Head Cook Shauntae Richardson, from Spring Grove, peels potatoes on Wednesday to prepare for the end-of-the-week rush.
Head Cook Shauntae Richardson, from Spring Grove, peels potatoes on Wednesday to prepare for the end-of-the-week rush. (Evening Sun - Eric Drummond)
At the Farm Charm Café, it's not really about the food.

Tucked in the side of Freedom Path Ministries on York Road just south of Spring Grove, the café and flea market offer a chance to give back to the community and for many, a way to get back on their feet.

And while they're helping out, they're serving breakfast, lunch and an array of bakery treats.

Farm Charm Café is the brainchild of Peggy and Donald Freed, and a part of their Freedom Path Ministry.

The rescue mission offers transitional housing for women coming from jail, situations involving domestic violence or drug and alcohol abuse.

There are job skills classes, childcare, support groups and a flea market full of items donated from the community. All proceeds of the flea market benefit the transitional housing program and the women in it, Peggy Freed said.

The ministry that was started in 2004 was the result of a vision Freed had one day, she said.

Before that, she was a senior cost accountant at Hanover Foods and taught Sunday school at church. Now both she and her husband are certified laypeople.

The café opened in January and at first served only soups and sandwiches.

Members of the transitional house work alongside Freed at her staff.

A self proclaimed "farm kid," Freed said many of the menu and bakery items are from her family.

The café's menu covers the typical selection of soups, sandwiches and platters such as hot roast beef with stuffing and baked breaded fish.

After being told their chicken corn soup was delicious, I ordered it with a meatball sub.

I like a little more flavor in my meals and found the soup to be rather bland, so I opted for adding some salt and pepper. The meatball sub was also dry and could have used more sauce.

My friend had the hot roast beef and stuffing, and found both to need some seasoning as well.

While I found the food to be slightly lacking, being able to take in the décor and the Freed's mission was worth it.

And for what it's worth, our newsroom devoured the chocolate chip sugar cookies that we brought back in less than five minutes.

Ticket to Lunch is a weekly column focusing on local restaurants' meals available during the lunch hour. Contact Katharine Harmon at kharmon@eveningsun.com.

If you go

LOCATION: Farm Charm Cafe, 6147 York Road, Spring Grove

HOURS: 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., breakfast; 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., lunch; Tuesday through Friday

OWNER'S PICK: Fried chicken sub

PARKING: Lot

ACCEPTS: Cash, check, Mastercard, Visa

TAKE OUT: Yes

DELIVERY: No

DETAILS: 225-55