Our Mission

Curt’s Café improves outcomes for young adults living in at-risk situations through work and life skills training.

Upcoming Events

Pop-Up for Good @ Central Pizza Pie

Mar 2019
2 Seatings: 5pm & 6:30pm

What's so good about 3%?

It is the recidivism rate at Curt's Cafe! Which means that since opening in 2012 only 3% of our students have returned to prison. State and National rates are both above 80%. We are so proud of our students and the futures they are building after completing our program.

Be a part of it


1 Lb. Freshly Roasted Curt’s Café Fair Trade Blend from Uncommon Coffee
3 Chicago Themed Teas from Todd & Holland Tea Company

1 oz. Chi Town Tea
1 oz. Blackhawk Blend Tea
1 oz. Cooler By The Lake

2 Bags of Homemade Sweets by Café South Students

Peppermint Bark & Chocolate Biscotti

2 Curt’s Café “I Believe” Mugs

(or personalize it by providing your corporate mugs for us to incorporate into the boxes)

$55.00 each for 1- 25          $52.50 each for 26 – 50          $50.00 each for 51 +
Add a Curt’s Cafe gift card

$20 value – you pay only $15 or $40 value – you pay only $25

 For Information or to place an order contact trudyann@curtscafe.org
847.563.8883 / 1813 Dempster, Evanston / Boxes Designed by Trudyann

Curt's Team

We are dedicated to providing quality training to underserved young adults and providing quality food service.

Susan Trieschmann

Executive Director

Connie Blade

Past Board President
Pediatrician, Town and Country Pediatrics

Patti Anderson

Board Member
V.P. Commercial Banking, Huntington Bank

Jeff Mackevich

Board Member
Specialist in financial strategies for retirement

Derrick Q Milligan

Board Member
National Sales Director, Heart Zones

Enjoli Daley

Board Member
Police Officer, Evanston Police Department

Laurie Kaplan

Board Member
Development Support

Ashor Jajou

Social Worker

Rick Marsh

Board President

Nina Kavin

Advisory Board
Co-founder of Dear Evanston, which addresses equity, inclusion, and youth gun violence in Evanston through storytelling and bridge-building activities.

Dana Pearl

Board Member
Retired Human Resources Consultant specializing in EEO issues, including sexual harassment awareness and pregnancy, race, national origins, religious and other forms of discrimination.

Jessica Hochman

Board Member
Content Strategist at SPINS

Tami Manton

Board Member
Owner, Group Theater Tix

Bryant Jackson-Green

Board Member
Strategic Policy Advisor, Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority

Elizabeth Tisdahl

Board Member
Past Mayor of Evanston

Kevin Kreuser

Advisory Board
Juvenile Probation Officer and former youth minister at St. Nicholas Parish, Evanston

Lori Dube

Advisory Board

Mike Kuhn

Board Member

Wilma Nachsin

Advisory Board

Lisa Nigro

Marketing Manager

Libby Lewis

Volunteer Coordinator

Amy Blanton

Accounting Manager

Amy Heppner

Café General Manager

Karli M. Butler

Social Service Provider

Karen Smith

Director of Operations

Jovani Vazquez

Catering Manager

Elizabeth Van Nice

Administrative Support

Allie Payne

Board Member

Trudyann Smith


Robyn Bailey

Board Member

Sarah Ghantous Stein

Director of Development

Ashley Cooney

Pastry Chef

The Big Dream

This is the moment when our confidence in the “Proven Program” allows us to aspire to the “Big Dream” of expanding the proven program.

Curt’s Café Highland Park

Two years ago, a team from the organization, Open Communities, took on the goal of making social change in their community.  Their desired method was to open a Curt’s Café in Highland Park (CC3).  We hope CC3 will become the location of our next cafe, increasing the number of young adults Curt’s Café serves. The amazing and committed professionals at Open Communities have already worked for a full year introducing the idea to the community. Now they are focused on fundraising!  Hitting a $250,000 financial goal will cover much of the fundraising costs for CC3’s first year.  We are hopeful we can reach our goal by the summer of 2018!   Your help is always appreciated.

Curt’s Café Graduate Program

In 2017 we put processes and staff in place to begin the development of a program to accommodate the needs of our Graduate Students.  During our five years of operation, we realized the graduate students required additional Social Services, so we hired a Trauma Informed Social Worker to help with those challenges.  We also knew the graduates needed more support on their next steps in life such as getting into college, a higher paying job, or a better apartment.  We are continuing to grow this program, starting with developing a strong curriculum base that is supported by real life experiential trips to address the needs of the Graduates.

What's New?

Everything about our food and our events, our mission, our students, poetry, social justice resources, culinary tips & healthy recipes

A Note from our Founder

“May we hold every person, in Chicago or Evanston, in our hearts until we find a way to hold them in our arms and keep them safe.”

In six years I have never written a “Letter from the Founder” or even been compelled to. But I felt compelled to write today after receiving a text from my daughter.

read more

2017 Annual Report

2017 Annual ReportOur five year record: Curt’s Café has helped transform the lives of over 200 individuals.

Though the journey has not always been easy for our students, our professionals and volunteers have consistently offered a helping hand to the under-served young adults who are committed to positively changing their futures. A carefully structured program of work and life skills is augmented by love and true caring—and the students have eagerly responded! Our students aren’t “projects,” but people and they know that we believe in each and every one of them!

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2922 Central Street | Evanston | (847) 868-8385
Mon - Fri
7:30am - 4pm
7:30am - 3:30pm


1813 Dempster Street | Evanston | (847) 563-8883
Mon - Fri
8:00am - 4pm
Sat & Sun

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