Alumnus Patrick Mixis (BS ‘14, Foodservice Administration), is helping to feed the world with each meal served out of his restaurant Feed The World Café located in Oshetemo, Michigan.
As a student, Mixis worked with Dr. John Mueller, an entrepreneur professor at WMU, and developed a plan, which they called ‘one for one,’ where a portion of every meal purchased at Mixis’ restaurant–then just a dream–would go toward helping the hungry. That was three years ago. Today, the restaurant has a routinely updated menu that this past October featured simple yet delectable dishes with Mixis’ mark on them–fresh fish and seafood tacos, pulled pork sandwiches with homemade BBQ sauce, crispy pork belly with a blackberry chocolate pepper sauce and lemon blanched apples–to name a few.
The café has been open since early summer and as of September 30, has donated enough money to purchase 4,2000 meals for the hungry in Southwest Michigan, Mixis says, working with several local and regional food assistance agencies, including Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes and the South Central Food Bank of Michigan.
Like any entrepreneur, Mixis has experienced some of the less than savory aspects of opening a business. “The professors in my Nutrition and Institutional Management classes helped me realize my whole mission,” Mixis says. “They made it enjoyable to learn how to apply the numbers to real-world situations. Many of my classes opened my eyes to the world and how to succeed in business. They gave me the tools to succeed.”
Mixis has no desire to stay put. His five-year plan is to franchise the one-to-one model, opening restaurants in larger cities creating unique menus for those locations that utilize region-specific ingredients and produce. He also hopes to sell a line of products with the Feed The World Café nameplate, which he has copy-written.