Wednesday, September 12, 2012

North Texas Giving Day

As many of you know, effective September 1, Chad Houser has taken his rightful spot as the Executive Director of Café Momentum. With passion as a spearhead, Chad’s leadership sets up a solid foundation for the restaurant’s mission and makes the opportunity for growth a real possibility. Now, more than ever, we want you to engage and connect with this movement. This is your chance to be a part of the making—helping Café Momentum grow from the ground level.

Your support means being a part of something much larger. The juvenile justice system allots plenty of room for young offenders to repeat old habits and act on poor behaviors. Café Momentum interrupts that pattern. It helps the young men recognize their capabilities and build onto their strengths. To date, this program has given them vocational training, employment prospects, and multiple professional references. Without an opportunity like this, many of them refuse to even acknowledge their potential and return to discouraging environments. Your contribution helps to create a place that is hopeful and inspiring.

As a case in point, one of the young men who dropped out of school has gone on to earn his GED, secured employment at one of Dallas’ hottest new restaurants, and applied for college. Café Momentum has the ability to turn these young men’s lives around with just a dash of encouragement. It gives youth the tools and confidence they need to be successful adults and contributing members of society.  As this same young man says, “There aren’t that many people who say they are going to help and then follow through and do it. [At the last Café Momentum Dinner] I felt like I was at home. Best night of my life.”

We need your help.  Secure the future of these young people by securing the future of Café Momentum. We have an opportunity once per year through Donor Bridge and Communities Foundation, where all gifts will be matched (to some portion).  Donor Bridge 2012 will occur on September 13, 2012. Your gift will be accepted from 7:00 a.m. to midnight through DonorBridge of Texas. Click on “Youth Village Resources of Dallas” as the charity and then be sure to click on “Cafe Momentum” as the program.  In order for the Café Momentum gifts to be matched, you must donate on-line during this time.

As Café Momentum continues its progression toward a sustainable business, the philanthropic endeavor remains the heart of its mission. As a community supporter, you serve as a key ingredient to this project. We are counting on you to be part of the social change and innovation that Café Momentum has to offer. You make it possible to change the outcomes for these young men.


Your Café Momentum Development Team

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men”—Frederick Douglas

Friday, September 7, 2012

Coffee is Served

We did it!!

Cafe Momentum and Noble Coyote Coffee Roasters have joined forces to create a fantastic new blend of coffee. This tasty flavor is a mixture of Fair Trade Arabica Beans, specifically Ethiopia Yirgacheffe and Guatemala Quiche, that when fused together create sensational tones of cocoa, floral, and sweet citrus.

This wonderful flavor was hand-selected and joyfully tasted by the 2012 Cafe Momentum focus group.  This enthusiastic group consisted of Cafe Momentum supporters Emily Stout and John Greenan, board members Cannon Flowers and Corey Admire, Chef Jeffery Hobbs, Cafe Momentum participant Jonathan A., Executive Director Chad Houser and last, but certainly not least, Kevin and Marta Sprague of Noble Coyote Coffee Roasters.

Noble Coyote Coffee Roasters is a local company found in East Dallas near White Rock Lake. This company is a dedicated advocate of ethical trade practices supporting responsible farming and uses methods that have a minimal impact on the earth while supporting the community. To further support their values, Kevin and Marta have graciously agreed not only to create this new flavor but are giving back part of the proceeds from each bag of Cafe Momentum Blend sold. As the label from Noble Coyote states, "We win. They win. You win," and these words could not be closer to the truth. By buying just one bag of this delicious coffee, the young men who are at-risk and labeled as "throwaways" will be able to come one step closer to turning their lives around. So, drink up and change a life!

The Cafe Momentum blend is currently available at the Noble Coyote Coffee Roasters website  and White Rock Local Market, which is open every second and and fourth Saturday of the month from 8am-1pm. Updates will follow as new locations start to carry the Cafe Momentum blend. 

If you would like more information on Cafe Momentum please visit our website at

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A note from our new Board Chairman...

I am pleased to inform you that we have an executed employment contract with Chad Houser effective today, 9/1/2012, as Executive Director.  

 Please join me in welcoming Chad as our founding Executive Director of Cafe Momentum.  In the past year+ we have made much progress with Cafe Momentum.  Now, I am pleased to have Chad in a place where we can make even more significant progress.  Our many donors/supporters will enjoy hearing this important news, but more importantly it brings security to those who support us financially, showing we have diligently selected the best person for this key leadership role.  Chad possesses the exact mix of professionalism, talent, skills, and passion, to get the organization through the start-up phase and building a foundation that will carry the organization for many years to come.  The fact that Chad is one of the Founders, along with Janice Provost who serves on the Board will also carry much respect in philanthropic circle -- we are very fortunate to have both Chad and Janice as visionaries of our mission.

Chad, as a Board, we are here to enable success of the organization, and for you personally.  This is a working board, so please continue to engage us as much as needed to insure success in each of these aspects.   

Thank you very much Chad and thank you to the board members who worked through the employment legal and operational negotiations.

Onward and upward...


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Cafe Momentum Creates a Custom Blend With Noble Coyote Coffee Roasters

Back(l-r): Jeffery Hobbs, John Greenan, Kevin Sprague, Spencer Jay
Front (l-r): Emily Stout, Corey Admire, Rachael Abrams, Marta Sprague, Jennifer Chininis

If it takes a village to raise a child, then it takes a community to build Momentum! Thanks to the generous and kind hearts of Marta and Kevin Sprague of Noble Coyote Coffee Roasters, our Momentum keeps growing. On August 5, the Spragues let us hang in their facility while they taught us about coffee roasting, introduced us to some delicious beans, and let us sample brews from their stash.

After we tasted five types of coffee and made notes about each one, we settled on two we loved the most: Guatemala Quiche and Ethiopia Yirgacheffe. Then we mixed and matched until we came up with the perfect ratio of each to create the Cafe Momentum blend. If you must know, the blend is 70 percent Quiche and 30 percent Yirgacheffe.

But here's the best part: Noble Coyote is donating a portion of the proceeds from each bag sold to Cafe Momentum. The blend will be available in a few weeks at White Rock Local Market, Jimmy's Food Store, St. Michael's Farmer Market, Artizone, and on the Cafe Momentum and Noble Coyote websites.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Chad Houser To Become Executive Director and Executive Chef of Cafe Momentum

At the end of August, Parigi chef and partner Chad Houser will leave his post at the Oak Lawn eatery to become the executive director and executive chef of Cafe Momentum, the nonprofit restaurant he and his partner, Janice Provost, founded last spring. Since June 2011, in conjunction with programs funded by the Youth Village Resources of Dallas, Cafe Momentum has taught culinary skills—and life skills—to dozens of disadvantaged youth through regular pop-up dinners with the city’s top chefs.

Provost and Houser have been business partners for the past four years, bonding over a shared philosophy of food, especially sourcing fresh, local ingredients. In addition to supporting local farmers and producers, the two of them have been actively involved in the community, dedicating time and resources to causes such as Dallas Farmers Market Friends, Greater Dallas Restaurant Association, Human Rights Campaign, and Best Buddies. After touring the Dallas County Youth Village with Jerry Silhan, executive director of Youth Village Resources of Dallas, both chefs immediately were inspired to contribute. The idea for Cafe Momentum was born.

In his new role, Houser will be able to dedicate himself fully to Cafe Momentum’s mission: transforming young lives by equipping our community’s most at-risk youth with life skills, education, and employment opportunities so they can achieve their full potential. He will oversee all Cafe Momentum operations and, eventually, will man the stove at a permanent location. The young men (and, soon, young women) will work with Houser to execute his menu.

“Cafe Momentum reminds me why I fell in love with cooking in the first place,” says Houser, the organization’s co-founder. “It’s familial. It nurtures souls and bodies. Regardless of their background, when these young men come into Cafe Momentum, they speak the same language: food. I’m very grateful to Janice for being such a supportive partner and friend, and to the Cafe Momentum board for believing in me.”

“When Chad and I first conceptualized Cafe Momentum, I think it was always in the back of my mind that he might one day leave Parigi to lead Cafe Momentum,” Provost says. “He is very passionate about Cafe Momentum, and we have reached a point where we need someone to run the organization on a full-time basis. We need a person dedicated to taking it to the next level, and I can’t think of a better person than Chad to do just that. Although we will miss him at Parigi, I am thrilled to continue to work with him on our vision for Cafe Momentum.” 

Cafe Momentum recently filed the necessary paperwork to become its own 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Provost will remain on the board alongside fellow members Cannon Flowers, Christopher Quadri, Jerry Silhan, Ken Maxwell, Phil Willis, Terry Lynn Crenshaw, and Corey Admire.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Tickets on Sale for July 29 Pop-up Dinner With Central 214’s Graham Dodds

Cafe Momentum is pleased to announce our next guest chef: Graham Dodds. The pop-up dinner takes place July 29 at 6 pm, at Central 214 at Hotel Palomar Dallas. Seats for the $100 four-course dinner can be reserved at The menu follows:

Hors d’oeuvre:
Manchego-Quince Skewers
Windy Meadows Chicken Liver Toast, Chanterelle Conserva

Marie’s Arugula, Parmesan Reggiano, Lemon + Texas Olive Ranch Olive Oil

Red Snapper, Artichokes, Grapes + Ajo Blanco

PBR Braised Beef Cheeks, Jalapeno Cornbread, Avocado + Sunflower Sprout Slaw

Goat Ricotta Cheesecake, Orange Glaze + Candied Pine Nuts

About Graham Dodds
Known for his locally sourced, organic ingredients, Graham Dodds brings a lifetime of experience and cultural inspiration to every dish. His approach to cooking is equally influenced by his family’s English heritage, his Texas upbringing, and his vast culinary experience from around the world. Over the years, Dodds has been praised by local media such as D Magazine, the Dallas Morning News, and the Dallas Observer, as well as Bon Appetit and American Way. An avid supporter of local charities such as the Texas Honeybee Guild, Dodd often donates his talents for benefit events and frequently appears on TV.