Garden Cafe Gets Some Chickens

Francesca, Violet, and Sunshine (photo provided by Mark Wootton)

Chef/manager Mark Wootton of the Garden Cafe has some new female friends, but they’re not human. They’re hens, and their names are Francesca, Violet, and Sunshine. The think-sustainably family over on Junius Street partnered up with its neighbors (The Lab and Little Bean) to install a chicken coop in the back garden.

Cluck after you jump.

Looks like there won’t be any baby chickadees right now, but Wootton says there may be some mating in the future. His exact words: “Must spread the Whooutin bloodline.”

When I asked Mr. Wootton if he’s still raising the price of his eggs by $1, he responded: “We are raising our price by $1. Not directly because of these chickens, though. We are doing that so we can buy all organic pasture raised eggs from local and/or regional producers. I’m in the process of tracking down local producers that can meet our demand, and I am very close. These chickens are more about promoting urban farming and sustainable living.”

In exchange for spelling his surname correctly for most of this post, Mr. Whootten says he’ll name future baby chicks after me and Uncle Nancy. Maybe one of them will even be called “SideDish”… Oh, wait. That seems kind of wrong. In the meantime, you’re invited to visit Francesca, Violet, and Sunshine on Earth Day, April 22, between noon and 4 pm. There’ll be activities and fun things at all three businesses in the Munger Square Center.

Here’s the actual release:


Junius Heights Business’ Latest Shared Venture

The Lab at Lakewood, Little Bean, and the Garden Cafe present the newest additions to the adorable and hip Junius Heights hot spot known as Munger Square Center – resident chickens: Sunshine, Francesca, and Violet.

On Monday April 16th a chicken coop designed and built by Lakewood resident Stew Cockrell of Iron and Paint was erected in the back garden and is intended as a example of sustainability for all the families who patronize the Munger Square Center businesses.

Melissa Wright of The Lab at Lakewood says, “I feel like we continue to execute Dale Wootton’s vision of being a family destination. As our three businesses share such similar values, this collaboration on sustainability is a no-brainer. It conveys our common vision to our customers, neighbors, and friends. It also works well into my own hands-on science programming.”

Bianca Colgin of the Little Bean shop adds, “I have always wanted to take an active role in the food sustainability movement by owning chickens, but I didn’t want to see eggs be wasted. So this is the perfect scenario, as the Garden Cafe will be able to utilize the eggs for their delicious brunches.”

Business owners Wright, Colgin and Wootton encourage the public to stop by on this Earth Day: Sunday, April 22 between Noon and 4:00pm to “visit” with the chickens and take part in various themed activities at all three businesses.


For more information, please call Melissa Wright at 214-537-5910 or email [email protected]. You may also visit,, or for more information.