Pin It
Favorite

Viva City Council? 

A café owner campaigns

Viva Espresso offers biodegradable cups of fair-trade brew from Vermont Coffee Company. The snacks at the Old North End café are local, too. On a recent trip to Costco, co-owner Megan Munson-Warnken saw Philadelphia Cream Cheese on sale for $1.43 a pound. "At Viva, we pay six dollars for local cream cheese from the Champlain Valley Organic Creamery," she explains. "Other cafés aren't making these choices. There are organic coffee shops, but as far as a commitment to organic and local, we may be the only one in the country."

Now Munson-Warnken is making the leap from serving "coffee with conscience" to serving citizens conscientiously. She's running as a Progressive for a Ward 1 Burlington City Council seat. "I'm hoping to get people to think local to solve global problems," Munson-Warnken says, noting, "Opening Viva was a response to global warming."

The café was also designed for parents looking for a place to hang out with their kids in tow. No local hangouts were really "accommodating and supportive" of children, Munson-Warnken pointed out. A desire to build community, as well as to be involved in choices that impact the local schools, are big motivators in Munson-Warnken's decision to enter politics.

And while 8-month-old Viva is doing good business, Munson-Warnken feels it's time to get more involved. People come to Viva Espresso "partly because food is political and a purchase is a vote," she says. On March 6, Munson-Warnken hopes those votes translate to the more tangible kind.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Pin It
Favorite

More by Suzanne Podhaizer

About The Author

Suzanne Podhaizer

Suzanne Podhaizer

Bio:
Contributor Suzanne Podhaizer is an award-winning food writer (and the former Seven Days food editor) as well as a chef, farmer, and food-systems consultant. She has given talks at the Stone Barns Center for Agriculture's "Poultry School" and its flagship "Young Farmers' Conference." She can slaughter a goose,... more

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Seven Days moderates comments in order to ensure a civil environment. Please treat the comments section as you would a town meeting, dinner party or classroom discussion. In other words, keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

foodie poll

What are your food goals for 2017?

  • Check out more new bars and restaurants — and revisit my old favorites.
  • Eat out less — it's such a bank-account drain!
  • Cook more exciting food at home.
  • I'd like to patronize my local farmstands and markets more.
  • Eat more kale? Er ... observe a healthier diet overall.
  • Something else! I'll note it in the comments section.

View Results

Latest in Category

Recent Comments

Social Club

Like Seven Days contests and events? Join the club!

See an example of this newsletter...

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2017 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation