The people at this table are some of the 100 persons who came to Joe Momma's in Avila Beach tonight to have soup. There were two soup crowds: one at 6:00 pm and one at 8:00 pm. The 8:00 pm people were treated to a full-length beach movie called California Dreaming, filmed in Avila in 1979. But what else were we there for?
Well, it's all about play pumps.
Water pumps that harness the energy of children playing - how often have we thought "If we could just channel that energy for good..." The idea is inspired.
The owner of Joe Momma's as well as La Fonda hotel, Michael Kidd, saw these pumps on the Discovery channel, or maybe it was National Geographic (they have several videos about them), and saw a news clip about children in this country raising money to pay for a pump in Tanzania. Michael thought that was a great idea and decided to host a soup night once a month to pay for one pump. He had room for fifty people at a time, thus the two seatings, and he didn't have enough soup bowls to go around, thus it became BYOB, as in bring your own bowl. I saw the announcement in the local paper.
I had the lentil soup. Also on offer was a turkey chili. For the $15 donation, all of which goes to the pump, we got soup, bread, a drink and a dessert.
I was the first one in the door and I finished my soup first, so I went downstairs to sip my coffee and watch others coming in.
People chatted with each other as they waited to pay and get their bowls filled.
Michael (white hair, standing near door) talks to folks in line. Michael is very friendly and enthusiastic about the project. His business obviously reflects his personal passion for helping others, helping save the planet. The coffee and tea are fair-trade, there is a container for recycling the little coffee cup insulators, much of the food for sale is organically grown. He also has an organic clothing store upstairs with the cool name of Nekkid.
After everyone had finished soup Michael talked to the group a bit about the project, screened a news item about it, played the above youtube video, and then offered dessert.
In addition to these beautiful candies (organic, I'm betting) there was carrot cake and cheese cake.
For all of the right reasons, Joe Momma's has become my new favorite coffee place. Oh, and they'll take donations for the pump any time. Michael also wants to get a small group of coffee regulars together to go to Tanzania for the celebration when the pump is finished. I am gathering pennies now.