Credo: feeding body and discourse

May 9, 2011 § 1 Comment

Over 700 quotes line up the walls of Credo, an italian restaurant, which opened its doors in San Francisco’s Financial District last January with the intent to feed body and mind alike. As its name suggests, Credo, which comes from latin and means “I believe”, the restaurant wants its guest to encounter all beliefs, the good ones, the bad ones and the others. After all, beliefs are subjective.

But by encountering other beliefs than our owns, Credo hints that this mixing of ideas stimulates a healthy discourse.

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The concept is quite unusual, but highlights the strong set of beliefs of the owner, a former seminarian turned political consultant and real estate investor, Clint Reilly.

Credo’s mission aims at feeding both body and soul. These beliefs are at the core of this enterprise, from the decor, to the food served, and to the partnerships with local charity organizations.

Beliefs are expressed in many facets of the stylish restaurant. Dining tables, made of reclaimed wood from Amsterdam, illustrate the owner’s taste for craft and history. Repurposed wine bottle glasses set on the tables echo the values of reusing and smart producing.

Collected throughout the years by Reilly himself and his director of communication, the quotes featured throughout the restaurant “represent beliefs we share, and beliefs we don’t share. Some of them are absurd, some are silly and some very serious,” Mike Giffin, Credo’s manager said.

Monthly quote contests offer another means to engage dialogue with the community, to stimulate discourse and to raise awareness. “We believe in the time-honored tradition of the dinner table debate and the swirling mix of ideas that makes this country great,” explains the menu.

Going a step further in engaging the community is Credo’s charitable involvement. Once a month, Credo picks a local charity organization, and helps them get a voice and funding.

This month, Credo’s community partner is Clinic by the Bay, a locally-funded, volunteer-driven organization that provides “free primary and preventive healthcare to low-income, working uninsured adults living nearby the Excelsior, Portola and Daly City areas.”

Information about the organization is featured on the back of the menu, alongside articles about the issue at stake. A monthly newsletter is also sent to about a 1000 people. From social media for the tech savvy guests, to an easy donation line on the bill for the old-school patrons, to private fundraising events, Credo offers various ways to generate revenues for these organizations and publicize their cause.

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