V V I
2B Wednesday February 1, 2012 The Statement
THE JUNK DRAWER
from last week: students for life random student interview
by laura argintar/ illustrations by jeff zuschlag
I Wednesday February , 2012.// Te Statemen
Sustainability at home:
Friday morning breakfasts at Selma Cafe
Are you pro-choice or pro-life?
Welcome to the Random Student I appreciate your honesty. When
Interview, where we tell it like it was the last time you went out on
is. a date?
:al votes: 166
"I think this debate will never end. Those on the 'abortion is death' side
will never concede that their personal views should not be imposed on oth-
ers, and those on the 'abortion is a personal right, even if I don't believe in
it' side will never concede that the other side has a right to control them."
"To me, abortion isa human rights issue like sex trafficking, torture, end-
less warand child abuse are. I've never heard anyone say sex slavery should
be 'safe, legal and rare' or 'I'm personally opposed to spousal abuse but I
would never impose my preference on an attacker'"
- James Perry
What do you think about Teach
I think it's a great opportunity for
students who want to get involved
with teaching or any sort of social
issues, and it's a great combination
of getting hands-on experience
while also getting a Master's in
Would you yourself ever want to
be a teacher?
No, I hate kids.
So you don't want kids when
I want kids, but I'll like my kids. I
don't want to take care of other
people's annoying kids. I have no
affiliation with that.
Do you have any younger siblings
I have two younger cousins, both of
which I do not talk to and are overly
academic and nerdy. But they think
I'm really cool, which is fun but
What do you do on Saturdays
now that there aren't any foot-
Work. But I'm lazy so I sit on my
couch until it's time to go out again.
I still eatthe same amount of food
that I would on a Saturday if I was
Kill me now.
' What's the
definition of a
date? My mom
took me out
break and we
ping and had
How about the last time you went
out and chatted with a boy?
I went to Rush Street last week and
chatted with a creepy MBA who
was eight times my age and was
way too interested in my personal
Ick. I hate when that happens.
But then again, I'm doing the
same thing - as in, being way too
interested in your personal life.
Are you active on campus?
I go to the Business School and
What about the facilities there?
I sometimes go to the gym and
use the Stepper because you get
an escalated view of everyone, and
there's some good looking MBAs
but then.I get sweaty and then I get
creepy and I always see some of my
Who knows - maybe one of them
will be at Rush Street. That's
really awkward to be working
out next to your teachers. Do
they flex and stuff?
FW -C (
Yes, my one teacher from last year
is so intense. He's there for hours.
Do you like energy drinks?
Yeah, I like to feel that I'm being
productive and doing something
with my life when I'm on them, but
really, I just feel like I'm on crack.
That's why energy drinks are
notoriously bad for you. Got any
Red Bull. Sugar-free. Gotta keep it
classy and low carb.
Let's talk about Obama coming
to the University. Did you wait in
line last week? -
I didn't. I just
called my dad and
t' asked if I could
pay $200 for a
ticket, but he said
that "you don't
care that much"
and "that's what
TVs are for."
Because people who waited in line
were selling them. My dad said I
should've been one of those people
who did that, like how I sold my
People camped out that night.
It sounds like the worst thing ever.
It would've been cool to see Obama
speak about things most of us don't
know about though.
If you had to choose between
being a teacher for a day or
camping out for Obama, which
would you choose?
Camping out for Obama, because
at least I could get drunk and enjoy
the experience with my friends.
-Samantha is a Business junior.
by Chelsea Landry
ILLUSTRATIONBY SHELBY CURWEN-GARBER
Lisa Gottlieb and Jeff McCabe do not
have wallpaper in their mudroom.
Instead, tiny strips of masking tape
bearing the names of Selma Cafe regulars
in Sharpie cover every inch of drywall,
some name tags even creeping up onto the
ceiling. Robin's egg blue and pastel yellow
paint is barely visible underneath the piec-
es of peeling tape.
It's eight o'clock in the morning and the
cafe has been open for almost two hours,
but Gottlieb is bounding with a frenetic
energy, reciprocated equally by the dozens
of diners filtering through her doors.
She has never considered hosting break-
fast at Selma Cafe in anywhere else but her
"Eating more locally
can make measurable
change. And it's also a
really healthy way to
eat because we're start-
ing with fresh, simple,
-Lisa Gottlieb, owner of Selma
On six days of the week, Gottlieb and
McCabe's quiet, unassuming house on
Ann Arbor's west side resembles any other
home. Only on Friday mornings does the
'quaint suburban setting transform into
Selma Cafe, a makeshift bistro serving
up locally grown meals on a by-donation
basis. Each week, Gottlieb and McCabe
invite one-local chef to their home to cook
breakfast for the customers, donating the
majority of the proceeds derived from that
morning toward a local cause.
In its nearly three years of existence,
the cafe has spread in popularity by word
of mouth. Gottlieb said it has fed as many
as 210 people within a three-and-a-half
hour time frame.
Perhaps the cafd's appeal derives from
its remarkably cozy atmosphere. Diners
are found anywhere from the dining room
table to the kitchen to the sofa, deftly bal-
ancing plates on their knees.
"My goal is that I want someone to come
to Selma Cafe and feel (as though) they've
been invited into our home for breakfast."
Despite its low-key surroundings, Selma
Cafe dishes up some of the highest-quality
cuisine imaginable. The morning I visited
the breakfast salon, chef Dan Vernia of The
Ravens Club served traditional mincemeat
pierogies and winter vegetable coulibiac.
The menu's presentation seems to con-
tradict its elegance, as it's merely hand-
written in permanent marker and tacked
to a wall in the dining room. Nevertheless,
it is the food that serves as the forefront of
every breakfast. Each week at Selma Cafe
offers a new assortment of culinary dishes
one wouldn't find anywhere else.
"Eating more locally can make measur-
able change," Gottlieb said. "And it's also
a really healthy way to eat because we're
starting with fresh, simple, healthy ingre-
The variety of options has brought LSA
senior Jodi Solway to Gottlieb and McCabe's
home more times than she can count.
"It's great food and a great experience,"
Solway said. "It's a great way to start your
day, especially on a Friday."
Noticeably missing from the truly gour-
met menu is the expected hefty price tag.
Selma Cafe operates on.a by-donation basis
and Gottlieb said that the average dona-
tion is between $10 and $15 a person. A
typical breakfast at Selma, Gottlieb said,
could raise up to $1500.
One-third of this money is used to buy
fresh, high-quality ingredients from local
farmers that Ann Arbor's best chefs use
to create that Friday's fare. The rest of the
funds are allocated as micro-loans to local
farmers to buy hoop house kits, another
integral part of Selma Cafe's mission.
Hoop houses allow farmers to grow
food during all four seasons, extending
the growing season exponentially and
greatly increasing the availability of local
produce. Selma Cafe volunteers install the
hoop houses, keeping the cost minimal to
So far, Selma Caf6 profits have helped to
build 30 hoop houses in the surrounding
community, with four built in Detroit.
"We want to buy local (and) I love the
variety and the creativity in local food,"
Gottlieb said. "We want to keep farmers in
This initiative is one of the major rea-
sons Matt Merrins, a long-time volunteer
with Selma Cafe, continues to dedicate his
time to the organization.
Merrins, who everybody at Selma calls
"Scooter," said much of his passion for the
organization was strengthened by Selma's
efforts to aid local farmers. Merrins said
he first-came to help a friend poach 100
eggs for a Friday morning breakfast in
March 2009 and has been coming back
"Its great food and a
great experience. It's
a great way to start
your day, especially on
-LSA senior Jodi Solway
Selma Cafe started as a party in its earli-
est days. The whole idea of a locally grown
cafe got started when Gottlieb threw a
breakfast party to celebrate McCabe's 50th
birthday in Feb. 2009. From the party, she
said a "core group of people" who wished
to continue the tradition developed.
It's an unlikely start to an extraordi-
narily unique nonprofit organization, one
that has fed thousands of Ann Arbor locals
and assisted a number of local farmers.
But sitting on Gottlieb's living room
couch, surrounded by family photos and
paperback books, it's possible to forget
you're even part of a working nonprofit.
It feels, just as Gottlieb had hoped, like
you've stepped inside her home, invited as
an old friend.