed to do some internal realignment and we were able to provide office space for them so that they can build their program. It has been a very successful relationship with Director Samantha Loveday and so we decided to expand the program and bring One World on board to help them set a solid foundation for their organization. We see great potential on the effect it can have on Carter County.”

The two founders have already been to several trainings through One Word and visited several of their cafés in order to get an idea of how they want this one to be run. Their first order of business is to start raising money and Slagle believes they have the perfect idea for their first one.

“We want to hold a church-lady potluck fundraiser. No one in this area cooks like our church women, and we thought what a great idea to introduce the café than by having some of the best cooks in the region make the dishes they are most known for and raise money for a great cause.”

Any churches in the area that would be interested in helping such a wonderful organization get a great start to the café can contact them at