At our heart, the Birchwood Cafe is about fostering community, revealing connections, and inspiring gratitude. We do this through serving food, and so much more. Read on to meet some of our closest friends, allies and collaborators.
Barron, WI — delivering WEDNESDAY
Rushford, MN — delivering WEDNESDAY / THURSDAY
Red Clover Herbal Apothecary Farm
Amery, WI — delivering FRIDAY
Northfield, MN — delivering THURSDAY
Shepherd's Way Farms
Nerstrand, MN — delivering THURSDAY
Women's Environmental Institute
North Branch, MN — delivering FRIDAY
Riverbend Farm Crop Mobs
Each growing season, the Birchwood invites folks of all ages to participate in a monthly, hands-on farming day at Riverbend Farm in Delano, MN (also an organic vegetable producer for the Cafe!). Fun for the entire family, Crop Mobs help Greg + Mary's farm, build community, and directly teach us about where our food comes from.
Birchwood Bike Team
The Birchwood Bike Team is a Twin Cities metro area cycling club and racing team dedicated to spreading the positive power of bike riding. The club provides opportunities for riders of all levels to participate in the fun and camaraderie of the cycling and racing scene. All levels and abilities welcome, helmets a must!
Food + Our Community
True Food Chef Council
Birchwood is a member of the Minneapolis Public Schools True Food Chef Council, a collaboration of Minneapolis restaurants, chefs and caterers working to promote the health of our youth, encourage the consumption of real and wholesome food, embrace the diversity of food cultures in our city, and promote good eating habits.
Birchwood Cafe owner, Tracy Singleton, is a former member of the Homegrown Minneapolis Food Council: a citywide initiative expanding our community’s ability to grow, process, distribute, eat and compost more healthy, sustainable, locally grown foods.
The Aliveness Project
The Aliveness Project is a community center located in South Minneapolis that provides services and programs to the HIV & AIDS community. The Birchwood takes part in the project's annual "Dining Out for Life" program by donating a portion of our sales. Your donation and volunteer efforts are always welcome, too.
We are honored and excited to be a part of the development and research of perennial grains. Currently, the cafe is using Kernza, a perennial wheatgrass developed by the Land Institute, as a supplement to traditional wheat.
Kernza is very different from wheat: wheat crops are annuals that require replanting each year, whereas Kernza is a perennial and grows year after year without replanting. Kernza also has higher levels of folate, calcium, lutein, fiber, Omega-3 fatty acids, selenium and vitamin B-6 than whole wheat, and has a relatively low gluten content.
As a perennial crop,Kernza plants establish extensive root systems that can tap into the soil’s water supply much deeper than annual plants. As a result, Kernza can help control soil erosion and reduce water runoff. Also unlike annuals, which deplete soil’s organic matter and require greater inputs like pesticides and fertilizer, Kernza grows in greater harmony with its surrounding ecosystem, coexisting well with native plant species.
Come try Kernza in the cafe today -- it's earthy, nutty taste is a lot to love, and it tastes even better when you know that it brings us one step closer to changing the food system, one Kernza Karamelita bar at a time! Informative artwork by the Lexicon of Sustainability.
Wood from the Hood
The walls and counters in the cafe are made with reclaimed wood from Wood from the Hood – they reclaim discarded trees from urban neighborhoods to create beautiful, high-quality wood products.
The bright green countertops that make our cafe so unique were made from recycled glass by Rust Brothers. They also built our tables from honey-colored Douglas fir that was salvaged from a California lemon warehouse.
We are so grateful to Locus Architecture for helping us with the rebuild of Birchwood -- and even more excited to celebrate the reception of the EcoBlend Badge for both best commercial project and best sustainable project! Thanks for helping us incorporate eco-friendly design and sustainable building practices into our little cafe in the Seward neighborhood!
Novel Energy Solutions
We worked with Novel Energy Solutions to install our solar array on the roof in late summer 2014. It is rated at 8.200kW. We wanted to incorporate renewable energy as one of our principles of sustainability, and were fortunate to utilize the Made in Minnesota Incentive plan to make it possible. While it doesn't supply all of our electric needs, we continue to work on reducing our environmental impact while maximizing our output.
Communicating Our Story
Kevin J. Miyazaki/PLATE
Our catering photos (and many other food photos featured on the website) were taken by Kevin J. Miyazaki/PLATE photography. His keen eye for lighting, contrast, color along with his light-hearted attitude and love of Good Real Food made for the most beautiful photos and a wonderful partnership. Check out PLATE's website for more delicious photography.
Keelie Ritter Photography
The story of the Birchwood Cafe -- from the blooming patio gardens to the hustle + bustle of the cafe to the faces that make up our community -- has been captured over the years by Keelie Ritter. Keelie is a true visual storyteller, armed with a camera and a smile, her work is honest and stunning. See more of Keelie's work on her website.
Do our cookbook food photos make you hungry? We hope Mette Nielsen's creative eye and keen use of the lens get you in the mood for Good Real Food! Learn more about her work on the Mettepix Facebook page.
We love for you to take the Birchwood wherever you go! Our T-shirts, aprons, glassware, and other fun stuff are screenprinted by the folks at Gee Teez, our one-stop shop for screenprinting, embroidery, and promotional products.
Field Guide is a communications and marketing consultancy focused on working with forward-thinking businesses (like us!). They excel at collaborative brainstorming, strategic planning, creative project management, media outreach, and content creation for social media. In a nutshell, they're field guides. They do what it takes to make good, even better!
The Birchwood Cafe completed its Kickstarter campaign with huge success! 980 wonderful backers are helped bring our expansion and remodeling plans to fruition. We ♥ our community!Learn More