Meet the 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 real estate 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.