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True Brew Coffee Shop in Ava Tackles Food Insecurity One Plate at a Time

A coffee shop in Ava is working to address southwest Missouri’s highest hunger rates.

By Rose Marthis

Feb 2019

Food insecurity in Springfield, MO
Photo courtesy ShutterstockTom Martincic made the decision to tackle the 27 percent food insecurity rate in Douglas County with a unique cafe concept.

Tom Martincic originally planned to open a soup kitchen. He couldn’t find a building with a kitchen already in place, but he knew he had to do something to address the 27 percent food insecurity rate in Douglas County. When he noticed a coffee shop for sale, it sparked the idea for True Brew Coffee Shop. It only took 42 days on Go Fund Me for Martincic to raise enough money to open the cafe in early 2018. The restaurant serves coffee drinks and cafe fare like turkey club flatbread, spinach and chicken salad and seasonal wraps. When you pay for your food you can buy a meal card, which is used to purchase a meal for a child. Or if you’re hungry yourself, just point to a card on the table, and your meal is free, no questions asked. True Brew Coffee Shop is also a welcoming place for children. The family room in the back has books and games for kids to kill time. Everyone is welcome here, and Martincic says people volunteer to make a meal themselves and take it home to their family. He’s not worried about people taking advantage. “Any way we can share love and respect and do what we can to be part of the solution,” he says.