| a heart’s calling…
by Mallory Dawn
“…I believe it is our responsibility as a society to collectively support those who need us. It is with this intention that the Heart of Riversdale – Community Market & Cafe was created.”
I remember the first time I said, “no,” the second, third and fourth. Time and time again, I would say no and each time I felt a part of me shiver, an inner whisper calling from deep within. I remember looking into the eyes of the people standing before me, asking for various items, needs they had, requests for nourishment that didn’t fall into the “vision” of the space we were inhabiting. With each set of eyes, each smile, each soul, with each sound of that word “no,” my heart’s whispers grew louder, louder, and louder. My heart’s whispers began to scream until I couldn’t silence it any longer. I began asking myself a question, “How can I serve the vision of Soul Foods and also serve the people I meet face to face every day?” Something had to change. I was being called to respond to a bigger need than I realized existed when we began this journey of expansion into 401–20th Street in Saskatoon. A new vision was being birthed. A space for all, where nourishing foods were made approachable, accessible, and affordable.
I have witnessed firsthand the positive effects whole foods can have on physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. My own health shifted at age 19 when I was diagnosed with a tumour on my pituitary gland. The medical help I received only seemed to make things worse, therefore I sought out alternative and integrative medicine. I was guided to a lifestyle of consuming foods that nourished me, participating in experiences that helped me connect to my body and its needs, and slowly my body began to heal. This experience created the belief that when our body is nourished, it creates a foundation for a positive mindset, and with a strong connection to self and community that a wholistic level of healing can occur. This mindset and holistic approach to health can assist individuals to move past their subconscious, habitual, and traumatic patterns to a life of meaningful choices.
But what if you grow up in a situation where you have no choice? A place from where you enter this world in poverty, where you have such a long history of generational trauma that having a choice is something so far out of reach that you couldn’t fathom what that would look like or feel like. For many in our community, this is the case. Born into a life where options are limited, if any. For those of us who acknowledge that we do have a choice, I believe it is our responsibility as a society to collectively support those who need us. It is with this intention that the Heart of Riversdale—Community Market & Cafe was created. A space where those who have a little extra can, through supporting local vendors, contribute to a mission to bridge the financial gap. At the Heart of Riversdale we allocate 100% of the money generated through tips in the cafe to our Pay What You Can Program. We also allocate a percentage of our profits gained through the market sales to this program with a BIG goal in mind. Our aim is to have a full cafe menu, basic groceries, and in-house made products all available at a Pay-What-You-Can price. But we can’t do it alone!
We are seeking community partners to help us bridge the financial gap and make nourishing foods and experiences available to all, at a pay-what-you-can price, no questions asked. We are a volunteer-run organization with one paid salary position and two part-time staff. We are seeking volunteers and community partners to continue to grow and become a lasting space in the heart of Riversdale where all can access the nourishment and support needed to live a life that is meaningful to them. We are asking that if, as you read this and it speaks to your heart, that you reach out. That you share our vision with a friend, and together help us to create a better future for all, one we can be proud to leave our children and grandchildren, one with a strong sense of community and social responsibility.
From our heart, to yours.
Mallory Guenther, RYT500 and certified psychosomatic therapist, is the co-founder of Three Treasures Tonics, Soul Foods Conscious Grocer, and the Heart of Riversdale Community Market & Cafe in Saskatoon, SK. In 2009, Mallory’s health shifted as she experienced significant physical and mental health challenges that opened her to the world of alternative medicine. After overcoming these challenges, Mallory decided to dedicate her professional path to serving others. Her passion is helping others to overcome their traumatic past and create a new more vital future. She currently offers individual therapy and group sessions on Psychosomatic Therapy as well as Trauma Informed Yoga & Yoga Nidra through Modo Yoga Saskatoon, where she has taught for the past seven years. She shares her life with her partner Chady and her three stepchildren. To contact her: (306) 380-2339 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.