Asbury Café mission statement: We feed people at the Fair so that these agencies can feed people all year round.
Let’s see if we can’t make this wonderful tradition something all Albuquerque area churches support! Asbury Methodist Church is asking that each Albuquerque church commit to 50 pies and/or 5 to 10 cafe workers to help out. The state fair is scheduled for September 9 - 19.
Asbury Methodist Church began the Asbury Café in the Goat Barn on the Fairgrounds in 1960. The founding church had only a few facilities, and its location at the eastern edge of Albuquerque, 10,000 Candelaria NE, was barren. The café began as an idea to benefit the church’s building fund. The specialty of homemade pie was the first menu item, and the church facilities took shape as the café prospered. After several years the decision was made to donate the profits to local charities.
The Asbury Cafe’s reputation for good food and community outreach grew to such an extent that it stretched the resources of the single church. In 1987 St. Stephen’s United Methodist Church joined forces with Asbury to expand the volunteer forces and supplement the outreach of the café. In 1993 we were joined by St. John’s United Methodist Church. These churches shared in the work involved with the café: picking and processing fruit, preparing pies, planning, and operating the cafe. In 2001, three more churches joined. Recently it has taken about ten churches (of various denominations) to provide pies and workers for the café. Every penny of the profit goes to helping charities that feed the needy, and none of the proceeds of the café support the member churches.
The café sells over 1800 pies and makes nearly $50,000 in profits during the 11-day State Fair. All charities receiving money from the café provide food to members of the Albuquerque community.
Last year was the first time in 60 years that we did not operate the Asbury Café. Despite not having a fair or café, the member churches stepped up, and we were able to give a very respectable $30,000 to the charities we support.
This year, it looks like the State Fair will once again occur. But our supporting churches need help. Several churches have just recently started meeting in person and some may be holding worship services but aren’t completely open. We are not sure that we can provide enough pies or enough workers for this year. We need more churches to support this worthwhile ministry. If a church could provide just 50 pies and/or 5-10 workers, it would really make a difference. Current member churches and volunteers are willing to mentor new churches. It is important to us and the receiving charities, and their clients, that the ministry continues.