Café Plus—Reaching older adults around the world
Businesses built on helping older adults
Since 2006, more than 40 organizations around the world have developed their own unique community programs by expanding on and duplicating the Café Plus model. Below are examples of the varied organizations and communities that are benefiting from the exceptional quality of interaction, service, and support the Café Plus model makes possible.
Café Plus A friendly, adaptable concept that connects with older adults
The following are examples of the Café Plus model in action. From nutritious meals to wellness exercises to used books, these locations are reaching older adults and impacting their lives.
Built on a multi-generational campus, it’s a place for the city to focus all their community efforts
Soprema opened in March 2013 and was an instant hit with young and old alike; today, more than 3,000 older adults are members. Programming reveals a creative blend of social, recreational, educational, and health/wellness focuses. Older adults can participate in traditional day programs like cards and games—and they can also opt for innovative programs such as an intergenerational technology classes and fitness programs designed for older adults. Soprema relies on collaboration and partnerships with other local organizations, sharing staff and resources across a multi-generational campus that includes Wadsworth High School and the town’s community center. Through the generosity of its many partners, Soprema Senior Center membership is free.
A congregate meal site that provides a place for grandparents and their families
Café Evergreen, Millcreek Community Center
Salt Lake City, Utah
Salt Lake County (Utah) Aging & Adult Services has created a welcoming gathering place for people of all ages housed within a community center, which the agency outsources for congregate meals. Café Evergreen caters to a large population of grandparents who care for their grandchildren. Café Evergreen features intergenerational programming, like technology classes with kids teaching the older adults.
Features a unique literary twist while generating a profit and attracting volunteers
Birt’s Bistro and Bookstore
From a memory arts program to a used bookstore to Meals on Wheels, Birt’s Bistro in Surprise, Arizona, serves up a wealth of programs for older adults. Set up as a for-profit Social Enterprise Bistro, Birt’s generates a profit for the human services agency Benevilla—and also acts as a “feeder” for volunteers, clients, and donors for the agency. Birt’s is also unique in that it employs on-site social workers, who are available to help community members with advice and resource recommendations.
Houses an internal catering company that can also cater to the public
LifeCare Alliance in Columbus, Ohio, has a long-time mission of providing nutrition to older adults. The organization built Carrie’s Café to consolidate their nearly 30 dining centers and to improve the customer experience. They also opened the Café to the public for additional revenue. Today, Carrie’s Café serves healthy, low-cost meals to 125 to 300 older adults each day.
This small-budget “Café without Walls” offers opportunities for friendship and growth
Ethel & Maud’s Table
Starting a community outreach program for older adults doesn’t require a six-figure budget to succeed. Clark-Lindsey, a senior living residence in Urbana, Illinois, adapted the Café Plus model. They started a monthly “without walls” luncheon program in a shopping mall from scratch, and exceeded its goals within the first year. Café Plus allows this senior living provider to fulfill the social accountability portion of its mission.
Over 40 organizations have used the Café Plus model
to offer outreach, education, and all points in between
The map below features all of the Café Plus locations in the United States. Click on a location for additional details.
Gilbert Community Center
Casa Community Services
Green Valley, AZ
Birt’s Bistro and Bookstore
Used bookstore, event space featuring live performances
San Francisco, CA
Community space built around art, diverse programs
San Francisco Village
San Francisco, CA
Plainville Senior Center
Run by volunteers, open 2 days a week, nutrition programs
The Ultimate Café
Membership-based, non-profit, partner with local food-growers
Cobb County Café
School House Grill
Extended hours, breakfast specials, à la carte menu
Oak Street, Hyde Park, Inspiration, Lawndale
East Side Café
East St. Louis, IL
Ethel & Maude’s
Monthly luncheons, “Café without Walls,” not-for-profit
Campbell St. Café
Not-for-profit, tips donated to charities that help older adults
Salina Senior Center
Café and coffee shop, fresh to-go convenience options
St. Paul, MN
SW Missouri Office on Aging
Care Connections for Aging Services
Village Bistro, Givens Gerber Park
Las Cruces, NM
Programs, meal services, activities
Carlsbad Senior Center
San Jose, NM
Full-service restaurant, wellness center, nutritious meals
Dedicated partners, focal point for older adult programming
Café at Encore Experiences
The Peak Center
Café Your Way
New Castle, PA
Maime George Community Center
Salt Lake City, UT
Serving customers of all ages, serves as a nutritional site
Interested in learning how to create a Café Plus?
If you have questions or would like to get more information, MatherLifeWays is here to help. There are even opportunities for you to see our Chicago locations in person to get tangible, behind-the-scenes advice on operating an outreach program.
Ways to #AgeWell
Get research-based tips from Mather LifeWays to help you make the most out of every day. From simple habits that boost brain health to easy steps toward building resilience and happiness, each small tidbit can make a big difference in your life.
Sign up to receive tips by e-mail, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.