By Mary Peters LIVERPOOL, N.Y. (NCC News) — A local organization that helps people overcome eating disorders is thriving because of the success of one of its funding sources. The Cafe at 407 in the village of Liverpool is a cafe with a cause.
This cause is Ophelia’s Place, where they help people with eating disorders. They offer education about eating disorders, access to treatment, and access to nutrition guidance. According to their mission statement, they want to redefine beauty and health.
“I always thought about food, nutrition, health. And that was kind of where it lived, was under this health bubble, so people didn’t ask too many questions. Because in our culture, it’s morally right to be healthy, right?” Holly Lowery said.
Lowery thought she was eating healthy but learned that her relationship with food was unhealthy. She had placed rules on what she could and could not eat, which she thought was normal.
“This was a thing that was really disrupting my life. And not allowing me to be living at my full potential,” Lowery said.
The Cafe at 407 opened in 2009 when more money was needed to fund the nonprofit organization. After paying employees and bills, the extra money goes to Ophelia’s Place.
“It feels better to work for somewhere where it’s more than just — you’re there more than just to make money,” Alexa DeCroix said.
DeCroix is a barista at Cafe at 407. She feels that people who work there have benefited from Ophelia’s Place.
The cafe is a place where an eating disorder doesn’t define you.
“A way to blur the lines in the sand when it comes to mental health and disordered eating. And all the stigma that we carry around that,” Lowery said.
It is a place where everyone belongs and no one is alone.
“It feels like a home. It feels like a safe space to just be and do my stuff, you know?” Lowery said.