The Alex Community Food Centre Celebrates Its Soft Launch on September 20

Starting on September 20, you can visit the Community Food Centre in Forest Lawn. Check out the space, spend some time in the cafe, sign up for its programs and meet your neighbours.

Photographs by Karin Olafson


The Alex Community Food Centre in Forest Lawn aims to make healthy eating more accessible. Starting on Tuesday, September 20, the centre will open its doors for drop-in visits. Anyone is able to come and visit the new space, meet the CFC team and sign up for its programs. Finishing touches on the kitchen are still in the works, but community meals will also be served in the near future and cooking classes are also planned for the future. 

You can visit the new CFC Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Here are some details about the centre you might not already know and a glimpse inside the centre. 


What you need to know about The Alex Community Food Centre

In a nutshell, The Alex Community Food Centre is about the power of food to bring people together to solve big, social issues. “Problems like social isolation, poor health and poverty can all be addressed through food,” says Renee MacKillop, the Community Food Centre project manager. “A CFC is a welcoming place to address those problems through food. It’s a place where food can be grown, cooked and shared. After all, food is our universal language!”

Programming will include everything from community meals to cooking classes to gardening lessons. “Later this year we will roll out programming that will involve celebrating different the cultural groups along International Avenue,” says MacKillop. 

The centre will be the seventh CFC to open in Canada and the first to open west of Winnipeg. And according to MacKillop, the centre will be fully running by the end of this year. 


What The Alex Community Food Centre will be like

The new 5,300-square-foot CFC is located in Forest Lawn in a former restaurant. (You might remember it as a White Spot.) The space has been designed by the local team Frank Architecture and Interior and O2 Planning + Design is working on the landscape architecture. The garden will be designed to reflect the Alberta farm landscape and highlight where our food comes from.

Inside, there will be a child minding area, a gender neutral washroom, staff and advocacy offices, an open, full commercial kitchen for meal prep and cooking classes, and a dining area that will seat up to 100 people. Seating will be mostly round tables as well as long harvest tables. A donor wall will be keeping with the food theme by highlight donor names on cutting boards. The dining area will also have a coffee station and shelves that might become a lending library with cookbooks. 

According to MacKillop, there are also hopes for a greenhouse.

The Alex Community Food Centre, 4920 17 Ave. S.E.,

rendering courtesy of frank architecture and interiors

The building is well on its way to looking as it was planned.


photograph by karin olafson

Outside The Alex Community Food Centre. The centre is located along International Avenue in a former restaurant. Already the community is rallying behind the centre — Forest Lawn residents have volunteered to look after the garden.


photograph courtesy of the alex community food centre

The dining area will seat up to 100 people and will have round tables as well as one harvest table. The future coffee station will live at the entrance of the dining area (right of the photograph). 

The CFC was a real local effort. The space was designed by Frank Architecture and Interiors, lights were donated by Christiaan+Planck and volunteers painted the space.


photograph by karin olafson

The CFC's slogan is painted in the dining area and is a reminder of the power food can have.

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