Community Cafe to open in Roan Mountain

Published 9:07 am Monday, November 18, 2019

CONTRIBUTED — ROW CROP Community Eatery, a farm to table inspired, scratch-made restaurant that will serve a fresh twist on mountain and Southern classics, today announced its plans to open its first location in Roan Mountain. ROW CROP’s restaurant philosophy will be encompassed by One World Everybody Eats core values, one which is the uncommon manner which allows diners to pay-what-they-can. (

ROW CROP will open its doors in Roan Mountain in Spring 2020. The restaurant will seat 70 and will serve lunch and dinner daily and brunch on Saturdays. ROW CROP will be closed on Sundays. The restaurant will be all about community, providing access to a healthy, delicious meal, regardless of whether or not guests can afford it.

This “pay-what-you-can” model relies on gift economy in which all members of the community — those of means and those in need — are asked to give fairly so that everyone may partake with dignity.

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ROW CROP will serve high-quality farm to table meals to attract many types of people, because for the restaurant to sustain itself, an average of 80 percent of diners must pay an expected price or more. In other words, the majority of diners are expected to be people of means. This makes it possible for those in need to pay what they can afford or to volunteer in exchange for a meal and it allows the cafe to provide a hand up, rather than a hand out.

ROW CROP will allow patrons to choose their own portion size in an effort to discourage food waste. Volunteers will be used to the maximum extent possible, however ROW CROP will also employ many others and provide them a living wage. Additionally, a large “community table” will be a focus of the restaurant, where individuals and small parties can form a larger group that might cross social, economic and other boundaries.

In 2003, Denise Cerreta opened the first pay-what-you-can community cafe in Salt Lake City, Utah. After operating the restaurant for a brief time, Denise quickly noticed that a number of people in her community were struggling to pay for the food and drink on her menu.

One fateful day, she looked across the counter while ringing up a bill and was suddenly inspired to tell the guest to pay whatever she could afford for the meal. After continuing this practice for a year, Denise named the restaurant One World Cafe. Since then, over 60 restaurants have opened using the One World Everybody Eats model.

ROW CROP will join two other community cafes in the local area, One Acre Cafe in Johnson City and F.A.R.M. Cafe in Boone, N.C.

ROW CROP is presenting a Community Christmas Dinner & Concert on Friday, Dec. 6, from 5 to 8 p.m. The concert event will be hosted at Triple J Farms, 290 Heaton Creek Road, Roan Mountain, and will feature four bands depicting the true Christmas story through live music. ROW CROP will tempt the attending crowd that evening with food that will be served at its restaurant. There will also be a live charity auction with all proceeds raised that evening directly funding the cafe. A minimum $20 donation is requested for the dinner and concert.

ROW CROP Community Cafe Roan Mountain, TN 423-806-2250, One World Everybody Eats, F.A.R.M. CAFE –, One Acre Cafe – one acre