Why Cafe Gratitude is Unique


Angelina Jia

Angelina Jia, Journalist

Matthew and Terces Engelhart are the couple that created Cafe Gratitude, a fun place to get plant-based, gourmet vegan food. The cafe was founded in 2004 after Matthew and Terces moved to Vacaville, California and started their 21-acre farm, the Be Love Farm. The farm is an important to them because it is their way of giving back to the Earth. Be Love Farm is an ongoing experiment in regenerative agriculture or carbon farming. Regenerative agriculture is one way people can help problems such as climate change, ocean acidification, and desertification. The farmer pairs with the plant-kingdom to take excess carbon out of the air and trap it in the soil, making for more balanced carbon levels in the air as well as healthier, more nutrient rich soil. This form of farming also involves practices that increase biodiversity, improve watershed, enhance ecosystem services, and rejects pesticides and artificial fertilizers. Protecting and healing the environment is a must for the Engelharts.
In their 21-acres, the couple grows a large variety and amount of crops, the names of which range from A (asiago) to Z (zinfandel). While not all of Cafe Gratitude’s ingredients come from the Be Love Farm, during summer the farm does supply up to 50% of the ingredients used in the cafes. The rest of the supplies used to make the delicious, all-natural vegan food served there, are from other local and organic farms.

Customers get a unique experience when it comes to ordering. Since the cafe was based on the idea of building a spiritual foundation and positive transformation, all dishes on the menu go by self-affirmations such as I am Dazzling (kale caesar salad) and I am Humble (Indian curry bowl). Although the atmosphere for customers is inviting and renewing, the business focuses on the mindset of their employees as well.

Cafe Gratitude helps employees use the tools they share to live in the moment and appreciate the abundance of their lives while serving guests. Once a month, 20 or more employees are sent to Be Love Farm to have a nurturing respite in the countryside. By having such energetic and cheerful and employees, people leave the cafe with a sense of gratitude.