Professional Women of Chatham and Orange Counties Scholarship Award
Co-Founder and Executive Director, Jennie Knowlton, was awarded the Professional Women of Chatham and Orange Counties annual scholarship this June. The $750 scholarship was awarded to six individuals this year, with the purpose of helping their businesses by supporting workshops, training, or equipment. The funds awarded to Jennie will go toward the purchase of a new fryer to be used when The Café opens in its permanent location.
Chatham County Chamber Leadership
Also this June, Jennie graduated from the Chatham County Chamber of Commerce Leadership program. Along with 24 other business, nonprofit, and community leaders, this experience offered an in-depth look into many different aspects of Chatham County. The final project included a day spent at The Youth Development Center in Siler City, with a lively debate, poetry reading, games and a fabulous meal catered by Bestfood Cafeteria and supplied by The Quiltmaker Café for all residents and staff.
GOLD SEAL of Transparency: The Quiltmaker Cafe is excited to announce that we've earned our 2023 Gold Seal with @CandidDotOrg! We are proud to share the work our nonprofit does throught our profile.
Candid is an information service specializing in reporting on U.S. nonprofit companies. In 2016, its database provided information on 2.5 million organizations. Click the gold square below to learn more!
In the News...
Interview with Cooper Metts, senior at UNC Chapel Hill
Cooper Metts is a senior at UNC Chapel Hill studying journalism and economics. Cooper has worked for publications and media outlets including The Pamlico News, The Daily Tar Heel, Chapel Hill Magazine, Chatham Magazine and Curtis Media Group. Cooper hopes to begin a career in business or economics reporting after graduation this upcoming spring!
In early 2023, Jennie and Cooper met at the Chatham County Visitors Center and started discussing the Cafe. The concept seemed interesting enough for a final class project!
Chatham News + Record
The Cafe's Co-Founder and Executive Director, Jennie Knowlton, was listed #13 in The Chatham News+Record, The People Who Made Chatham Exceptional!
Jennie Knowlton established the nonprofit Quiltmaker Café in February 2021 with her husband David and daughter Elizabeth and a simple vision: to open a permanent fast-casual restaurant in Pittsboro using a pay-what-you-can model, in which those eating set their own price for the meal. Donations can take different forms, including monetary, produce or donations of time through volunteering.
Knowlton, who grew up experiencing food insecurity, remembers the associated stigma. A core feature of the restaurant is dignity, she said, and being able to give agency to patrons to dine out and enjoy a meal with others.
“So there’ll be no separation between who might be paying, who might be volunteering, who might be paying under,” she said. “And just building that community also with using volunteers, rather than employees, [so] that everyone is also serving each other, once again, no matter from what type of means they might be coming from.
Chatham News + Record
PITTSBORO — For those looking for a hot meal but without Thanksgiving plans, or if you’re simply seeking company and conversation, Pittsboro’s Quiltmaker Café is hosting a Thanksgiving event to provide a space for it all — regardless of ability to pay.
This year marks the first time the nonprofit Quiltmaker Café is holding a “Pay-What-You-Can” meal for Thanksgiving; it’s scheduled for 1 to 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving day — Thursday, Nov. 24 — at Postal Fish Company in Pittsboro.
For café co-founder and executive director Jennie Knowlton, it’s a day she’s looking forward to for a number of reasons.
97.9 The Hill On The Porch Interview
CH@T with the Chatham News + Record
Jennie Knowlton, founder and executive director of The Quiltmaker Café, began her first nonprofit journey early last year, along with her husband, David, and daughter, Elizabeth.
Having experienced food insecurity herself during different periods in her life, she says she can personally relate to the dignity lost as choices become fewer and fewer. With The Quiltmaker Cafe — set to open soon in Pittsboro — Knowlton is excited to combine her passion for reducing waste with her desire to address growing food insecurity by providing a space where all are welcome to a meal and community. This week, we spoke with Knowlton about her plans for the cafe.
Interview from First Sunday, April 2022
Past Event Highlights
Hosted our second event on Thanksgiving Day with The Travelling Café and The Postal Fish Company.
A huge THANK YOU to all of our sponsors and volunteers!
Community Feast 2022
We celebrated our first Pay-What-You-Can Community Dinner on a beautiful evening in October. Over 200 community members sat down with local businesses and farmers to enjoy an amazing dinner, hear fabulous music and make new friends. If you weren't able to make it this time, stay tuned for updates on our next!