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Sioux City cafe allows diners to 'feed it forward'
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Sioux City cafe allows diners to 'feed it forward'

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Food Brightside Cafe feeding it forward

Juan Munoz, co-owner of Brightside Cafe & Deli, holds a slip of paper that a customer had filled out after paying for a meal for someone in need. Munoz said customers can opt to purchase one of three meals that will then be prepared and given to a person who needs food.

SIOUX CITY -- A downtown diner isn't simply a place to eat.

It can be a place to meet with friends or coworkers for coffee during a hectic workday.

Or if can also be a destination for people desiring something fresh, hot and homemade at breakfast or at lunchtime.

In other words, a downtown diner is a part of the fabric of a community.

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That was what Juan Munoz knew when he and his younger brother Erik Munoz opened Brightside Cafe & Deli, a 525 Fourth St. eatery, in May 2018.

It remained an important part of his business philosophy.

"A city's downtown is a neighborhood," Juan Munoz said, "and I want our cafe to be a good neighbor."

Food Brightside Cafe and Deli

Consisting of bacon, hash browns, scrambled eggs and toast, the Brightside Breakfast is a delicious way to start your day. Made-to-order breakfasts and specialty omelets will be available at Brightside Cafe & Deli.

For the past few months, Brightside has offered a new "Feed it Forward" program in which guests can help feed those who cannot afford a meal.

"Restaurants in other communities have seen success with the program," Munoz said. "Guests can pay in advance for a breakfast and lunch while signing a card and leaving an inspiring message." 

Customers can feed it forward with a to-go box that includes a sub sandwich, a side and a drink, a Sunday Brunch Buffet plate or any other type of meal.

For instance, a person identified only as Jessi paid for a breakfast platter with coffee, encouraging an unknown hungry recipient to "never give up."

A full-time chiropractor as well as a restaurateur, Munoz had often thought about opening a downtown deli that could transition from a place for specialty omelets and coffee in the morning and soups, salads and sandwiches at noon.

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Since opening, the Brightside Omelet (filled with bacon, tomatoes and smothered in cheese and topped with avocado) and the Grizzly Omelet (loaded with lots of ham, bacon, sausage and cheese) are tops with the A.M. crowd.

Additionally, the Brightside Club (smoked ham, oven-roasted turkey, roast beef, cheddar cheese and mayo) and the Brightside Burger (a one-third pound all-beef patty topped with lettuce, tomatoes, onion, pickles, cheese and a zesty sauce) have earned raves at lunchtime. 

"I always knew that were enough office workers who wanted something better than fast food," Munoz said. "Those are the customers we see a few times a week or, sometimes, every day."

Food Brightside Cafe feeding it forward

Juan Munoz, co-owner of Brightside Cafe, talks about the cafe's "feeding it forward" initiative at the 525 Fourth St. eatery.

Food Brightside Cafe and Deli

Shown with a side of potato salad, Brightside Cafe & Deli's gourmet Brightside Burger -- a one-third pound patty, tomatoes, lettuce, onions, pickles and a zesty Brightside sauce -- is just one of the 525 Fourth St. eatery's menu items that can be purchased in advance for a person wanting food as part of its "Feed it Forward" program. 

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