Social enterprises are revenue-generating businesses with a twist. At Metropolitan Ministries we are proud to have three successful social enterprises, Inside the Box Café and Catering, Dough Nation Divine Cookie Dough, AND Metropolitan Ministries Thrift Store.
Profits from our businesses go directly to feeding those in need in our community and supporting the programs that help families become self-sufficient.
A meal for you. A meal for them. That is what Inside the Box Cafe and Catering is all about. You see it written on the walls and on every boxed lunch or catered tray you carry out. All proceeds from the meal you purchase go directly back to feeding a hungry and hurting Tampa Bay neighbor.
Fresh, Vibrant, and Simply Unique: that’s Inside the Box Café & Catering. Lively, friendly service with a clean and bright atmosphere, a fabulous menu, and an inspirational story—it’s where comfort, flavor, and culture mingle with opportunity to make a difference in the community.
Inside the Box Culinary Arts Program
Food with a side of HOPE! In addition to serving contemporary Americana and inventive original dishes, we also serve a much higher calling by providing vocational training opportunities for men and women transitioning out of homelessness and poverty. The Culinary Arts Program (CAP) produces qualified employees who are prepared for work in the hospitality industry. Upon graduation, each trainee has gained the ability necessary not only to find a job, but to keep it! In the process, the students gain skills and work ethics that encourage them to lead a life of self-sufficiency.
Contact us for your next catered lunch meeting or special event. Check out our catering menu! - Call to place your order 813.209.1272
Stop by one of our locations for a break from the brown bag lunch. Check out the Cafe Menu!
Armature Works Heights Public Market
Stalls 14 & 15, 1910 N Ola Ave
Tampa, FL 33602
Hours: Sun - Thurs: 11 am - 8 pm | Fri & Sat 11 am - 11 pm
The Times Building
1000 N Ashley Drive
Tampa, FL 33602
Tampa International Airport
Inside the Box now serves ‘Grab & Gourmet’ items in the StellarBay newstand location in TPA terminals Airside A & C.
-TPA CEO Joe Lopano
The innovative idea of bringing edible cookie dough to downtown Tampa started with a small booth at the Gasparilla Music Festival. We handed out samples of our cookie dough flavors and before we knew it we had people lined up for more. That day inspired us to think what else we can do with cookie dough. How can it be a part of our social enterprise model.
Chef Cliff Barsi is behind the Dough Nation cafe social enterprise concept, where it serves as a training platform for the students of the Metropolitan Ministries culinary arts program. Several graduates of this program now work at the best restaurants in Tampa Bay.
Flavor is everything and Chef Cliff has created the perfect concoction with just the right ingredient. You will find at Dough Nation classic favorites like chocolate chips, dark chocolate, and interesting ones like s’mores, sweet & salty caramel and more. And it tastes amazing, according to Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine, WFLA News Channel 8 and several other local publications.
Cookie dough lovers you can enjoy your favorite flavors at the cafe or in the comfort of your home with our pint size take outs. When you are tired eating it raw you can even bake it.
Dough Nation Location and Hours
505 N. Tampa Street
Tampa, FL 33602
Sun, Tues-Thurs: 12pm - 8pm | Fri & Sat 12pm - 11pm | Closed Mon
The Metropolitan Ministries Thrift Store proudly serves the Tampa Bay community in many ways. We provide much needed clothing, furniture, appliances and many other items to homeless and low-income families. We also sell many items to the community at unbeatable prices with proceeds supporting the ongoing mission of the Ministries.
The Thrift Store is staffed by residents of Metropolitan Ministries involved in our Uplift U® program. We give on-the-job training to these individuals and career skills.
Through generous donors, we are able to provide furniture and other household items to families in our Rapid Re-Housing program to help alleviate some of the stresses associated with moving into a new residence, especially in some cases, without any furniture, clothing or cookware.
Other items are sold to people within the community who know that by patronizing the Metropolitan Ministries Thrift Store, they are helping families in Tampa Bay regain their independence and self-sufficiency.
Thrift Store Location and Hours
2101 North Florida Avenue
Tampa, FL 33602
Monday - Friday:
9:30 am – 5:30 pm
Saturday: 10 am - 4pm
Donation Drop-off Hours:
Monday - Saturday: 8am - 4:30pm
Pick Up For Large Donations: Phone Number: (813) 209-1060