French Press restaurant donates Tips in honor of their one year anniversary

The restaurant raises around $900 for local food shelters

More stories from Brian Sheridan


Photo by Brian Sheridan

The French Press specializes in making all their food from scratch, besides a few menu items.

When Pat French and Kris Schnack first opened up The French Press last December, they weren’t quite sure what they were doing.

One year later, French said business has exceeded expectations and they have celebrated their anniversary at the end of December by donating a week’s worth of tips and 10% of profits to The Community Table and Feed My People.

French sat down with a member of The Community Table who frequently dines at the restaurant and she said she knew she wanted to do something for the celebration. Mostly through word of mouth, The French Press raised about $900 over the course of a week.

“We’re feeding the community anyway for a profit so we thought this would be good,” French said. “We could feed people through both of these charities.”

Before the French Press was a reality, French said no one in town had the food they wanted to eat. After coming to a crossroad in their lives, French and Schanck decided to open up a restaurant, wrote up a business plan and watched it take off from there, even though French said “we just flew by the seat of our pants for awhile.”

With the idea of making everything from scratch, something French said is in very limited supply, the restaurant now sees 100-200 people a day with a strong breakfast, bakery and coffee population.

There are still plenty of different foods and ideas French wants to implement, but she said there is only so much room on the menu.

French said the past year of running her first business didn’t bring many struggles. She said the financing wasn’t hard, they now maintain a team of loyal staff members and see friendly customers every day, which she said is one of the best parts of running her own restaurant.

“The people, and making people happy. Hands down,” French said. “People are smiling and happy when they come in and they want to eat and they want to eat good food.”

French said she thinks everybody should be able to eat, which is why she chose to donate to charities like The Community Table and Feed My People.

Facility Operations Coordinator Rebecca Krueger said The Community Table is largely community-funded, receiving donations daily. She said they also receive their food at incredibly discounted prices or for free from businesses in Eau Claire and larger corporations like Target.

Krueger said she appreciates the support The Community Table gets from businesses like the French Press. Krueger said 70 different businesses come in regularly with volunteer teams and welcome community members who make helping them a priority.

“The community support we get is so important,” Krueger said. “I actually think it’s a really beautiful thing about our mission. It’s funded by the community. The community has decided that this is important.”