Meet the Founder

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Rosemarie Mccarthy

 Founder

When Rosemarie McCarthy happened upon a mention of the One World Everyone Eats café model in a magazine, she went looking for a cafe to volunteer. The idea of a donation-based cafe, servicing a diverse socioeconomic range and providing nutritious and delicious meals, sounded like something to which she wanted to donate her time and energy. But to her surprise, there was nowhere to volunteer in the Long Island region. With grit and determination, she decided to start Harmony Cafe in her community of Patchogue.

 

McCarthy grew up in a working-class family, where money was tight and food insecurity was a cause of stress at times. When her father was diagnosed with heart disease and suddenly unable to work, the family had to rely on food stamps to stock their pantry. The stigma and sometimes despair that accompanied being in need, as a child have stuck with McCarthy. She hopes to create a place for people that are struggling a service that has dignity and no stigma attached to it and the food is fresh and healthy, and with no prices on the menu, you just pay what you can. 

 

With a Bachelor’s of Science in Organizational Management from St. Joseph’s College, an Associate's Degree in Paralegal Studies, and a NY State Real State license, McCarthy had the organizational skills and knowledge to found a non-profit that has gone on to feed thousands of people across a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds. Mccarthy lives in Patchogue and has one daughter that lives in Germany with her husband and both are Neuroscientist. 

 

Since it’s beginnings in April of 2016, Harmony Cafe has been a welcoming, judgment-free space for everyone to pull up a chair and feed their bodies and souls. McCarthy envisions Harmony Cafe eventually having a bustling storefront cafe, where neighbors can socialize and eat in a judgment-free atmosphere. She hopes to provide a sense of pride and comfort to those in need, where food and community go hand in hand.

Meet the Team

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Mary Ellen Grimes

Advisory Board Member

Mary Ellen Grimes is a Registered Dietitian who has worked in many areas of dietetics. She currently teaches Nutrition at SUNY Farmingdale and also holds a K -12 certification in Family and Consumer Science where she developed curriculum and taught nutrition and culinary classes. Mary Ellen’s past experiences include work as a clinical dietitian in acute care and long-term care. She also worked in community nutrition at Island Harvest Food Bank which has provided her the opportunity to work with food insecurity and hunger on Long Island – helping to bridge the gap between food insecure individuals and access to healthy food. While there she created and coordinate nutrition programs for agencies served by Island Harvest Food Bank, she also cooking demonstrations at shelters, food pantries, soup, and other places where people can get access to food demonstrating how to cook healthy meals easily. Mary Ellen obtained her Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in nutrition from Queen College. She also has a certification for teaching yoga, which she is passionate about. She has also recently worked with the LIAND board (Long Island Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) as a co-chair for one of the committees. Mary Ellen enjoys outdoor activities including cycling, running, and gardening.

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Mandolynne Hopkins
Secretary Board Member

When the large annual charity event she runs was cancelled, Mandolynne sought out another way to give back and the bond with Harmony Cafe was formed.  She believes our prime purpose in this life is to help others.  She is the owner of Long Island's only piercing studio (with her partner) offering a carefully curated selection as well as an art gallery, The best specialty jewelry companies worldwide approach her wanting their products featured in Amulet Art's beautiful studio.  Mandolynne obtained her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Santa Fe University of Art and Design. Her background includes years of management at a Fortune 500 company, being appointed to a high ranking county position by two separate elected officials as well as five years with the world's second largest tech giant.  She began her piercing apprenticeship in 2006, under the direction of the former Association of Professional Piercers President and Secretary, all the while working a full time job with Microsoft and raising a daughter alone. Pre-covid, she was traveling teaching classes in her field and hosting pop-ups across the US offering her services to clients and celebrities alike. Her background in accounting and finance, human resources, management, and administration has supplied her with the skills needed for exactly this type of role.  Her extensive experience with Charity Event Management makes her the perfect fit for Harmony Cafe.  She revels in making people feel their best, most authentic sparkly self!  

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Patricia Odusami

Advisory Board Member

Patricia Odusami is an adept business professional with extensive IT Project Management and Business development experience. She has over 20 years of significant accomplishments in the areas of project management, strategic technology planning, enterprise systems implementation, and business development. Having lived and worked across three continents, Patricia has a diverse background and international working experience in both the public and private sectors. She believes organizations should leverage diversity to power innovation and growth. Her life passion is ending world poverty one step at a time even If this means changing just one life. 

Patricia is an alumnus of Birkbeck College, University of London, UK, and has undertaken an executive program in leadership from the University of Oxford, UK. She is a member of Women in Technology, Lean In, and the Project Management Institute, PMI. Patricia served for years as the Vice President, Education, Global Expression Toastmasters NY. 

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Connie Trentacoste
 Treasurer

Connie is a gardening enthusiast  and strives to live a holistic lifestyle. Currently working as a Billing Coordinator for an Intellectual Property Law firm, the bulk of her work experience was  as Office Administrator for a mid size Medical Malpractice Defense firm. For over a decade, along with managing the staff and operations, Connie worked closely with the Finance Department to manage budgets along with Overseeing the Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable Departments.

Volunteering at Harmony Cafe came at a time when Connie was looking to give back to the community as well as build community.  Harmony Cafe's pilot program of a community garden was a natural fit. Connie looks forward to helping build the Harmony Cafe community

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