Rapid City’s Fork Real Café receives state recognition for more than just a hot meal

Fork Real Cafe

Fork Real Cafe

Fork Real Cafe

RAPID CITY, S.D– With the legislative session already underway in Pierre, Rapid City’s Fork Real Café was recognized and honored by the South Dakota Retailers Association for the work they do in the Rapid City community.

The café was presented with the group’s Community Service Award, which is handed out every year to organizations from across the state that do more than just give back to their communities. Fork Real Café was selected for its “pay what you can” plan and how it has helped encourage community engagement among people of all backgrounds.

“When we first started out, I really thought the impact that we would have would be people coming through the front door,” founder Rhonda Pearcy said. “But as we continue on, we realize what a big impact it is through the back door, our volunteer door. Connections are made in the kitchen just sharing and walking with someone else. We do feed people, but now we realize that we’re feeding people kind of in a different way.”

Pearcy was an elementary school teacher before opening the Fork Real Café, and made the decision to open the restaurant as a way to bring all community members together in a welcoming environment, which can include anyone from homeless individuals to courthouse employees.

The “pay what you can” method of the restaurant works by giving diners three ways to cover their meal. They can either: pay for the actual value of the meal, volunteer at the restaurant in exchange for a meal, or they can purchase a token to help pay for someone else’s meal.

The café, in partnership with the Intermediate Correctional Intervention Program, also helps female offenders by teaching them job skills that can make them more marketable for entering the workforce along with giving them advice for job interview preparation and more.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News