A Community Dinner: 23rd annual free Thanksgiving meal at Chelan’s Apple Cup Cafe


A Chelan cafe is expecting locals to come together this Thanksgiving, for its 23rd annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner.

Locals are served a free, classic Thanksgiving meal—something Apple Cup Café Owner Ryan Peterson says his dad started years ago.

“The real intent is to get the whole community together regardless of status or income,” Peterson said. “Just everyone together to break bread together.”

Every year the Apple Cup welcomes volunteers to help serve meals and seat guests, and for those who can’t make it into the café that day can call in and schedule their food for delivery.

Ryan says food and cash donations are greatly appreciated, with all donations given directly to the Lake Chelan Food Bank. He says because of businesses like Weinstein Beverage, Sysco Spokane, Food Services of America and the Lake Chelan Eagles this event is able to remain free to the public.

What’s on the menu? You can expect all the classics from Turkey and the Peterson stuffing recipe to those mouth-watering desserts. Peterson was off helping prep turkeys at the Eagles Club in Chelan days before the event.

“Every year I go down, and every year it gets a little easier and a little less messy,” Peterson said. “It’s a full Thanksgiving meal, we try to get everything that you would see at a traditional Thanksgiving dinner on the plate.”

He says with the option to deliver right to your door, the Apple Cup serves an average of 400-500 deliveries a year.

“For a three-hour period, we’ve done up to 1,700 meals,” Peterson said of 2017’s community dinner. “In the summer here when we’re at the busiest we’ll do a 1,000 a day. To do 1,700 in three hours–that’s unheard of.”

The best part? Seeing the event grow.

“It’s been incredible to see it grow and become a lot of other people’s traditions–not just my family’s,” Peterson said. “It’s a pretty fun experience.”

This community Thanksgiving runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on November 28th at the Chelan Apple Cup Café. For more information check out their Facebook page or give them a call at 509-682-2933.