A new and unique collaboration has formed between the Orlando Science Center and 4Roots, an Orlando-based non-profit dedicated to building a better food future. This collaboration will transform the Orlando Science Center’s dining area into an immersive, living exhibit: The 4Roots Cafe.
“Our two organizations have come together to create a very unique space,” said JoAnn Newman, President and CEO, Orlando Science Center. “This is much more than a restaurant. It is an engaging experience that connects learners of all ages to a better understanding of where our food comes from and how it impacts our health.”
Through dynamic programming, spectacular displays, and delicious homegrown food, experiences within the 4Roots Cafe will engage and educate youth and the general public on the latest innovations in Florida farming, causes of food waste and so much more.
“We all play a role in building a healthier, more sustainable community, and at 4Roots, we have made that core to our mission,” said John Rivers, Founder and CEO, 4R Restaurant Group and 4Roots. “Our organizations are like minded in our desire to creatively educate the next generation. Our hope is that this experience will inspire adults and children alike to think about food differently as they interact with this unique exhibit and discover nutritious, locally sourced meals.”
The new 4Roots Cafe will feature a living wall, cooking/farming demonstrations, interactive videos, food-hero exhibits, kids’ activities, and sustainable, delicious menu offerings with a goal of inspiring and educating others about critical food issues, including how to sustainably grow healthy food to feed a hungry world.
The cafe is an extension of the 4Roots presence in The Packing District, including the Farm Campus and Co-Op, where the team will utilize one of the first shipping container farms in the area to grow leafy greens hydroponically to feature on the cafe menu. Additionally, some proceeds from the cafe will help benefit the development of the 4Roots Farm Campus and its various educational initiatives taking shape with key community partners, including Orange County Public Schools, Valencia College and more.
The 4Roots Cafe is projected to open on level one in the Orlando Science Center in late October. To learn more, visit www.osc.org/4roots-cafe.
4Roots is an Orlando-based nonprofit community alliance founded by John Rivers of the 4R Restaurant Group, dedicated to building a better food future and ending food insecurity in our community. In 2019, the organization began laying the foundation for its farm campus in the heart of Orlando to serve as a community crossroads where individuals and organizations work together to engage a holistic approach to food systems change, focusing on health, education, economic development, and sustainability.
In March 2020, 4Roots and 4Rivers came together to launch its Feed the Need Florida initiative to help fill meal gaps for students, families and others in need across our Florida communities as a result of COVID-19. Since the effort began, the initiative has rescued more than 500,000 pounds of produce, served more than one million meals across the state, and preserved or created more than 320 jobs.
For more information, visit 4rootsfarm.org or follow along on Facebook and Instagram.