A tea shop connects people more than any place of worship: ‘Anjappam'(Five Loaves) restaurant shares a unique message
You don’t need to spend a single rupee to eat food from this restaurant. If you are hungry, just get in and eat till you drop! Nobody is going to ask you to pay the bill. However, there is will be no problem, if you want to donate any amount you wish. By conceptualizing ‘Anjappam’ (Five Loaves) trust and a restaurant that works under its supervision, Fr. Bobby Jose Kattikadu, sends a very unique message to the society.
“Jesus asked his disciples to give food to the hungry crowd gathered to hear his speech. With five loaves and two fishes he could save them from hunger. I have realized that a teashop connects people more deeply than that a church can do”, says Fr. Bobby. ‘Giving food to the hungry is the real gospel’ – Anjappam trust works on this motto.
For him, It took six months to realize this dream. Baby Sam and M J Sebastian who both work abroad provided immense support to him to start Anjappam. “Nobody should be starved only because they don’t have enough money to buy food. Our effort is to make it happen”, says Fr. Bobby.
At Anjappam, food is always served with respect. It’s more than just a restaurant where you can come, eat and leave. It has a very good collection of books so that with food people can take in knowledge as well. After five o’clock in the evening, it turns into a library. Anyone can come, read and discuss books. Anjappam has plans to use the restaurant as a venue for organizing cultural programmes on a regular basis also.
The price for a meal is Rs. 25 and for breakfast, it’s Rs. 15. The money can be deposited at the counter if one wants to pay, even though it’s not necessary at all. “We don’t want people to feel that they are receiving a kind of charity. So we let them contribute whatever amount they can afford. Moreover many want to make their own contribution to this endeavour. For example, some people give Rs. 100 for a meal so that it helps us to serve three others who don’t have money to buy food,” says Lewis Abraham, the PRO of Anjappam trust.
He also said that Trust was all set to start more outlets across Kerala, and they had no intention to link this effort to any religion. They said it was a collective effort of people from many walks of life. Everyone who works at the restaurant does it voluntarily. If you don’t have any money to contribute, you can lend a hand to them in managing kitchen or dining area. Food is strictly vegetarian. The only thing that is mandatory at Anjappam is that they do never allow the food wastage.