What is the Recovery Cafe Network?

POSTED: June 16, 2017 under Blog
Photo: Members of the Recovery Cafe Network meeting in Seattle in June 2017

Our work in creating Recovery Cafe San Jose has been guided by the originators of the model, Recovery Cafe in Seattle. Their advice – from sample documents, to hosting members of our team on visits there, to long phone calls trouble-shooting potential roadblocks – has made the difference time and again in making our first three years of operation a great success.

For the first couple of years, our relationship with Recovery Cafe Seattle was informal. They’d given us their blessing and permission to use the RC model and name, but it was all a “handshake agreement.”

As word of the Recovery Cafe movement has spread, and as more organizations have asked permission to replicate the model, it became clear that a more formal arrangement would be needed to protect the integrity of the name, and to ensure that it’s not being misused by anybody who would harm the Recovery Cafe reputation.

In June of 2016, the Recovery Cafe Network (RCN) was officially launched, with Recovery Cafe San Jose as part of the first cohort of Emerging Members. The form of our agreement with Recovery Cafe in Seattle is best described as Social Licensing. We maintain our identity as a legally separate, independent, nonprofit organization, but we agree to follow the terms of their license as a condition of using the Recovery Cafe name and materials.

Each member organization of the Recovery Cafe Network agrees to embrace four Core Commitments:

  • Creating a milieu that is embracing, healthy, and healing
  • Nurturing a Cafe culture in which everyone is a contributor
  • Supporting Recovery Circles as a structure of loving accountability
  • Ensuring responsible stewardship

Further, member organizations of the Recovery Cafe Network agree to abide by RCN Ethical Guidelines, meet local health and food service standards, and operate under generally accepted accounting principles for nonprofits.

We meet by video conference call with the other RCN members at least quarterly, and have an annual in-person training session with the other members in Seattle each June. At the end of the second year (June 2018), we will be among the first agencies to be elevated from Emerging Member status to Full Members of the Recovery Cafe Network.

Beyond the training and support we receive as Network members, we are breaking new ground together in demonstrating the scalability of the Recovery Cafe model, and how it can be replicated and adapted to work in communities large and small.

You can learn more about the RC Network and the other Emerging Members by visiting the new RCN website here.