TOLEDO, Ohio — A small restaurant with a big-hearted chef has been open in east Toledo since September. Mama T’s Cafe is a place where if you can’t pay, you can still get a good meal.
With mac and cheese straight out of the oven, greens steaming on the stove top and a little bit of help peeling the sweet potatoes, Mama T is getting ready for a massive Thanksgiving dinner
“When they call it ”Mama T,’ that’s what they call me, what’s your specials? and I’ll let them know,” Mama T said.
It’s free to anyone in the neighborhood who drops by and grabs a plate despite only being open for a few months, Mama T’s is where the hungry know they can eat, money or not.
“I know what it’s like, I’ve been there and I want everyone to know it doesn’t matter who you are, we all need love, we all need food,” Mama T said.
For Mama T, cooking and serving her community is what she was put here to do.
“You can tell who’s hungry you can tell, sometimes they’ll bring a dollar in and you know, ‘what can I get for a dollar?’ If I know that’s all you have, you’re going to get a chicken dinner,” Mama T said.
She also wants to change the perception of her neighborhood.
“Sometimes I have 20 kids in here. ‘Mama, did you get cookies made?’ You know, so, I love them, I love everybody, I love this neighborhood,” Mama T said.
For her, it’s not about whether or not her restaurant makes money, it’s making sure she’s taking care of her neighbors and that customers enjoy her food.
“This is not my intention at all, but I believe it’s a mission, I believe this is where God wants me to be,” Mama T said.
Mama T’s Cafe is located at 560 east Broadway Street in Toledo.