A Community-Building Cafe - Meghan Grunow of Halcyon Cafe

A halcyon is a mythical bird said to charm stormy seas into calmness. Meghan Gunell is a bit of a halcyon herself: she’s creating mini-oases of calm and deliciousness in oft-crazy Portland, Oregon. She sat down with us at the Startup Chronicle Founder’s Media Bootcamp to talk about Halcyon Cafe.

“[Halcyon Cafe] will serve super delicious, plant-based, organic foods, as well as amazing coffees, teas, beers, and wines,” she says. “And it will offer a variety of classes focusing on meditation and yoga.”

You can’t throw a stone without hitting an organic-themed restaurant in Portland, but Meghan has a bigger vision that will set her cafes apart. “We’ll be raising money for community projects,” she explains. “In addition, we’ll help volunteers connect to the people who need them.” Even the seating will be arranged to encourage community among the patrons.

Meghan fell in love with volunteering and community-building when it saved her from the turmoil of tragedy. “When I was 14 I experienced a loss that was traumatic,” she shares. “During that period I discovered volunteering. I noticed that when I was volunteering I no longer felt like a victim of this bad thing that had happened, but i felt empowered, like someone who is able to help others.”

She knows that volunteering can help others too, as can nutritious, healthy food, and practices like meditation and yoga. She’s bringing them all together Halcyon Cafe. Her plan for growth is franchising, so other cafe owners can add their own spin to her formula for serenity.

“I envision several more Halcyon Cafes in close-in Portland. So the essence of Halcyon Cafe, the donations, the really good for you, thoughtful, nutritious, sustainable food, will be there. But it will be mixed with the new location and the new owner of each franchise. So each location will have different personalities.”

We at Startup Chronicle admire Meghan’s vision, and we can’t wait to have our company meetings at one of her cafes. She’s also a great example of someone who can speak concisely and beautifully about her vision and her company, which we just love. Check out her full video!

Underwriters: Immix Law GroupdelapCentrl OfficeWePost MediaVibrance Global
Interviewers: Thubten Comerford & Yasmin Nguyen
Article: Eric Inman
Video Editor: Jacob Curtis

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