I smell fresh loaves of banana bread cooling in the back kitchen, and I can hear a preschooler loudly declaring their cookie preference from the front. It’s a good place to be. At the same time, we know more people with COVID than at any point in the past three years.

Here at 541 we’re working out what a new normal looks like — doing our best to keep people safe while providing welcoming hospitality. This is why we still ask everyone to wear masks in the cafe and are holding off on in-house dining. To many people this is disappointing (it is to us too), but with high transmission in our community and the uncertain impact of long COVID on both adults and children, it’s how we tell customers we care for them. Our volunteers are being incredibly patient — we miss them and can’t wait to welcome them back. As the days get longer and warmer we’re seeing some staff changes — if you see a new face be sure to welcome them! We’re always sad to see people leave, but grateful to spend time together in this wild endeavour. Come and try a new special and celebrate new beginnings as spring arrives at 541!

– Sue Carr (Executive Director at 541)

Visit us Tuesdays to Saturdays from 8AM – 2PM at 541 Barton St. East. We offer up to 5 buttons daily (one button is equal to one dollar) to anyone who wishes to use them to pay for items from our wonderful menu. Caring for the community is something we do together and the generosity of our donors allows us to continue providing nutritious home-made meals to everyone who walks through the door. If you’re interested in giving please contact us at hello@fivefortyone.ca