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Former restaurant owners still dishing up food, but serving a different clientele

Denver7 Everyday Heroes Obe and Whitney Ariss.png
Posted at 10:15 PM, Apr 09, 2023

DENVER – Monday and Tuesday mornings at Nocturne restaurant look like most other days at a restaurant getting ready for the lunch rush.

The difference is Nocturne is closed and the people inside aren’t workers, they’re volunteers.

“We think food is a human right and we think everyone deserves to get pleasure out of their meal time,” Whitney Ariss said.

Whitney and her husband Obe are the founders of The Preservery Foundation. The foundation is named for the restaurant they owned and operated for seven years. Now instead of feeding paying customers, they’re feeding in encampments in nearby neighborhoods.

“Our mission is to build community through food,” Whitney said. “We feel like this is one way that we can show hospitality to our neighbors that have been disenfranchised.”

The Preservery Foundation doesn’t make sandwiches to serve people. In fact, Whitney says they’ve gained a reputation for bringing the good food.

“We make a pasta dish that's really popular with our folks,” she said. “That's just like a meat sauce with a bunch of extra hearty vegetables added like zucchini and roasted peppers.”

The owner of Nocturne says it was an easy decision to help his friends when they said they needed a kitchen to cook in.

  • To learn how you can help The Preservery Foundation, click here

“It's great to be able to help their cause and feed some people in Denver who are much in need,” Dustin Beckner said, before adding, “Hopefully this continues to grow and not only with their nonprofit, but also just in general and seeing other people try to help that to help the unhoused.”
Whitney says it’s a shame that so many people live in tent encampments around dinner, and while she can’t feed them all, she knows it’s important to do what she can to help.

“You know, to provide this kind of service of giving them a hot meal with no expectation of anything in return, it feels it feels like good important work.”

Former restaurant owners still dishing up food, but serving a different clientele

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