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Saturday, September 30, 2023
Cornerstone church celebrates the season with peach cafe
Cornerstone Peach Cafe
Cornerstone Community Church Town Campus in Virgil will hold a peach cafe on Aug. 26 for community members and farmworkers. From left: Elizabeth Spence, Julia Buxton-Cox, Tracey Dau, Dee Steele (front), Janet Guy and Pastor Jeff Martens. (Somer Slobodian) Somer Slobodian

If you can’t get enough peaches this August, don’t worry: the peach festivities aren’t over. 

Cornerstone Community Church’s campus in Virgil is hosting a temporary peach cafe on Aug. 26 from 6 to 8 p.m. for the whole community. 

It’s all about bringing together farmworkers and community members to celebrate this summer fruit.

“We really want to make this open to everyone,” said Jeff Martens, the church’s outreach pastor and operations director.

There will be a band, games, peaches, ice cream and peach pies.

“It’ll be kind of a bit of a party,” he said. 

It costs $2 a person for the peaches and ice cream, however, for the farmworkers it’s free. All proceeds will be going toward covering the cost of the ice cream. 

Martens said he’s expecting about 200 people, but “the more the merrier.”

There will also be homemade peach pies for sale, with the proceeds going to programs at Cornerstone — including the Farmworker Hub, Quest Health and the NOTL Youth Collective. 

He said the gathering is meant to bring everyone together as one big community.

“That’s why we’re really trying to make this accessible to farmworkers, to bring everyone together and just kind of say, this is our community that lives here,” he said. 

Julia Buxton-Cox, the Farmworker Hub’s founder, said Martens has been there for the hub every step of the way — and she couldn’t be more grateful.

“To have a community church step up and support our friends on the farms this way and make this one inclusive community is exactly where I want to see this going for the future,” she said.

All the peaches are locally sourced.

“We have some peaches on our property on Hunter Road, there’s some peach trees, so we’re taking a little bit from there,” said Martens. 

 “And we also have a farmer from our church that’s donating peaches,” he added. 

Cornerstone hosted the peach cafe several years ago, between 2007 and 2009. It ran every weekend in August.  

“This year, just at least initially, we’re just going to try to do it once and then see how manageable it is,” said Martens.

He didn’t start at the church until 2010, but he heard how successful the peach cafe was, so he wanted to bring it back. 

He also thought now would be the perfect opportunity because of all the peaches on the Hunter Road property. 

The church is at 1570 Niagara Stone Rd. in Virgil.

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