Welcome to the Front Porch Restaurant, an outreach of Front Porch Ministries. We’re glad you’ve taken the time to visit us. Located in Ellsworth, situated in northeast Antrim County, Michigan, we are a nonprofit, donation-only community café. Our humble beginnings can be traced to Bob Felton, Outreach Facilitator at Ellsworth Christian Reformed Church, who dreamed of a viable and inviting place for all members of our community as well as our neighbors down the road to gather for food and friendship.
After the closing of our only local eatery in February 2008, a large void existed in our village of fewer than 400 people. No longer was there a place to gather for breakfast or lunch. Gone was the opportunity for our town’s “coffee drinkers” to gather twice daily for conversation. Lost was a central gathering place so vital to a community. It felt as if the pulse of our village was growing fainter as time passed.
With the help of countless volunteers, the restaurant was cleaned and readied, and a breakfast fundraiser was planned for Labor Day Weekend 2008. Unsure of what to expect, we opened the doors that Saturday morning and the response was overwhelming. With people lined out the door, the initial thirty dozen eggs soon disappeared and another sixteen dozen were rounded up. When the last guest finished their meal and walked out the door, we had collected $3,152. And so, the Front Porch Café was born. Hard work, a refusal to see our small village slowly suffocate and many a prayer had paid off. We’re proud to say, we haven’t looked back since. This is not to say we haven’t faced challenges nor will we be immune to them in the future, but we are confident that our little “experiment” is here to stay.
With the generosity of those who enter our doors, the countless volunteers who have given thousands of hours of their time, and the surrounding farmers whose goods we’re proud to serve, we look forward to a strong future doing what we do best: “Nourishing Community”. Thanks again for visiting, Godspeed…