The Coast News Group
Teachers enjoy free meals at the last Sharing the Love event. Photos courtesy Christi Christian Urbane Cafe

Encinitas teachers get some love with free hand-crafted meals

ENCINITAS — To help them feel they’re getting the love they deserve; Encinitas teachers can be treated to free gourmet food at the local Urbane Cafe next week.

The event, called Sharing the Love, takes place on two days from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 24 and Thursday, Sept. 26 at Urbane Cafe, located at 1042 N El Camino Real.

The eatery, which makes hand-crafted, fire-baked sandwiches and salads, started the event three years ago and say anywhere from 100 to 500 teachers have taken part in the offer.

“Everyone has a teacher in their life that has helped mold and shape them in a positive way,” said Caprice White, marketing and guest relations manager at Urbane Cafe. “Even if someone comes from a difficult home life, a teacher can change that by investing in their students. Sometimes it is a thankless job, so we like to be there to thank them.”

Urbane Cafe says it extends the Sharing the Love events to as many neighbors as it can at all their 18 locations throughout Southern California and the Central Coast. In addition to teachers, the café shares the love with students, hospitals, nurses, police, service members and more.

“We feel that many hardworking people in our communities are always helping others and not getting the recognition that they deserve,” White said. “So, it is our opportunity to give them a special day and treat them, with no strings attached.”

White says whenever they open a café, they also share the love with the neighbors or surrounding businesses.

White said the idea for Urbane Cafe started in 2003 when owner and founder Tom Holt realized there was a missing niche in the Ventura restaurant scene — a great sandwich and salad place. White said Holt understood that every great sandwich starts with the freshest of bread, so he designed the cafe around a hearth oven and came up with a bread recipe with his friend Pete.

“Every day we make our focaccia dough in our scratch kitchens, and we bake it fresh constantly in our open-hearth ovens right before your eyes,” White said.

Holt created a menu centered around locally sourced ingredients, juicy-roasted meats, and crafted sauces to give each creation its own unique flavor. The long list of sandwiches includes chicken, turkey, beef and vegetarian options. Salad options include local beet, ahi, cilantro chicken, cobb, barbecue chicken, Mediterranean five-grain bowl and more.

On the selected days, Encinitas teachers and staff can go in and select their choice of a free sandwich or a salad.

“Giving back to our local communities and being socially responsible is a major, foundational pillar that has supported our Urbane Cafe brand from the very first opening of Urbane Cafe 15 years ago,” Holt said. “It is important for our staff to connect with our guests and to care about our community in the very same way we care about the preparation of our hearty, fresh, focaccia sandwiches and generous, healthy salads and bowls.”

To redeem the offer, teachers must have a valid teacher ID and must be present at the café.