Liverpool, N.Y. (NCC News) — At the corner of Oswego and Tulip Street in Liverpool lies Cafe 407. A small coffee shop looking to make a big impact. The cafe was created in partnership with Ophelia’s Place, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide support, access to treatment and education for people who are struggling with eating disorders, disordered eating, and body dissatisfaction.
The Organization started in 2002, but it wasn’t until seven years later that Cafe 407 opened up shop in Liverpool. The coffee shop donates 100% of the proceeds to Ophelia’s Place, “which makes up about 35% of our annual budget,” according to Executive Director of Ophelia’s Place, Holly Lowery.
Lowery also mentioned that “out of all mental health disorders, eating disorders have the second-highest mortality rate just behind opioid addiction.” This kind of statistic is why it is imperative that organizations like Ophelia’s Place exist, to help those struggling with eating disorders.
There are three main ways Ophelia’s Place provides help for those in need and that is through support, treatment, and education. The nonprofit holds public and private support groups in-person and online, open to anyone currently struggling or in remission from an eating disorder. Through these sessions, Ophelia’s Place is able to get to know patients better and ultimately suggest the best treatment plan for them. This oftentimes includes suggesting treatment at the Upstate New York Eating Disorder Service center in Elmira, N.Y. The final and most important piece of the puzzle is education. Ophelia’s Place has online educational courses for people to equip themselves with the knowledge necessary to help themselves and those around them.
“If we can educate ourselves and then start to educate others on changing those conversations and giving people the tools to do so. We really feel that that is the next step towards creating a cultural shift,” said Lowery.
The cafe not only draws in customers aware of their mission but those who are just learning out the important partnership between the coffee shop and Ophelia’s Place.
“Knowing where your money is going, going to a good cause, a charitable cause. That’s fantastic,” said new customer, William Fluger.
Overall the Cafe’s main goal is to bring awareness to eating disorders and ultimately help those personally affected.