Slices of Community

Stories from Behind the Counter of the Country's Oldest Pay-What-You-Can Restaurant

Non-Fiction - Motivational
232 Pages
Reviewed on 03/26/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Dr. Jordan Alexander for Readers' Favorite

Slices of Community by Brad Birky dropped from the sky into my lap like the idea for the café. Brad and his wife Libby sketched the concept on an airline magazine. The concept behind SAME (So All May Eat) is simple. Offer wholesome, nutritious, organic, and locally sourced food to anyone that walks through the door. No pricing. Patrons pay whatever they can afford or work as a volunteer to contribute to their meals. It follows the couple’s trials and tribulations to bring their idea to life. I love that Birky includes a photo of the café and other pictures from the journey. You will feel you have seen the situations and met the characters in this inspirational story when Birky says: “It began like a single drop of rain until the downpour of possibilities was too torrential to ignore.” Finding an affordable space in a tough inner-city neighborhood was just the beginning. Sorting menus and volunteers, balancing jobs, and finding faith to fly beyond the challenges, the unique SAME Café, as Birky says made space for people to be there for each other. Not just to feed each other but to nourish each other. The stories offer inspiration to people on both sides of the counter.

Slices of Community by Brad Birky is authentic in all the ways that matter. It was written to remember the stories of the many customers that visited and became part of the community. Though not his intention, this is a story about leadership and teaching people to walk alongside others with compassion and a sense of community. Birky shares that the stories of hope and love are the rudders that keep them moving in the right direction. It covers a decade of faith, hard work, and asking for help, showing vulnerability and commitment. The Governor of Colorado proclaimed Brad and Libby Birky Day to recognize the couple. After ten years of scrubbing toilets, a thousand pounds of compost, and baking over 175,000 cookies, SAME Café continues to grow. Brad and Libby prove that humans from all walks of life can work together as friends and flourish as communities. Dignity for all is possible. If you have an idea pestering you to make the world a better place, you must get a copy of this motivational masterpiece. It will change your perspective on what is possible from just one persistent raindrop.