catapult magazine

catapult magazine


unique economic model


Jul 09 2004
03:55 pm

The One World Cafe depends on the kindness of strangers, rich and poor.

Take the landlord, who lets Cerreta determine her rent: $1,650 a month for a two-story brownstone, where she lives upstairs. Or “Farmer John” Norborg, a 53-year-old self-employed gardener who tends a spice garden in back of the cafe in exchange for meals.

Another regular donated a quarter-acre lot for a vegetable garden three blocks away; retired oil-and-gas engineer Bill Wood picks up the water bill.

“I eat here all the time. Best place in the world,” said Wood, 70, who favors the fruit salad.

Some customers volunteer for kitchen duty, another way to pay for meals.

Al Travland, a 66-year-old masseur, also believes honesty is both the best and most profitable policy. He, too, lets customers decide how much to pay – and insists the concept, though foreign to corporate America, brings out the best in customers, making for good business.