Philanthropy Fresh: giving back one dish at a time

In early December of 2023, co-owners Michael Dermer and Kenneth Brown opened their third Philanthropy Fresh Cafe and Grill, located in Athens on Broad Street. In 2022, they opened their first location in Loganville, Philanthropy Fresh Grill and Ale House. Later that year, they opened their second location, Philanthropy Fresh Cafe and Grill, in Gwinnett.

The original restaurant Cafe and Grill opened with the concept of customizable bowls, burgers and salads. However, the new establishment has a more structured menu with some staples taken from their other location in addition to a few new items. The overall goal is to provide nutritious, high-quality food while also giving back to the Athens community.

When customers purchase an order they have the option to choose which local charity they would like to donate their meal’s proceeds to. The charity with the most receipts at the end of the month will receive a donation from Philanthropy Fresh. These charities include Project Safe, UGA Miracle, Athens Area Humane Society, Children First and UGA’s Greek Life.

The style of the restaurant is well-suited for busy people. As a peaceful studying environment for students, all of the seating options have charging outlets for laptops or phones. All orders are packaged in environmentally friendly containers, with encouraging notes on the drink cups saying things like, “Keep up the good work!” and “Be proud of you!”

The restaurant is open normal hours from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday through Wednesday, but they also feature “late nights” Thursday through Saturday and stay open until 2 a.m. Don’t worry about late-night breakfast cravings because they serve it all day long.

All items are sold a la carte, featuring a variety of dishes, ranging from breakfast foods to bar snacks to healthy bowls. When you stop by, be sure to check out their featured merchandise.


FLOODED WITH FLAVOR: The tart punch of flavor from the strawberries and acai mixture pop against the sweetness of the nutella and peanut butter drizzles. The bowl also has a variety of textures from the drizzles, strawberries, acai, and granola. Photo by Isabella Morgan.

The acai bowl is customizable with toppings and drizzles. The acai itself is tart, but pairing it with a drizzle like nutella or peanut butter creates a nice contrast. There is also a choice of fruit; the strawberries complement the sweetness of the drizzles. Adding granola as the topping creates a delicious crunchy texture, countering the smooth acai mixture of strawberries and blackberries. Overall, the ability to completely customize the toppings and drizzles is a nice touch, allowing for

experimentation during every visit.



WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER: The creamy Philanthropy Fresh chicken bowl is sure to satisfy you. The nutritious meal is packed with protein and hearty vegetables. Photo by Isabella Morgan.

The Philanthropy chicken bowl serves grilled chicken on a bed of wild rice with roasted broccoli, tomatoes, avocado and cajun ranch. The rice is a pleasant base for the grilled chicken and cajun ranch combination. Avocado slices add a nutritious creamy consistency to the already healthy bowl. The roasted broccoli and tomatoes complement the spicy ranch and break up the savory flavors. Unfortunately, the chicken itself is not heavily seasoned, so an extra sauce is necessary to enhance the taste. Without that supplement, the meal doesn’t pack a powerful punch.



Several heaps of napkins are necessary to eat these boneless honey barbeque wings. The meat is tender and falls apart in your mouth, making it easier to devour. The honey barbecue flavor has a delectable balance of sweet and tangy flavors; pair it with ranch for unmatched flavor. Other flavors include hot, medium, mild, garlic parmesan, teriyaki and lemon pepper, coming in counts of five or ten.



There are a variety of burgers to choose from, but the combination of mushrooms, onions and swiss cheese is hard to beat. The meat is tender and flavorful, the swiss is strong but complementary and the mushrooms and onions are grilled to perfection. All their burgers are served on an ultra-soft brioche bun, or the option for a gluten-free bun. Add a sauce like ketchup or their signature cajun ranch on top and the burger is complete.



GRILLED TO PERFECTION: The three cheese grilled cheese sandwich serves as a great classic lunch; from the first to the last bite, it’s fulfilling. It’s complemented well by a side of tater tots or fries. Photo by Isabella Morgan.

As one would expect, this sandwich is packed to the brim with cheesy goodness. The bread is toasted flawlessly and the variety of cheeses add an unexpected but pleasant sharpness. The mix of swiss, cheddar and provolone on sourdough bread is an American classic. The sandwich’s virtue is in its simplicity.



The restaurant also features a number of classic bar snacks including pretzel bites with a cheese sauce. The pretzels are under-salted, but their light and fluffy dough compensates for their lack of seasoning. The bites come with a classic nacho cheese dipping sauce, making them a perfect appetizer.



Once again, the restaurant’s downfall is their tendency to under-season. The double-battered fries and tater tots are cooked to perfection. Paired with a dipping sauce, they are a go-to complement to any meal.



Overall, the modern, earthy environment and wonderful customer service provide a lovely atmosphere for anyone wanting to sit down and have a meal with their family. For students, it’s a prime location to study or finish a project. Knowing that a portion of their profits are donated to a charity each month makes every meal that much more satisfying.  


Ratings from left to right: 5/5, 4/5, 3/5, 2/5, 1/5

Isabella Morgan

Senior Isabella (Izzy) Morgan is the Co-Editor-in-Chief during her fourth year with BluePrints Magazine. She would like to major in an animal science field and minor in photography. She plays softball for the Lady Jags softball team and hopes to publish photojournalism pieces as well as cover larger events this year in journalism. Morgan appreciates the opportunity BluePrints provides to learn from her peers and improve her writing and photography skills.

Avatar photo